Captain Logan: Discovering the Logan River

Logan enjoyed the challenge of exploring and he devoted a considerable amount of energy to trips inland from Brisbane; however, he achieved one of his most important discoveries by sea on his first major expedition – the discovery of the Logan River.

The existence of such a river – well known to the Yugumbeh people – had been suspected by the white settlers for some time, but no serious attempt had been made to locate it.

In August 1826, Logan set out in a whaleboat rowed by a crew of eight, accompanied by “one other gentleman”.

They rowed into Moreton Bay, then continued south across Redland Bay on inside of Stradbroke Island. At that time, this was one single island – the passage between north and south did not break through until 1896.

Ahead was a somewhat confusing group of islands and channels including Coochiemudlo, Macleay and Russell. Logan appears to have followed his intuition and was rewarded when he realised the boat had reached the month of a large river.

He followed the river inland, finding it about 2 metres to 6 metres deep for what he estimated as 120 kilometres, although it was probably less.

The river then became shallower, and several large gum trees which had fallen across the stream stopped the boats going further.

Logan, with a characteristic persistence, followed the river a further 15 kilometres on foot, noting that it still seemed deep enough for a large boat. He also thought the surrounding country was “finest tract of land I have seen in this or any other country.”

Once Captain Logan had returned to the settlement, he wrote to the Colonial Secretary Alexander Macleay to inform Governor Darling of his discovery.

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