St Helena Island Tour

Moreton Bay - Queensland

This site was a penal settlement during the early history of Moreton Bay - today the site is heritage listed

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arriving saint helena
Recently, though I am reminded it was about 3 years ago, I travelled to St Helena Island, in Moreton Bay off Brisbane, in a group. Picturesque as it appeared along the way from the various scenes we saw from the vessel we boarded at Hamilton on the Brisbane River, it was stark in contrast of the description given by the volunteer tour guides, of the torturous and barbaric treatment of prisoners stranded on this forsaken island. Especially for those who served the 'term of their natural life,' and were buried there. The cemetery shown in this group of photos was not necessarily the original burial ground as many graves were exhumed from scattered graves on the island to the final site - I suppose they felt the deceased would be better served imprisoned once again - though this time by a picket fence.

A view of the jetty on arrival.

In the above image notice the lavish luxury of the private 'safe' swimming pool erected for the prison warders and their families. Not being selfish the prisoners were permitted to swim outside the shark proof enclosure during escape attempts.

This cane train rattler was not originally on the island, and I am sure from my experience, was introduced in contemporary times to let us experience some of the hardships of the past. Springs and shock absorbers must have been invented later and in hindsight it would have been better to walk the 500 metres or so. We certainly did on the return to the jetty.

Prisoners work and shelter areas - #1

Prisoners work and shelter areas - #2

Prisoners work and shelter areas - #3

Prisoners work and shelter areas - #4

Prisoners work and shelter areas - #5