Moreton Bay Attractions
The Brisbane River flows into Moreton Bay, in which there are over 300 islands, large, small and tiny. The larger islands - South and North Stradbroke Islands, Moreton Island and Bribie Island - shelter the mainland coast from the Pacific surf. The southern tip of South Stradbroke Island reaches as far south as Southport, on the Gold Coast, the northern tip of Bribie Island as far north as Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast. On the island of St Helena are the ruins of a convict prison.The history of Queensland began in Moreton Bay in 1824, when the first penal settlement was established at Redcliffe (though it survived only for a short time). Redcliffe has now become a suburb of Brisbane, as has the old beach resort of Sandgate, further south. The first sugar-cane plantations were established at Ormiston, which has preserved a mansion of 1862.
Moreton Island, much of which is a national park, has beautiful sandy beaches, with dunes, expanses of heathland and an abundance of bird life. Mount Tempest is the highest coastal sand dune (280m). On the east side of the island is a 30km long surfing beach; on the sheltered west side are three small settlements, anchorages and a resort complex at Tangalooma, which until 1962 was the only whaling station in Queensland. Now you can feed dolphins there, by hand. There are signposted tracks for all-terrain vehicles and walking trails. The lighthouse at the northern tip of the island was built in 1857.
Bribie Island, Australia
Bribie Island, still largely unspoiled, offers excellent facilities for water sports (boating, fishing). Some 30km long, it is separated from the mainland by the Pumicestone Passage. It is connected with Caloundra by a bridge.On Bribie Island are the little settlements of Bongaree (facing the mainland, to the south of the bridge) and Woorim (near the surfing beach on the east side of the island). On the west side of the island is Pumicestone National Park (no roads in park).
North and South Stradbroke islands were a single island until 1896, when a cyclone swept away the sandbank between the two, leaving a channel which was given the name of Jumpinpin. There are ferries (cars carried) from Redland Bay and Cleveland to Dunwich on North Stradbroke Island and day trips from Southport to South Stradbroke Island.
North Stradbroke Island
North Stradbroke Island, affectionately known as 'Straddie', is a popular holiday island on Moreton Bay. The normal population of 3000 is increased at the height of the holiday season by up to 40,000 visitors. The landscape, however, is still unspoiled, with mangrove swamps, freshwater lakes (Blue Lake National Park), expanses of bush country and very beautiful beaches. On the island are the three small settlements of Amity Point at the northwestern tip, Dunwich (established in 1828 as a quarantine station for immigrants) and Point Lookout (with the only hotel on the island) at the northeastern corner, where there are cliffs with impressive surf.
Blue Lake National Park
500haBlue Lake National Park is centered on Lake Kaboora, which is surrounded by eucalyptus woodland. From the entrance to the park it is a half-hour walk to the lake and the surf beach (Main Beach).
South Stradbroke Island
The long and almost uninhabited South Stradbroke Island extends southwards, near to Southport on the Gold Coast, with excellent facilities for water sports in the sheltered Broadwater.