Only an hour’s drive from Brisbane, Bribie could be described as the perfect island escape.
It has an interesting geological history.
Bribie Island is the one of four sand islands in South East Queensland; Stradbroke, Morton and Fraser being the other three. All were formed from eroded stone from the Great Dividing Range. This washed down to the east coast and was carried north by currents from the south.
Bribie is protected from the Pacific Ocean to the East by Morton and Stradbroke islands, so does not have surfing beaches.
Of the four islands, Bribie is the flattest and is unique in being connected to the mainland by a bridge.
Dogs on Bribie
The good news for dog owners is that at the South end of the island there are special beach areas especially set aside as leash-free for owners and dogs to enjoy walking and swimming.
Your dog needs to come to call and be well socialised as some of the visitors are learning to be free. So this is a great spot to introduce an urban dog to the fun of the beach. Green banded areas on the sign below tell the story.
I first visited Bribie Island about 10 years ago, so was keen to see how much it has grown since. Most of the island is uninhabited national park (55.8 square kilometres or 21.5 square miles) and forestry plantations. The southern end of the island has been intensively urbanised as part of the Moreton Bay Regional Council. The main suburbs are Bongaree, Woorim, Bellara and Banksia Beach.The Island is 34 kilometres long, and 8 kilometres at its widest.
Bribie Island has become much busier over the years and although there is currently only one lane in and out, another parallel bridge is in the planning.
The island has the most accessible saltwater beaches without heading up to the surfing beaches of the Sunshine Coast. On the east side, gentle waves lap against the beautiful clean beaches. Bribie Passage, between the Island and the mainland has flat waters and views of the Glass House Mountains.
There are plenty of picnic areas at most of vehicle accessible waterfront areas, some of which include excellent barbecue facilities. Quieter areas are accesses by a short walk through the Dunes.
For the more intrepid, there is also beach camping at Bribie Island Recreation area with views of the Caloundra skyline.
We drove to the start of the 4WD area and there were quite a few 4WD off-road vehicles either letting down their tyres ready to venture along the beach to camp or pumping their tyres up again after spending time camping and exploring.
Beach camping is 4×4 access only and requires both Beach Permits for the vehicle https://parks.des.qld.gov.au/management/managed-areas/recreation/vehicle-permits and Camping Permits https://parks.des.qld.gov.au/parks?type=campground&names=Bribie+Island.
We took the opportunity to drive to Bribie on a glorious sunny day and spent most of our time on the south side, at Woorim Ocean Beach where there is an off-leash dog area.
Whoopie and Mac had a swim and a lot of fun playing with some of the friendly dogs that meandered by.
The water was lovely and warm however we didn’t venture out too far as there was definitely quite a fierce rip happening the day we were there.
How do you like the ‘Castaway Cottage’ we found along the beach? It gave us the opportunity to sit and shelter for a while, until the tide crept up and disturbed Peter’s reverie.
We were trying to decide who might have built this strange little cottage made of driftwood. Maybe it was fishermen, to use as a landmark when fishing, or perhaps it was just young kids who decided to have fun and make a shelter. Whoever did build it deserves to be thanked as we certainly appreciated its existence!
Bribie is an extremely popular place for both adventurers and retirees, as evidenced by the many lifestyle resorts. Interestingly, we drove around the island and saw only two ‘for sale’ notices. It seems that the people of Bribie know they’re on to a good thing!
However, if you’re neither a keen camper nor a four wheel drive afficianado, you can simply jump on a 4WD tour to experience the best of what Bribie has to offer – see https://parks.des.qld.gov.au/parks/bribie-island/camping