I'm a freelance writer living in Brisbane. I love bushwalking, kayaking, wildlife, history and travel.
Published November 16th 2017
A relaxing day out at Raby Bay
When Monique first suggested we go for a paddle at Raby Bay, I didn't know what to expect. I remembered all the media from years ago about canal developments there and how they were going to destroy the environment.
I remember at the time of its development, people were very concerned about the loss of dugong seagrass meadows, mangroves and roosting sites for migratory wading birds. The Queensland Government approved the canal estate development in 1979 and construction commenced in 1983. The first stage was officially opened on 23 November 1984 with 158 blocks, which were to be sold between $53,000 to $96,000 each.
Kayaking up the canal
Raby Bay is now a residential canal estate in Redland City built on reclaimed land. Luxury waterfront residential and commercial buildings were built there. A lot of the large houses have their own moorings and pontoons.
View from the water
It turned out to be a great place for a paddle. I was in my kayak and Monique on her Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP). We met at the large park on Masthead Drive. The park had plenty of parking, large grassy areas and a toilet block. It would be a great place for families to visit and enjoy. It was about a 35-minute drive for me from the North side of Brisbane, but only 2 kilometres from the Cleveland train station. We have our own kayak and SUP, but there are places where people can hire them at this location.
We started paddling straight out to sea. We hadn't gone very far when Monique called out. She had seen a large sea turtle, which surfaced for a breath between us, but I missed it. We then turned and paddled towards the canals. As we got close to a rocky outcrop, Monique shouted excitedly again. This time she saw a dugong. It had gone by the time I paddled over. It was Monique's lucky day. Luckily we didn't see any sharks. I did read the beach was closed in October 2016 after a shark was seen. At the time, they said it was probably a bull shark or whaler. The shark was sighted off the Raby Bay Foreshore Park dog beach on Masthead Drive.
The dugong was near these rocks
Raby Bay is a bay within Moreton Bay. It is created by the Cleveland Point headland and forms the coastline of the suburbs of Cleveland and Ormiston in Redland City. It is a great paddle location with white sandy beaches, beautiful calm water, interesting mansions in the canals and the opportunity to see wonderful birds and unique sea creatures. Surveyor James Warner named the bay in honour of the Duke of Cleveland, who was also known as Baron Raby.
Paddling at Raby Bay
After a couple of hours paddling, we headed to the Lighthouse Cafe Bar at 237 Shore Street, North Cleveland for a gorgeous fresh seafood lunch. I'd been there once before years ago with a group of old Townsville friends and remembered the fantastic view with waves lapping the sides of the restaurant and the nautical theme.
The view was still excellent and we enjoyed our grilled whole sole fish and salad with a glass of wine. After lunch, we went to see the lighthouse before heading home. The Point Cleveland Light is located on the north-eastern tip of Cleveland Point. It overlooks Moreton Bay to the east and Raby Bay to the west. The old lighthouse was established in 1864-1865 as a wooden hexagonal tower. It was in use until 1974 and is heritage listed.