Instead of heading to one of the more exotic tourist destinations to experience island life, why not spend the day on a local island or rent a property on Russell?
Rentals and home stays can be found on the net or via local estate agents, or try the Russell Island Motor Inn, located 100m from the main jetty. ( We stayed at 'Water's Edge').
Coochiemudlo, Macleay, Lamb, Karragarra and Russell are the five permanently inhabited Southern Moreton Bay Islands that nestle within Moreton Bay (Quandamooka) and all are just a ferry ride from the mainland.
Approximately 15.9km² in size, Russell is the largest and home to about 3000 people, many of whom commute daily to work in Brisbane.
Home to evocatively named landmarks such as Kinbbinkibbinwa Point, Ooncooncoo Bay and the Whistling Kite Wetlands, Russell (Canaipa) has a rich history; following indigenous habitation, limeburners, timbergetters, oystermen and sugar, fruit and cotton farmers of yesteryear called the island home.
Dwellings on Russell today vary from manicured high-rise mansions and neatly maintained suburban-type dwellings, to aged, partially collapsed caravans and weathered ground-bound yachts.
Things to do:
Cycle your way around the island, taking in detours off High, Minjerriba and Centre roads – many side roads / tracks are untarred so sturdy tyres are a good idea - aim to end up at the main jetty at high tide for a dip to ensure there is water in the fenced off swimming area.
Take a swim at the Russell School pool which is open to the public, or rent the tennis court and equipment.
Call in at the community centre on Jackson and check out the op-shop for a surprisingly wide selection of clothing, crockery and general bric-a-brac.
Visit Luke's 'Coffee Cart' on Kings for colourful umbrellas, tarot readings, flying flags, potted herbs, friendly chatter and good coffee.
Braai / Barbecue at the Lion's Park – gas and wood burners available – there is a grassed area for impromptu cricket and soccer games - wade knee-deep into the waters of Canaipa passage to cast your line or walk the island's biggest sandy, mangrove-lined stretch at low tide.
If you need a break from bright city lights and can do without on-tap, organised entertainment, there is lots to do on Russell, and all within easy reach of the city.
For further information on Russell and the other islands, check out the free Redland Shire Council brochure written by Tracy Ryan and entitled "Southern Moreton Bay Islands Heritage Trail".
Russell island is amazing im staying at harrisons hut, overlooking willies island. As im writing this I am enjoying a coffee on the second floor verandah basking in the sun. The locals are friendly and helpful and the place has a great atmosphere. So far haven't seen a mozzie or midgie. Absolutely love this place