Byron Bay Magpies Formed in 1984

The Summerland AFL formed in 1984, with Ballina, Byron, the Goonellabah Swans and Lismore Kangaroos as foundation clubs. Ballina and Byron were the only clubs to have continued in the same form for the entire history of the league. The two clubs dominated the competition for most of its history, being premiers 17 out of 27 seasons and winning every flag between 1999 and 2009.


The Murwillumbah Hawks joined in 1985, and the league continued in this form until 1994.


In 1995, the Grafton Tigers joined from the North Coast AFL, temporarily bringing the number of clubs to six, until Murwillumbah folded after the 1999 season.


The Nimbin Demons joined in 2001, bringing the number of clubs back up to six. However, at the end of this season, Grafton returned to the North Coast AFL, and the Lismore Kangaroos went bankrupt and merged with Goonellabah to form the Lismore Swans.


The Casino Lions formed in 2003 and competed for the next five seasons. Murwillumbah also rejoined for the seasons 2004-06.

In 2009, the Tweed Coast Tigers joined the league. Byron won the premiership for the third year running, but not until after Lismore lodged an appeal against the umpires' decision that disallowed a goal after the game concluded. The appeal was dismissed.


In 2010, the league featured six senior clubs, after the admission of Coolangatta-Tweed Heads. Coolangatta had senior and reserves teams in the AFL Queensland and a third senior side in the Summerland AFL based around under 23’s and developing players. The Tweed Coast Tigers won the premiership in that season, the first team to break the Byron-Ballina stranglehold on the cup since 1998.


In 2011, the league started with six teams again but mid way through the season, Coolangatta and Nimbin withdrew from the competition. This forced a redraw for the rest of the season. After the Home and Away season Tweed Coast finished first, followed by Ballina, Lismore and Byron Bay. The grand final played between Tweed Coast and Lismore. Lismore won their first premiership as a merged club.


In 2012, all four clubs joined AFL South East Queensland and commenced the season in Division 4 South.

2018 saw the introduction of the first Byron womens team into the competition which started in 2017. On 06 April 2019 the team won their first game against Ballina.

In 2020, a reshaping of the leagues in Southern Queensland and the Northern Rivers saw the Magpies join the QFA Division 2 South League playing against Bond University, Burleigh, Coolangatta, Kenmore, Robina, Lismore, Ballina, Tweed, Carrara, Coomera, and Victorian Point. The Womens team stayed in the Northern Rivers league to stabilise the future of the competition.  A global COVID-19 pandemic announced in March 2020 delayed the start of the season and severely reduced the game schedule of all competitions.  An additional Queensland Border closure halfway through the reshaped season saw the reconfiguration of the Northern Rivers competition.