Thirty five kilometres from Brisbane’s CBD and just a ten minute ferry ride from Victoria Point on Moreton Bay lies beautiful Coochiemudlo Island. https://www.visitcoochiemudlo.com/find-coochie
After a chat with a local store-holder in Wynnum, who waxed lovingly about her life on “Coochie” and insisted on giving me the Coochie Newsletter, I decided to make the most of Brisbane’s sunny weather and see this lush little paradise for myself.
And lush it certainly is. Surrounded with vibrant green bushland and tropical vegetation, Coochiemudlo, which means ‘red rock’, might be tiny, but has an abundance of natural habitats. Wildlife, including migratory birds, dolphin, dugong, and armies of solider crabs at low tide are just some of the island’s attractions.
Amity Trader’s Ferries run every 30 minutes all day, every day, from early morning to late in the evening. Tickets are sold on board. Adults $5.00 per trip, children and concession $2.50 per trip.
There is also a vehicle ferry that runs every half an hour, but since the island is only five kilometres all up, I decided a walk would be just fine.
Note: Bookings for the vehicle ferry are essential. Call Amity Trader on (07) 3820 6557 during office hours (8.00am-4.00pm Mon to Fri) to secure your car space on the barge. Ask about the special offers for return trips on certain days.
After living in the remote seaside town of Broome in Western Australia, I’ve found it difficult to come to terms with city life again, and the thought of living on an island seemed at first to be an idyllic solution.
And many people do live very happily there, and the island appeals to many like-minded artists and writers.
Note: Coochiemudlo Island has a population of 756 people and 17.80% of its occupants live in rental accommodation.
However, although the idea seemed great, once reality set in, I realised that maybe it would be more practical for a younger, fitter person who had more energy to come and go on the ferries and no need to worry about such things as medical services (very age-revealing remark)!
Perhaps it will simply be a lovely place to escape to occasionally!
I visited the art gallery and saw many colourful and beautiful paintings by island artists, no doubt inspired by the island’s peaceful ambience and outstanding views.
Set in calm and protected waters, Main Beach – where the ferry comes in – is a great place for children to swim in relatively shallow water, while other aquatic activities abound.
And for golf-lovers, there’s the nine-hole Isle of Coochie Golf Course.
A highlight for Coochie and popular with visitors is the island community’s re-enactment of Matthew Flinders’ landing in July each year. Entertainment, markets and music are all part of the free event.
There is a range of accommodation options, including holiday homes, cottages and a resort.
I enjoyed a coffee and a sandwich at the Curlew Cafe on the foreshore. The locals were friendly and it was pretty easy to fall back into the “manyana” lifestyle once again.
I spoke to people on the ferry who had simply left their vehicle on the mainland, packed their bathers and visited one of the island’s three beaches – Main, Morwong or Norfolk, for a swim. Some of the passengers were locals who had been to the mainland for their groceries and had backpacks or shopping trolleys. I even saw one of the locals carrying her vacuum cleaner …
All in all it was a fun day and an excellent opportunity to enjoy some sunshine away from the crowds in the natural beauty of Coochiemudlo Island.