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Exploring Brisbane Islands

Home > Brisbane > Escape the City | Family | Island Hopping | Outdoor | Places of Interest
by Gypsy Rose (subscribe)
I am a travel writer and photographer with a passion for the great outdoors and food! I love travelling and discovering hidden gems... experience the journey on Instragram! @gypsy_compass
Published March 19th 2017
Add these Brisbane Islands to the bucket list
Escape the city and explore the hidden gems that Brisbane Islands has to offer with giant sand dunes, diving crystal-clear waters, walking sandy trails, spotting wildlife, admiring relics of wartime, snorkelling with dugongs, turtles, dolphins and other marine life.

There is something for all interests and ages, making this list perfect for your next city escape or day trip!

1. Moreton Island
This Gem of South East Queensland is one of the best experiences in Australia, and being right on Brisbane's doorstep this Island is a must visit, to explore and discover its natural beauty. Moreton Island is the third largest sand island in the world and it is almost completely sand with no roads- so 4WD is required, if you are planning on going a further distance from the ferry landing points. Discover unspoilt paradise, beaches including surf beaches, giant sand dunes, historic lighthouse, wartime bunkers, WWII relics, campgrounds, Mt Tempest, ship wrecks, wild dolphin feeding at night, 4WD tours including Australian Sunset Safaris, snorkelling, kayaking, treks and much more activities. Click here for the website.

Escape to Brisbane Islands- Image Courtesy from Visit Queensland, Australia Facebook

2. North Stradbroke Island
Welcome to endless white sandy surf beaches, scenic rocky headlands and quaint villages. North Stradbroke Island has many must-do scenic walks and other fun activities to enjoy and explore. Straddie (known to the locals) is located only 60 minutes from Brisbane CBD, making it the perfect day trip and city escape. The Island is a sub-tropical island and is located 30km southeast of Brisbane, it is also the world's second largest sand island which is 38km long and 11km wide.

Swim at the beaches, take a surf lesson, enjoy gourmet ice-cream, indulge in fresh seafood, take a dip at the Blue Lake or just simply sit back and enjoy the relaxing lifestyle. Whale watching can be enjoyed here during migration season, fishing, dolphin & wildlife encounters, lookouts, walks & treks, and water activities are some of the other activities and attractions to enjoy here too. Click here for the website.

Discover the wonders at Moreton Island- Image Courtesy from Moreton Island Facebook

3. Bribie Island
With easy access, there is no excuse not to visit this Island! Experience a slice of island life at this protected marine park with wildlife encounters, 4WD, beaches including surf beaches, restaurants, parklands, walks, national park exploring, fishing, birdwatching, water activities, museum, camping facilities and much more. Click here for the website.

The waters are tempting at Stradbroke Island- Image Courtesy from Staddie Is. Facebook

4. St Helena Island
Experience Brisbane's most historical Island- St Helena Island. Explore Queensland's first penal settlement and experience the tales of prison life and hardships on this Island. The island is a National park 6km off the coast of Brisbane and there are two tour companies that run entertaining and informative day tours as well as night ghost tours, which explore the 19th century stone ruins. The Island is rich in history, making it a perfect day trip to explore the past. Click here for the website.

Enjoy romantic sunsets at Bribie Island- Image Courtesy from Visit Bribie Island, Queensland, Australia Facebook

5. Peel Island
This Heritage-Listed Island is located 4km offshore, between North Straddie and the mainland. The Island features two spots open to the public; Horseshoe Bay & Platypus Bay. Horseshoe Bay showcases spectacular sandstone outcrops, while Platypus Bay is home to shipwrecks and amazing snorkelling experiences. Sadly, most of the island is restricted access to help preserve the fascinating historic remains, including the Lazaret- which opened in 1907 and housed leprosy patients for the next 52 years and it is the only intact example of multiracial lazaret in Australia. Prior to this between 1874-1890s, the island was a quarantine station. Click here for the website.

Explore Coochiemudlo Island and its gems- Image Courtesy from On Coochiemudlo Island Facebook

6. Coochiemudlo Island
Coochiemudlo Island has 4km worth of safe beaches, making it the perfect day trip for families. You can enjoy swimming offshore, hire an aqua bike, kayak or tinnie and explore the island, enjoy walks and bike rides or explore the mangroves. There is plenty to see, explore and experience at Coochie Island and this 'Jewel of Moreton Bay' is certainly worth a visit! Click here for the website.

Image Courtesy from South Moreton Bay Islanders Facebook

7. Russell Island
For the perfect day escape, Russell Island is a great place to escape the city with its amazing mosaic masterpiece and being the largest of the southern bay islands. You can enjoy activities such as fishing, swimming, picnics, spotting wildlife, bird watching, walks and much more. Click here for the website.

Image Courtesy from South Moreton Bay Islanders Facebook

8. Macleay Island
Home to 250 artists, writers and musicians as well as home to nature, Macleay Island is located just 30km from Brisbane, which makes it a perfect day out for all interests and ages. Explore the tranquil atmosphere with the many activities and attractions that can be enjoyed with swimming, fishing, nature walks, art gallery exploring, lookouts and views, canoe, kayaking, flora and fauna, birdwatching, shopping and much more. Click here for the website.

9. Karragarra Island
A day trip to Karragarra Island is worth a visit as it is the smallest of the Southern Moreton Bay Islands. Being just half a kilometre wide and four kilometres long, the island features parks, sandy beaches, enclosed swimming area, barbecue facilities and walks. Click here for the website.

10. Other Islands
The Cobby, Short, Eden, Mud, Green and Crab Islands are all islands near Brisbane that can be explored too. You can enjoy boating and fishing for the diverse marine life that these islands attract.

A walk to King Island from Wellington Point at low tide offers a narrow sandbank, where you can climb the fig trees, watch sailboats float by, spot out wildlife, including keeping an eye out for the soldier crabs as well as other marine wildlife.
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Why? Escape the city & explore Brisbane Islands
When: All year round
Where: See above for all details
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