Beerwah, a rural town on the North Coast railway line, is 70 km north of central Brisbane. It is named after Mount Beerwah (556m), the tallest of several volcanic plugs comprising the Glass House Mountains. The mount is in a national park (245 ha), 8 km south-west of the town. The name is believed to be that of the Aboriginal mother in a legend told about various peaks comprising the Glass House Mountains. Mount Tibrogargan signifies the legendary father.

Beerwah is situated on Coochin Creek, one of several streams that flow from the Glass House Mountains into the Pumicestone Channel. European settlement began around where Peachester Road crosses the creek. The Coochin Creek School (1888), the nearby church (1916-57) and the Coochin Creek Hotel, on Old Gympie Road, in the direction of Mt Coochin, were the main features. The North Coast railway (1890) shifted the focus of settlement eastwards where there were a sawmill (1901) and a hotel (1914, replaced by a super market). Motoring along the Bruce Highway (Glass House Mountains Road) confirmed the change.

Soldier settlement farms were established after World War I. The post office directory of 1924 recorded 25 farmers and selectors, seven fruit-growers and two poultry farmers. Timber production was important, employing four teamsters to bring logs to the sawmill. There were also two storekeepers, two butchers, a newsagent and a blacksmith. The Coochin Creek Fruit Growers' Cooperative had a cool store.

Beerwah was a farming and timber community until the 1980s when residential development quickly grew. Beerwah high school (1992) and Glass House Country Christian College (2000) signified Beerwah's role as a significant town in the Caloundra hinterland. Its public profile was raised by the opening of Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo and the attendant publicity of Irwin's stunts with crocodiles. Irwin was killed in 2006 by a stingray while filming a documentary at Port Douglas. That year a road running near Australia Zoo was renamed Steve Irwin Way, and the following year a bronze statue of Irwin was unveiled at Australia Zoo. 

Beerwah has a drive-in shopping centre (Turner Park), a Progress Association, a community hall, a sports ground with a youth activities centre, a golf course, a swimming pool, a hotel and a motel. The Glass House Visitor Information Centre, just off Steve Irwin Way at Beerwah, opened in 2009.

In 2011 items including some bones belonging to missing 13-year-old Daniel Morcombe were found in an area off Kings Road at Beerwah. Morcombe went missing in 2003 waiting for a bus at Woombye and was the subject of a massive search campaign coordinated by his parents Bruce and Denise Morcombe.

Beerwah's census populations have been:

Census DatePopulation

*locality expanded

Joanna Talberg Barrett, The history of Beerwah State School 1888-1988, Beerwah, Beerwah State School Centenary Sub-Committee, 1988


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