Cleveland is the civic heart of the Redlands. It has a unique bayside shopping and village atmosphere, and serves as the City’s other major shopping centre (Capalaba being the largest).
The main streets have been transformed by public works of art, inscribed poetry, parks and fountains, making Cleveland one of Australia’s finest urban streetscapes. The streets display a variety of bronze and timber sculptures, each work of art telling its own story and expressing a little of the Redland's pride in its heritage, culture and future.
On Sundays, Cleveland is a hive of activity, with traders sharing the streets with the Cleveland Bayside and Harbour side Markets between Middle and Queen from 9am-3pm. The large shopping centres provide a wide range of retail choices, with Raby Bay Harbour offering a range of waterside dining experiences.
Cleveland is also home to Raby Bay, one of the City’s two canal estates, providing direct access to Moreton Bay. The parkland along the foreshores of Raby Bay and the historic parks throughout Cleveland provide passive recreation opportunities for all City residents and visitors. The harbour and marina adjacent to the Cleveland town centre provide a connection from the business centre to the waters of the Bay.
There are conflicting reports as to the naming of Cleveland; it is said that it was named in 1770 by Captain James Cook, either in honour of the Duke of Cleveland or John Cleveland, the secretary of the Admiralty at the time. Or by surveyors in the 1840s, in honour of the Duke of Cleveland.
European settlement of Brisbane and surrounding areas was banned from 1824 until 1842, due to the Moreton Bay Penal Settlement, but the area to become Cleveland was first surveyed in 1840, and in 1841, was recommended for a maritime or seaport township. In 1847, the government planned for the new town, and on the 13th of December, 1850, Cleveland was proclaimed a township. The first land sales of the new township took place a year later, with early purchases primarily around Cleveland Point, at the time an early candidate for a major port to replace Brisbane. Brisbane was troubled by sand bars across the mouth of the river, and Cleveland Point was closer to the southern passage (the entrance to Moreton Bay between North Stradbroke Island and Moreton Island). However, when Governor Sir George Gipps visited Cleveland Point, it is reported that upon disembarking his boat, he immediately sank into the mudflats up to his waist. He was so annoyed by this that he changed his mind and suggested Ipswich. A series of wrecking in the southern passage led to ships using the longer but safer northern entrance between Bribie and Moreton islands. This, and an unfortunate fire at the Cleveland jetty, removed any hopes for Cleveland.
In 1852, the first large buildings were built in Cleveland; what is now the Grand View Hotel, and the Old Courthouse, at the time a workers cottage. Farms sprang up; a brickworks was built at the point, and a wool store to handle shipping. The first mail service to Cleveland began in 1861, with the first school established at the same time. The wool store, unused because of Cleveland's failure as a port, was converted into a sawmill, which supplied timber to a shipyard built at the point. The population at this time was only 270. Tourism blossomed with the arrival of the first regular steamer service to Cleveland in 1864. The Cleveland lighthouse was also constructed in 1864, and was only replaced in 1969. From this time, the most popular crop was sugar cane, until it was replaced by the popularity of fruits such as passion fruit and strawberries. A rail line to Cleveland was completed in 1889, and with it tourism, residential subdivisions and farming further grew in the area.
The rail line continued further than it does today, terminating at Cleveland Point - the existing Cleveland station was constructed later, for passenger use. The Redlands attracted farming families and became a district known for producing top quality fruits and vegetables with crops of strawberries, tomatoes, pineapples, custard apples, citrus fruits, bananas, herbs and vegetables grown very successfully. By the outbreak of World War I, the population in Cleveland had hit 540. However, in 1960, lack of demand ended the rail service to Cleveland, and it was only restored twenty years later, by which time the population of Cleveland was over 5000. The completion of the Leslie Harrison Dam allowed town water to be connected to the shire, with the majority of the town being serviced by 1970. The Raby Bay canal estate was completed in 1984, and by 1992, the population of Cleveland was nearing 10,000.
- Cleveland 's train station is the end of the line between Brisbane and Cleveland. The timetable can be accessed here
- Cleveland also has a local bus route. Times and destinations can be found here
- Redlands College Prep to Year 12
- Ormiston College Prep to Year 12
- Sheldon College Prep to Year 12
- Carmel College Year 7 to Year 12
- Cleveland District State High School
- Cleveland State School