Bribie Island is one of the many islands in the Moreton Bay region and it’s one of the easiest ones to explore. Located approximately one hour’s drive from Brisbane, it’s another perfect day trip or weekend destination for us Brisbanites. Yes, I know, there are so many of those; no wonder we barely spend a weekend at home these days!
Bribie Island is home to great swimming and surf beaches, incredible sunsets, abundant bird and wildlife, old WWII remnants and views to die for! For all the nature lovers out there, it is the perfect escape.
Can you drive on Bribie Island?
Bribie Island is a sand island, but you can drive to the island and on some parts of the island with a 2WD vehicle. However, some parts of the island are only accessible by 4WD. If you have your own 4WD and plan on using it on Bribie Island, you need to request a permit. You can do that through this website.
Bribie island is easily accessible, thanks to the bridge that links the mainland to the island over the Pumicestone Passage. So, unlike Moreton, Stradbroke, Fraser and Coochiemudlo islands, there is no need to take a ferry there. It makes it so easy to get to!
Fact: The 4 largest sand islands in the world are all in our new state. Fraser Island is the largest (located off the Fraser coast), North Stradbroke is the second largest, Moreton Island is the third largest and Bribie Island is the fourth! North Stradbroke, Bribie Island and Moreton Island are all located within the Moreton Bay region and are all very close to Brisbane.
What to do on Bribie Island?
Take a swim at Bongaree Beach
Bongaree Beach is a great place for a swim because the water is super calm. If you get waves, they’ll be caused by the jet skis or boats passing in the distance. It’s a perfect spot for families and there is a big green area that’s perfect for picnics or BBQs.
Kids seems to love jumping off the Jetty. We watched them for a while; they were having a blast!
Follow the Bribie Island Heritage Walk
We always love a nice long walk wherever we go, and Bribie island’s heritage walk is great. Not only does it offer spectacular views over the Pumicestone Passage, but you also get to learn about the history of the island. The walk takes you to visit 16 different heritage plaques and sites. It takes around an hour to complete so make sure you pack some water, wear a hat and slip, slop, slap!
Go for a surf at Woorim Beach
If you love surfing, Woorim Beach is Bribie Island’s surf beach. There are actually surf beaches along the entire length of the island, but Woorim Beach is the only one accessible with a 2WD vehicle.
There is also a patrolled area if you prefer to swim or just have a bit of a play in the waves.
Take a 4WD tour with G’day Adventure Tours
If like us, you only have a 2WD then don’t worry. You can still explore the 4WD part of the island. Just sign up for a 4WD tour with G’day Adventure Tours and let someone else navigate the sand!
We took their three-hour Bribie Island National Park and Bunker tour, and it was a lot of fun. The tour starts near the beach access track in Woorim. Jason took us all along the beach, stopping at Norfolk Lagoon and Mermaid Lagoon where we could swim. The lagoons are tannin coloured from the trees that surround them, and they are fantastic for a quick dip! We were on the lookout for wildlife and spotted a lot of birds, including a very majestic sea eagle.
On the Northern part of the island, we stopped at the WWII bunkers of Fort Bribie. Jason, our guide, told us the history behind them and how it took them almost a month to build the first gun emplacement. But, having learnt from their mistakes, they built the exact same building a few hundred metres down the beach in just 7 days!
After our walking tour of Fort Bribie, we spent a few minutes enjoying the sights of Caloundra in the distance and took a quiet walk on the beach, before heading back to where we started.
It was an awesome experience which we really enjoyed. It was especially nice not having to worry about getting our car bogged in the sand. We don’t have a very good track record when it comes to driving 4WDs over sand!
Watch the sunset over the Pumicestone Passage
I love watching the sunset, so even on a day trip there was no way I was leaving the island without watching the sun set first. The best place to watch the sunset is Sunset Park in Banksia Beach (as its name suggests). From this park you can watch the sun set over the Glasshouse Mountains. Magic!
The sunsets on Bribie island are renowned for being spectacular. It was maybe a little too cloudy for us to get the best spectacle, but we saw turtles popping their heads up as we watched the sun go down, so it was definitively worth it, and I’m glad we stayed.
Take an eco-cruise with Ferryman Cruises over the Pumicestone Passage
On this eco-cruise, you can try spotting the elusive dugongs, dolphins, sea turtles, sea eagles, and so many types of birds, while slowly cruising through the Pumicestone passage. The Pumicestone passage is one of Australia’s most important bird and marine habitats on the east coast. Apparently, there are more bird species there than in the Kakadu National Park! So, be sure to bring your good camera if you are a keen bird photographer.
If you want something a lot more romantic, you can take a gondola ride at sunset. Who says you have to be in Venice to do that!
Head for a drink at the Sandstone Point Hotel
The massive Sandstone Point Hotel is just across the bridge from Bribie, on the mainland, and is worth a stop. Its spacious, lush green lawns roll down to meet the Pumicestone Passage and if you sit outside, you get a lovely view of the island. It’s also home to some big music festivals, so keep an eye out for who’s playing there.
Where to stay overnight?
Although we visited just for the day, the island would be perfect for a weekend away. In fact, we really wished we had stayed for a weekend. Next time we’ll definitely do that!
Bribie Waterways Motel
Bribie Waterways Motel is in Bongaree, directly across from the Pumicestone Passage. Every room features free WIFI. It boasts an outdoor swimming pool and plenty of onsite parking for vehicles and trailers. There’s also a pontoon for its guests’ exclusive use to dock their boats. To check the prices, click here.
Fairways Golf & Beach Retreat is 500 metres walk from the surf of Woorim Beach. It features a swimming pool and a rooftop patio offering a BBQ and views over Moreton Bay. All apartments feature a private balcony. To check the prices, click here.
Boasting breathtaking views of the Pumicestone Passage and the Glass House Mountains, Keith’s Place is a self-contained apartment. The patio will be the best place to take in the scenery. To check the prices, click here.
If none of those suit you, you can use HotelsCombined to search across all the major accommodation websites using the search box below.