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Three Stunning Beaches on Coochiemudlo Island

Home > Brisbane > Beaches | Day Trips | Escape the City | Picnic Spots | Walks
by Meg Forbes (subscribe)
Meg Forbes is a mum, freelance writer, and photographer living in the Redlands, South of Brisbane. https://www.instagram.com/megforbesphotography/
Published June 28th 2020
Find sun, sand, and solitude close to Brisbane
Although Coochiemudlo Island on Redlands Coast, just south of Brisbane is only 5 square kilometres in area, it is fringed by 4 kilometres of beautiful beaches. Since Coochie, is situated within Moreton Bay and protected by much larger North Stradbroke Island, each of these beaches offer calm water without surf. This article covers three of the best of them.

Each of the beaches on Coochiemudlo Island are lapped by the calm waters of Southern Moreton Bay
Each of the beaches on Coochiemudlo Island are lapped by the calm waters of Southern Moreton Bay


Coochie, as the island is fondly known by locals, is only an 8 minute passenger ferry ride from Victoria Point, or slightly longer ride on the vehicle barge, making it an ideal destination for families in South East Queensland. Look out for dolphins, turtles, dugongs, and other marine life on the short crossing. Dolphins in particular love to play in the ferry's wake.

A dolphin dancing around the passenger ferry at dawn
A dolphin dancing around the passenger ferry on the way to the island at dawn


Main Beach

Main Beach is a beautiful sandy beach that runs between the passenger ferry terminal and the vehicle barge landing point, making it the most convenient of Coochie's three stunning beaches to visit. Main Beach is the only beach on Coochie that is patrolled by a surf life saving club in the summer months, making it ideal for families who wish to swim.

Coochiemudlo Island's Main Beach runs between the passenger ferry and the vehicle barge, and is the only patrolled swimming beach on the island
Coochiemudlo Island's Main Beach runs between the passenger ferry and the vehicle barge, and is the only patrolled swimming beach on the island


There are a number of picnic tables and benches installed behind the small dunes at Main Beach, and neighbouring Pioneer Park provides facilities such as a beach shower, public amenities block, a nature-themed playground, and electric BBQs. The Curlew Cafe and Red Rock Cafe behind Pioneer Park both serve dine-in and take away meals, drinks, and ice creams.

Numerous picnic tables and benches overlook Main Beach
Numerous picnic tables and benches overlook Main Beach


With so many facilities at this beautiful beach, many families come as far as gorgeous Main Beach and don't explore the island any further. That is a shame, however, as Coochiemudlo Island has two more, less crowded but just as beautiful, beaches to visit. In fact, it is quite possible to find oneself in complete, blissful solitude on either of the two beautiful beaches listed below.

While stunning Main Beach is perfect for a family day out, visitors who range further afield to the beaches listed below are rewarded with stunning views and, often, solitude
While stunning Main Beach is perfect for a family day out, visitors who range further afield to the beaches listed below are rewarded with stunning views and, often, solitude


Coochie Boat Hire operates from Main Beach with a range of tinnies (no license required), kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, paddleboats, and even BBQ boats available, and a wide range of life jacket sizes. For visitors who would prefer to use pedal power than walk to explore the island, Coochie Boat Hire also has a range of bikes available including junior bikes for older children. Coochie Boat Hire can be contacted on 0419 983 801.

Coochie Boat Hire offers a range of interesting alternatives to walking around the island
Coochie Boat Hire offers a range of interesting alternatives to walking around the island


Norfolk Beach:

Although the vehicle barge and bike hire are available, Coochiemudlo Island is easy to walk around, and a map detailing the walking trails is provided near to the passenger ferry's exit. Although there are short cuts along the streets, we usually choose to walk along the beaches on the perimeter of the island, so that our favourite route to Norfolk Beach begins by walking south along the beach from the ferry terminal, and then simply following the coast around two corners to get there.

The blissful walk to Norfolk Beach
The blissful walk to Norfolk Beach


Norfolk Beach faces east to North Stradbroke Island, and like the rest of Coochie is steeped in history. People of the Quandamooka Nation valued and cared for the island as part of their Traditional Country since time immemorial, and Matthew Flinders landed on the island with his sloop, the Norfolk, on the 19th July 1799. Norfolk Beach, named after this event, has a memorial to his landing just behind the dunes.

There is a memorial to Matthew Flinder's historic landing on Coochiemudlo Island behind Norfolk Beach
There is a memorial to Matthew Flinder's historic landing on Coochiemudlo Island behind Norfolk Beach


The beautiful sandy beach here is greatly affected by the tides, which can be checked for the entire island here. This means that if you wish to swim, a visit at high tide would be best. However, low tide has its own attractions, especially in terms of wildlife that hunts across the intertidal zone. Laughing kookaburras and brahminy kites are frequently seen diving down for meals, and are fascinating to watch. However, visitors should also note that bull routs (similar to stonefish) may also be present in the substrate here, and wear reef shoes or similar for protection.

Wildlife abounds at Norfolk Beach, such as this nesting brahminy kite
Wildlife abounds at Norfolk Beach, such as this nesting brahminy kite


Norfolk Beach offers a number of facilities within the shade behind the dunes that makes it perfect for a family day out. These include a very well maintained public amenities block, drinking water, two electric BBQs, and a number of picnic tables. There is also parking available on James St and Victoria Parade East for visitors who bring their vehicles over to the island.

Electric BBQs and picnic tables are just some of the facilities provided at Norfolk Beach
Electric BBQs and picnic tables are just some of the facilities provided at Norfolk Beach


Morwong Beach:

The third stunning beach on Coochiemudlo Island is north-facing Morwong Beach. To reach Morwong Beach, visitors can continue walking along Norfolk Beach, past a small section of rocks and mangroves, and around a corner, or they can drive directly down Elizabeth Street from the ferry terminal to Victoria Parade North (see the map towards the end of the article).

Sand ripples running along Morwong Beach at low tide
Sand ripples running along Morwong Beach at low tide


Stunning Morwong Beach overlooks Moreton Bay towards Peel Island, and is affected by the tides in a similar way to Norfolk Beach. Although a lovely, sandy swimming beach at high tide, a wide intertidal zone is revealed by outgoing tides. A pair of white-bellied sea eagles frequently hunts here, and at the time of writing this article they have a juvenile hunting with them as well.

A juvenile white-bellied sea eagle perfecting its hunting above Morwong Beach
A juvenile white-bellied sea eagle perfecting its hunting above Morwong Beach


Facilities at Morwong Beach include benches overlooking beautiful Moreton Bay, public toilets, and parking. There are also rubbish bins available here.

Morwong Beach is a wonderful spot to just sit and enjoy gorgeous views across Moreton Bay
Morwong Beach is a wonderful spot to just sit and enjoy gorgeous views across Moreton Bay


With Coochiemudlo Island only 35Km and an 8 minute ferry ride from Brisbane, these three stunning beaches provide perfect getaways for families in South East Queensland.

Coochie, with its three stunning beaches and close proximity to Brisbane, is the perfect getaway. Map courtesy of Google Maps
Coochie, with its three stunning beaches and close proximity to Brisbane, is the perfect getaway. Map courtesy of Google Maps


The passenger ferry and vehicle barge, both run by Amity Trader, leave from Masters Ave, Victoria Point. Passenger ferry times can be found here, with prices here. The vehicle barge's times are listed here, with their prices listed here.

Frequent passenger ferry and vehicle barge services make visiting Coochie a hassle-free day out
Frequent passenger ferry and vehicle barge services make visiting Coochie a hassle-free day out


Things to bring on your day-trip or getaway to Coochiemudlo Island's beaches include:
- Swimmers and towels
- Sunscreen, insect repellent, and a hat
- Money for the ferry and optional food, drinks, and icecream (the ferry, barge, and shops all take cash and EFTPOS here)
- A camera to capture the island's beauty
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Why? Coochiemudlo Island with its three gorgeous sandy beaches is only 35Km and an 8 minute ferry ride from Brisbane
When: Anytime once you are on the island (links to ferry and barge timetables are within the article)
Phone: 07 3829 8999
Where: Coochiemudlo Island on Redlands Coast
Cost: Free once you are on the island
Your Comment
Great article. Do you know if the crazy train animal farm is still operational on the island?
by Kerenza Korostovetz (score: 2|163) 16 days ago
Meg,

Well done, Coochiemudlo is one place I love to swim and soak. Residents are friendly too. Thanks Susan
by Susan J Bowes (score: 3|1578) 9 days ago
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