n the Redland Bay area, on the shore of Moreton Bay, Cleveland (4163) is about 25 km south-east of Brisbane. Surveyed in 1840 for settlement, a navigation beacon was sited at Cleveland Point and the area proclaimed a town open for land sales in 1847. It was even considered as a port, however, the presence of mudflats, a series of wreckings and the Cleveland jetty fire, put paid to this notion.
Now the area is bustling with commercial, residential and industrial activity with professional offices, council and cultural facilities for the performing arts as well as art galleries and museums. There's also a hospital, an industrial estate, a Showgrounds which plays host to many events, a weekly farmers/craft market and several schools. Cleveland is situated at the nexus of several major arterial roads as well as a rail line, all of which provide regular access to Brisbane.
In 1852 building was commenced with a hotel, farms were established, and a brickworks and wool store was built with the latter being converted to a sawmill when Cleveland was no longer a candidate as a port. A mail service and school followed in 1861 and a regular steamer service set up in 1864 brought tourists to the area. Sugarcane began to be cultivated but was later replaced by fruits and vegetables such as strawberries for which the area became known because of its rich red volcanic soil. With the advent of a regular rail service to Brisbane in 1889, the area not only became more popular with tourists but also grew rapidly with the residential subdivision, the highlight being one of southeast Queensland's first upmarket canal estates, Raby Bay in 1983. Recreational parklands were also developed for swimming and picnicking.
Toondah Harbour was established as an access point for water taxis and ferries to the Moreton Bay islands. It is also significant as a wetlands habitat for dugongs, turtles and many bird species. Recently, a government proposal to develop a large marina in this area has been focal appoint of local contention which has resulted in an extensive review by planning and development professionals as well as government officials, the result being a scaled-down development with reduced building heights.
As of 2011, Cleveland had about 14,000 residents who, with an average age of 46 years, were significantly older than their peers in Brisbane. 35% of residents were born overseas especially in England and New Zealand, but also in Scotland and South Africa. English was the primary language spoken solely at home.