What to do on a Spring day in the middle of a long weekend?
Island Hopping fitted the bill. Our friends Judy and Stephen gave us the idea a few weeks ago and today seems the right day for it. The Southern Moreton Bay Island ferries service Karragarra Island, Macleay Island, Lamb Island and Russell Island in either a clockwise or anti-clockwise direction. Using your Gocard you tap on at Redland Bay Marina and tap off at the first island you alight. Inter Island transport is free so then you tap on as you leave your last destination and tap off at the Redland Bay Marina again at the end. Both journeys cost just under $5 for an adult Gocard.
After a little online research we drove to the Redland Bay Marina. We picked up coffees at the coffee shop at the marina before boarding the first ferry at 9am using our GoCards for the journey.
We headed to Karragarra Island first which is the smallest of the four islands, nestled between Russell and Macleay. It’s the only island without any shops, creating a ”getaway from it all” feeling as soon as you arrive. We had an hour to wander and explore and find a spot to enjoy our morning tea. Close to the jetty, you can enjoy the white sandy beach with its swimming enclosure, free electric barbecue, shaded picnic tables, playground and toilets. The enclosure has a sandy bottom and is tidal.
There is great pride shown by the residents and many homes have lovely gardens and there are even pots with flowers as you come off the ferry. I even had to photograph the unassuming public toilet which has been beautified.
Joining the ferry again we made stops at both Macleay Island and Lamb Island to drop off and pick up passengers before hopping off at Russell Island which is the largest of the Southern Moreton Bay group of islands, and lies between the mainland and North Stradbroke Island. There are small pockets of beaches that are ideal for a swim or to throw in a fishing line, as well as picnic areas with barbecue facilities and grassy open areas. The swimming enclosure, beach and picnic area adjacent to the jetty is another popular spot for visitors. Cafes and shops, including a bakery, newsagency, butcher, chemist, supermarket and garage, are located just a short walk from the jetty. We made the decision not to wander further and to head to Macleay Island for lunch.
As you hop off the ferry there is a bus shelter to your right and we were collected by the Club Macleay shuttle bus and taken to the bowls club where we decided to have lunch. The club is marketed as the Bowls club with million dollar views and you can easily see why. We sat on the deck with a lovely breeze enjoying our lunch and took in those views before the shuttle bus returned us to the ferry and our return trip home.
Maybe another time we can explore the other islands.