Matthew Flinders must have thought he’d sailed into paradise.

It was July 1799.

The vivid blue water of Moreton Bay sparkled in the winter sunshine.

Majestic red cliffs scaffolded the sky.

And ahead of him, a long stretch of sandy beach beckoned.

Another century passed before Europeans rediscovered Scarborough as a stylish seaside resort.

A hotel was built on the main street overlooking Moreton Bay…

the same spectacular site that The Scarborough occupies today.

Walk beneath the towering cottonwood trees and you can imagine the summertime bustle.

Holiday makers came for the sheltered beaches and the magnificent scenery.

It’s what attracts people to Scarborough still.

And there is that view of course…

the same view that took Matthew Flinders’ breath away

more than two hundred years ago.