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I’ve been exploring my own backyard for about 2 months now, and have come to realise that we’re really quite lucky here in Australia, and indeed in Queensland. With international travel off the cards, I’ve kept myself busy discovering all the secret nooks and crannies closer to home, and boy, are we spoilt for choice here. In fact, one of my favourite spots, Coochiemudlo Island, is not too far from where I live!
Where? Coochiemudlo Island, otherwise known as Coochie, is one of around 360 bay islands situated within the Moreton Bay region which stretches some 125km from Caloundra in the Sunshine Coast to the north to Surfers Paradise in the Gold Coast to the south. The bay is 35km at its widest point, and some of its more well known islands include Bribie Island, Moreton Island, St Helena Island, and North and South Stradbroke Island. Coochie lies just 1km from the mainland community of Victoria Point, which is approximately 35km from the Brisbane CBD.
How? Getting to Coochie is super easy. Amity Traders runs a ferry service that departs from Victoria Point jetty on the mainland roughly every 30 minutes from 5.15am on weekdays and 6.30am on weekends and public holidays until 10.30pm everyday – see timetable here. You can take bus 270, 274 or 279 straight to the jetty, or if you’re driving, there’s free parking right next to the jetty. If that carpark is full, there’s additional parking in the park at the end of Colburn Avenue, but be careful to check the signs as some of the spaces in the park are 4 hour parking only. Just find a space away from the 4 hour signs, and you’re all set for a full day of exploration.
How much? Ferry tickets are just $5 one way for adults and $2.50 for children aged 5-14. Children aged 4 and under travel for free.
What to do? Basically, just walk and enjoy the views! Coochie is a roughly rectangular shaped island just 5 square kilometres in size with each side around 1km length. This means you could quite easily walk around the entire perimeter of the island in about an hour. However, you’re definitely going to want to allow yourself more time to enjoy the walk and idyllic landscapes.
How long then? The ferry crossing takes just 10 minutes each way. Once you’re on the island, allow at least 2-3 hours to take in the views. We spent about 3.5 hours walking slowly in an anti-clockwise direction from the Coochie jetty and back, with frequent photo stops along the way.
When? We chose to have brunch at Victoria Point before hopping on the 11.30am ferry. As it was winter and slightly overcast, we didn’t have to worry too much about walking during the sunniest part of the day. However, if it’s looking like it will be hot and sunny, you’d probably be better off visiting either at the start or end of the day. I suggest timing your visit for sunset at Norfolk Beach towards the east side of the island. This means you need to allow yourself at least 15 minutes to walk there after disembarking at the jetty.
Points of interest?
–Main Beach runs along the southernmost part of the island, where the ferry docks at the jetty.
–Norfolk Beach is my absolute favourite part of the island. Here, you’ll find a picturesque grove of centuries old trees felled by heavy weather and sand erosion, their exposed roots forming striking star-shaped patterns. It’s sad but also hauntingly beautiful and I think would be a great spot to set up for some awesome sunset photos.
–Morwong Beach is situated towards the north, just a short walk from Norfolk Beach through melaleuca wetlands. There’s a secluded bay here with interesting ripples in the sand at low tide.
–Isle of Coochie Golf Course is at the southwest corner of the island, accessed by a set of stairs at the end of Victoria Parade West. Walk through the golf course until you get to the beach, where you can enjoy views back towards Victoria Point, being careful to watch out for any golfers and possible stray golf balls along the way! My favourite thing about this beach was watching the swarms of light blue soldier crabs.
–Quirky Train Farm, 386 Victoria Parade South. Keep your eye out for this super cute garden as you make your way back towards the jetty. With its purple palette and menagerie of farm animals, you should be able to find it quite easily.
Verdict: I absolutely LOVED my half day walking around Coochie! At just $10 for the return ferry trip, it’s a cheap, easy and extremely fun outing. I’m sure I’ll be back soon for those sunset photos at Norfolk Beach.
Have you been to Coochiemudlo Island? What other secret spots do you know of that I should check out next time?
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Australian Traveller that loves to "Roam" our globe, creator of ENDLESSROAMING.COM sharing the experience through word and photography. Currently residing in my home of Newtown Sydney
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