Kepnock High School & Stehbens Park, Bundaberg, Queensland

Selected for Google Maps and Google Earth

Kepnock State High School is a large secondary school in eastern Bundaberg.

It is sited on land first selected in 1871 by Samuel Smyth. The land opposite the School is now a park, Stehbens Park, and a residential area.

This land, across Kepnock Rd, was first selected in 1871 by Claus Johann "John" Stehbens when it was a dense vineforest scrub. He called his pioneer farm, "Forest View" being surrounded by dense vineforest scrub. John Stehbens with the assistance of his brothers and father, Detlef, cleared the land, built a home and barn, dug and brick-lined a deep well and created a successful farm, essentially because of Detlef's well and hardwork. (Detlef was a bricklayer and made the bricks nearby.)

Bundaberg City Council named the central road in the estate, Stehbens Drive and the park, Stehbens Park, in honour of this pioneer German-Australian family.

As the sugar industry began in Bundaberg, John Stehbens sold this land with its well and other improvements in 1883 to William Cottier who in turn sold it in Thomas Young, who owned an adjacent farm that he had called "Kepnock".

With the proceeds of the sale of "Forest View", Stehbens was able to buy a far larger farm with fresh water frontage on the Burnett River upstream, as well as a number of town blocks. The investment in the well and the hardwork had paid off.

Show more
Show less
Save Cancel Want to use bold, italic, links?

Comments (2)

Greg Swinfield on March 23, 2012

Hi Ian nice piece of history, and I think you have a connection with it? Was this a flight with your son to check out some ancestral stamping ground?

You have lots of photos waiting for me to check out - I think it will wait until my holidays before I have a good look. In the interim, keep up the good work. I look forward to a cold, rainy day in April when I will spend a while on pano.

best wishes


Ian Stehbens on March 23, 2012

Hello Greg. Thanks for your interest.

The two pioneers mentioned were my Great Great Grandfather Detlef and his son, Claus Johann. They were known as Dave and John respectively. I am the principal researcher of our family history, hence my interest in these men and this area.

The purpose of the flight was to take one of my son's planes back to the manufacturer in Bundaberg for some maintenance, so I joined him for the return flight. I went with the camera, of course. Plenty of urban geography, geomorphology, and family history got photogrpahed, I assure you. We were able to take the opportunity also to see into areas that are largely inaccessible on the ground but have fascinated me for years. The most special was to see Yabba Falls from the air, at last. I grew up on that stream about 20kms downstream and had never succeeded in seeing this 500ft waterfall in full before. Now I have and they have been uploaded for the world to see.

And I photographed the east face of Mt Tibrogargan which I hope, with an experienced guide, to climb this winter if it is dry!

Thanks mate.


Sign up to comment. Sign in if you already did it.

Photo details

  • Uploaded on March 17, 2012
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Ian Stehbens