My friend Jenny lives on Bribie Island so I’ve been there a few times now… and each time I leave feeling more a little more in love with the place.
You hear people talking about their wonderful holidays to Fraser Island, Morton Island and Stradbroke Island, but you hardly ever hear mention of Bribie. Why is that?
I reckon Bribie deserves some love.
Home to a solid population of retirees, its reputation as a quiet (and maybe a little dull?) destination precedes it. Just to be clear, you’re definitely not coming to Bribie to party. You’re coming to Bribie to slow down, escape the crowds, and enjoy the sand between your toes.
One of the best things about the island is…. you can drive there, no ferry needed! Connected to the mainland by an 831m long historic bridge, Bribie is only 2.5 hours drive from the Gold Coast.
Pumicestone Passage is the sheltered stretch of water between Bribie and the main land. Home to dolphins, dugongs and turtles, the marine park is also one of the most important bird habitats on the east coast of Australia. The white sand beach on the ocean-side of the island stretches for miles and Bribie Island National Park offers camping and short hiking trails.
There’s something for everyone on this 34 km long sand island and I’ve made a list to give you some ideas (I’ve personally done them all, except the BBQ boat which is high on my list!):
- Count the number of pelicans perched on the lights as you drive across the bridge onto the island (a fun game for kids). My friend Jenny has done this with her family since she was a little girl and they still count pelicans to this day.
- Visit the Bribie Island Butterfly House and walk among thousands of colourful butterflies, if you sit really still they’ll land on you (a great photography opportunity). Run by volunteers, the funds raised from ticket entry are donated to other local community projects.
- Visit the Seaside Museum (free) to lean about the islands fascinating history (during World War II Bribie Island was seen as a first line of defence against the invasion of Brisbane and you can still see remnants of the gun turrets).
- Enjoy a gourmet pizza and a glass of wine with friends at La Vera restaurant in Bongaree.
- Visit the excellent Arts Centre to see the latest exhibition and browse a wide array of arts and crafts for sale. I always head home with a new treasure and it’s nice to support local artists.
- Swim at picturesque Woorim Beach on the ocean-side of Bribie (safely between the flags, rips and drags are common). Great for a morning sunrise walk, the stunning white sand beach stretches for miles.
- Get a double scoop ice cream from the famous Scoopys Cafe.
- Visit the awesome Bribie Island Book Exchange, one of the best you’ll find – I dare you to walk out empty handed.
- Sunset walk along Bongaree Beach where the walkway meanders along the waterfront for 3 kms. If you want to stretch your legs turn up First Avenue and walk across the island to the Bribie Island Surf Lifesaving Club where you can enjoy a drink and a meal with a view.
- Jetty jumping at Bongaree Jetty – a very popular pastime (the ‘no jumping’ signs are merely a suggestion right?).
- Hire a standup paddle board, kayak or ebike at the Bribie Hire Hut on Welsby Parade in Bongaree.
- Sunday morning markets.
- Capture the moment with your camera – the scenery, birdlife and spring wildflowers on Bribie are a photographer’s dream.
- Hire a BBQ boat. Book 6, 8 or 10 seater boats (floating pontoons) which come with a shade cover, gas BBQ, drinking water and a toilet. Anyone can be Captain (you don’t need a boat licence) so bring an esky with cold beers and sangers, fire up the barbie and float around on the water for a half or full day.
- Finally, stop at the Sandstone Point Hotel (mainland side of the bridge) for a coffee on the way home. Even better head to The Oyster Shed for some fresh local seafood or fish and chips on the jetty, great views right on the water’s edge.
If you’re hunting for good coffee, I’ve been told the best place is the Bongaree Hot Bread Shop. Also worthy a mention is the fantastically secluded camping area at Ocean Beach on the far side of the island – but note this is 4WD access only.
So many reasons to love this little paradise island, I hope this post inspires you to visit Bribie soon.
Would love to hear your experiences of Bribie, comment below if you have another tip for me!
Hi I’m Shannon, and this is my blog Eat Well Travel Often. If you enjoyed this post and want to follow my travel and foodie adventures sign up for my newsletter. I post heaps of photos on Instagram, and you’re welcome to pop into my Facebook lounge for a chat about all things travel and food.