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About Bribie

Getting there and getting around

Bribie Island is 65-km north of Brisbane and 70-km south of Caloundra, via the Bruce Highway. It is linked to the mainland by road bridge.

Some areas within the park are accessible only by boat and others only by four-wheel-drive. Wherever you go on the island away from town areas, you need to carry fresh water and be self-sufficient.

Four-wheel-drive access

A high clearance four-wheel-drive vehicle is  recommended for driving through the recreation area, including on the Ocean Beach. Sections of deep soft sand may be present on the beach and tracks. Engage and stay in 4WD and adjust tyre pressure accordingly. Vehicles entering the recreation area must be fully road-registered. A vehicle access permit must be purchased and displayed on your vehicle windscreen before driving in the recreation area. You can enter the recreation area from the northern end of White Patch Esplanade or from the Eighth Avenue carpark off North Street, Woorim.

Read the driving section for more information.

If you book online or over the phone, please collect your vehicle access permit from the information shelters at the entrances to the park, fill in your booking details, and display the permit on your windscreen prior to entering the park.

Conventional vehicle access

Sealed roads provide access to the Bicentennial bushwalks that begin near the Community Arts Centre on Sunderland Drive. A vehicle access permit is not required for areas accessible by sealed road.

Boat access

Boats can be launched on the island at Bongaree and Bellara, and on the mainland at Sandstone Point, Toorbul, Donnybrook, Coochin Creek, Bells Creek and Golden Beach boat ramps.

Mission Point, Lime Pocket and Lion's Park are accessible only by boat with picnic facilities located at Lion's Park and Mission Point. Mission Point and Lime Pocket camping areas have relatively protected boat anchorage.

Wheelchair accessibility

There are no areas accessible by wheelchair in Bribie Island Recreation Area.

Park features

Bribie Island Recreation Area features sand dunes, heaths, paperbark wetlands, open forests, woodlands, freshwater creeks and lagoons.

Tidal wetlands and waters around Bribie Island are protected as part of Moreton Bay Marine Park. Fish, crabs and prawns breed in Pumicestone Passage and dugong feed on its seagrass communities. Thousands of shorebirds feed and roost here.

Cultural heritage includes shell middens and other evidence of Indigenous Australian people's traditional use of the area, and weathered structures remaining from the World War II coastal defence system.

Camping and accommodation

Camping

Bribie Island Recreation Area provides a variety of coastal camping experiences, some accessible by four-wheel-drive, others accessible by boat. You will need a vehicle access permit to travel to four-wheel-drive accessible camping areas.

Camping permits are required and fees apply. Camping permits for all campsites must be obtained before you enter the recreation area (there is no self-registration on site). On-the-spot fines apply for camping without a permit.

Other accommodation

There is a wide range of holiday accommodation on Bribie Island. For more information see the tourism information links below.

Things to do

Walking

Get ready to explore Bribie Island's natural diversity and heritage. In this coastal environment it is important to protect yourself from the sun and biting insects—wear protective clothing, a hat, sunscreen, sunglasses and insect repellent. Carry water and a snack. Let a responsible person know where you are going and when you expect to return.

Key to track standards

Easy: Even surfaced trail, suitable for young children.

Moderate: Moderate to steep inclines, irregular surface, average level of fitness required.

Bicentennial bushwalks (Grade: Easy)
Distance:—3.8 km return
Time: allow 1 hour

The Banksia, Palm Grove and Melaleuca Bicentennial bushwalks begin near the community arts centre on Sunderland Drive. Walk through eucalypt forests, paperbark wetlands and wallum heathlands. Rainbow bee-eaters, red-backed wrens and eastern yellow robins are some of the colourful birds you may encounter.

Driving

A high clearance four-wheel-drive vehicle is recommended for driving through the recreation area, including on the ocean beach. Sections of deep soft sand may be present on the beach and tracks. Engage and stay in 4WD and adjust tyre pressure accordingly.. Vehicles entering the recreation area must be fully road-registered. A vehicle access permit must be purchased and displayed on your vehicle windscreen before driving in the recreation area. Please read and understand your vehicle permit conditions.

Beach driving conditions can be unpredictable. Before taking your vehicle onto the beach, make sure you are familiar with sand-driving techniques and have appropriate equipment.

Four-wheel-drive tracks may be closed occasionally due to weather conditions, planned burned programs, logging operations and wildfires.

To protect Bribie Island's fragile, narrow spit, vehicle traffic is not permitted beyond the World War II northern searchlight emplacement. On-the-spot fines apply for driving vehicles past this point.

For safety, entry through the centre of the island is restricted to designated formed roads. General access through pine plantations is not permitted. On-the-spot fines apply for driving vehicles in this area.

Sand-driving techniques

Engage four-wheel-drive
  • Lock freewheel hubs and use four-wheel-drive for driving on sand and other soft or slippery surfaces.
  • Select low range second gear and keep up momentum for driving in soft, dry sand.
  • Reduce your speed and avoid sharp turns and sudden braking.
  • Adjust tyre pressures accordingly to improve traction in soft sand, but if you do, do not forget to re-inflate your tyres to resume speed on harder sand or surfaces. Keep within tyre manufacturer's specifications for tyre pressures.
Speed limits and road rules apply

Speed limits apply:

  • 50km/hr on beach, except near camping area
  • 30km/hr for all other recreation area roads including inland tracks and beach adjacent to the Ocean Beach camping area.
  • 10km/ hr Poverty Creek Camping area

Road rules apply and Queensland Police patrol this area regularly. Slow down near camping areas and obey speed limits.

  • Wear seatbelts at all times. Never carry passengers outside the vehicle cabin.
  • Keep to the left of oncoming vehicles at all times.
  • Use indicators when overtaking or turning.
  • Obey signs.
Slow down when passing people, oncoming vehicles and wildlife
  • Often the sound of the surf makes it difficult to hear approaching vehicles. Give a wide berth to people, especially children, shorebirds, dingoes and other wildlife on the beach.
Stay on formed tracks
  • All vehicles are prohibited on dune vegetation areas.
  • When accessing beach camping sites, use designated access tracks to minimise damage to fragile plant communities and wildlife habitat. Ocean Beach campsite access tracks are signed with a letter symbol.
  • Remove fallen trees or limbs rather than driving off the road to get around them and damaging living plants in the process.
Ensure your vehicle is mechanically sound
  • Carry a tyre gauge, air pump, water, snatch strap (tow rope), a first-aid kit and essential spares.
  • Load your vehicle evenly and do not overload it.
Hazard areas
  • Beach conditions change daily. Areas near the lagoons can be particularly hazardous in summer.
  • During heavy periods of rain, the lagoons overflow, creating creeks across the beach - at times the drop off into these creeks can be deep.

Read more about driving on sand.

Boating and fishing

Pumicestone Passage's extensive tidal wetlands are essential breeding areas for many fish, crabs and prawns. During winter the passage between Bells Creek and Caloundra Bar is one of south-east Queensland's principal spawning areas for yellowfin bream. Flathead, bream, whiting, tailor and mangrove jack are often caught around Bribie Island. Many people catch sand and mud crabs during the summer months.

The passage is part of the Moreton Bay Marine Park. Recreational fishing activities are permitted in the marine park, except in the Tripcony Bight – Long Island and Westaways Creek marine national park zones (see About Moreton Bay Marine Park). Fishing, crabbing, bait collecting and other forms of harvesting are prohibited in these zones. Important habitats including mudflats, seagrass beds, mangroves, saltmarsh and claypan communities are protected here.

Dugong

The seagrass communities of Pumicestone Passage provide essential dugong food. Dugong populations are under threat of disappearing from some regions along the Queensland coast. Boat strike, entanglement and swallowed rubbish kill and injure many turtles, dugong and other marine animals. Please take care to minimise your impacts on dugongs and turtles.

  • When boating over seagrass beds, take it easy and go slow for those below.
  • Observe the Go slow areas (PDF, 5.8M)* for natural value zones at Tripcony Bight – Long Island and Westaways Creek marine national park zones.
  • Use bait-disposal bags.
  • Take plastic bags, nets, fishing line and rope ashore for safe disposal.

Watch out for algal bloom

Lyngbya majuscula is a toxic blue-green algae that occurs naturally in Moreton Bay. In recent years extensive algal blooms have resulted in large floating mats of Lyngbya and the accumulation of toxic material on beaches. Contact with Lyngbya can cause skin, eye and respiratory irritation. Blooms have occurred from late spring to mid-autumn. Check local conditions and avoid swimming or contact with debris on the beach when algal bloom is present.

Viewing wildlife

The Bicentennial bushwalks, which start from Sunderland Drive, pass through a variety of plant communities and offer good opportunities for birdwatching and photography.

Birdwatchers will enjoy the bird hide at Buckleys Hole Conservation Park. Over 190 different bird species have been recorded here. Access is via stairs at the end of The Boulevard, Bongaree.

Things to know before you go

Essentials to bring

Preparation is the key to a safe and enjoyable visit. Make sure that you bring:

  • Enough water for your visit as fresh water is not available at any of the camping or picnic areas.
  • A fuel stove for cooking.
  • Protective clothing, sunscreen, hat and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun.
  • Insect repellent to avoid mosquito and sandfly bites.
  • A portable enclosed toilet system if you are camping in areas without toilet facilities.
  • Extra tarpaulins to protect tents and vehicles from flying fox droppings—foraging flying foxes may be encountered at certain times of the year.

Opening hours

Bribie Island Recreation Area is open 24 hours a day. There is a tourism information centre on Bribie Island—for contact details see the tourism information links below.

Permits and fees

A vehicle access permit must be purchased and displayed on your vehicle windscreen before driving in the recreation area. Fees apply. If you book online or over the phone, please collect your vehicle access permit and camping permit from the information shelters at the entrances to the park, fill in your booking details, and display the vehicle permit on your windscreen prior to entering the park.

All camping areas within the recreation area require a camping permit, which must be obtained before you enter the recreation area (there is no self-registration on site). Fees apply. A camping tag with your booking number must be displayed at your campsite.

Pets

Domestic animals are not permitted in the recreation area.

Generators

Generators are not permitted anywhere in the recreation area including all camping and day use areas.

Climate and weather

Bribie Island has a mild, subtropical climate. The average daily temperature range is 22–30° C in summer and 12–22° C in winter. For more information see the tourism information links.

Fuel and supplies

Fuel and supplies are available at several locations on Bribie Island. For more information see the tourism information links.

Staying safe

To enjoy a safe visit to this area, please:

  • Take care when driving in sand.
  • Watch for dingoes and wild dogs.
  • Watch the tides! On Ocean Beach, travel as close to low tide as possible, as this is when beach driving conditions are safest. Avoid driving during the three hours either side of high tide.
  • Bring enough water for your visit as fresh water is not available at any of the camping or picnic areas.
  • Watch for 4WDs—often the sound of the surf makes it difficult to hear approaching vehicles.
  • Take care in or near the water on Ocean Beach—it has dangerous rips and the beaches are not patrolled.
  • Take care when using fire for cooking—use fireplaces and rings provided; put the fire out with water (not sand); and supervise children to avoid burn injuries. Preferably use a fuel stove.
  • Be aware that Lyngbya, a toxic blue-green algae bloom, can occur in Moreton Bay from late spring to mid-autumn. Contact with Lyngbya can cause skin, eye and respiratory irritation. Check local conditions and avoid swimming or contact with debris on the beach when algal bloom is present.

For more information, please read the guidelines on safety in parks and forests.

Be Dingo-Safe!

Enjoy the beauty of dingoes but keep your distance—don't encourage, excite or coax them. They are naturally lean, wild hunting dogs.

Never feed dingoes or wild dogs

Make sure food supplies, rubbish, fish and bait are securely packed away in a vehicle or sealed in a rubbish bin, so you do not inadvertently encourage dingoes and wild dogs. It is illegal to feed or offer food to dingoes. Fines apply.

Don't be misled into feeding them because they appear hungry. You will only disrupt their natural hunting habits and encourage them to behave aggressively towards other island visitors.

Walk in groups and supervise children

There is greater safety in numbers. Some children have been bitten by animals wanting food or excited by children's movements. Whenever a dingo or wild dog is around, watch your children carefully—dingoes and wild dogs can move very quickly!

If you feel threatened by a dingo or wild dog:

  • Stand up to your full height.
  • Face the dingo.
  • Fold your arms and keep eye contact.
  • Calmly back away.
  • If possible stand back to back with another person.
  • Confidently call for help.

Do not run or wave your arms.

Read more about Dingoes.

Looking after the park

Wherever you explore, minimise your impact. Terrestrial and marine plants and animals depend on us to keep land, ocean and estuarine areas clean.

  • Take your rubbish with you when you leave.
  • Don't use shampoos and soaps in or near waterways.
  • In areas where toilets are not provided, bring a portable enclosed toilet. Please do not empty the contents of chemical toilets in the toilet facilities as is stops the systems from functioning. If bush toileting, go at least 50-m from creeks and bury human waste and toilet paper 30-cm deep. Bag all personal hygiene products including disposable nappies and take them away for appropriate disposal in rubbish bins.
  • When boating, go slowly over seagrass beds—dugongs feed here. Observe the go slow areas (PDF, 5.8M)* for natural values in Tripcony Bight – Long Island and Westaways Creek marine national park zones.
  • When driving, stay on tracks and off the dunes. Foredunes are important habitat for wildlife. Shorebirds lay their eggs on the sand and marine turtles bury eggs in the sand.
  • Obey signs and regulations—they are in place to protect this area for conservation and nature-based recreation.

See caring for parks for more information about protecting our environment and heritage in parks.

Park management

Bribie Island Recreation Area, which was gazetted in 2005, includes Bribie Island National Park, the beach area to low-water mark and some state government and Moreton Bay Regional Council owned land. The Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service  manages this area under the Recreation Areas Management Act 2006 for the purposes of nature conservation and nature-based recreation.

The Bribie Island Fire Management Strategy (PDF, 2.0M)* provides the overall approach to fire management on Bribie Island.

A management plan for Bribie Island Recreation Area will be prepared in the future.

Tourism information links

For more information about Bribie Island accommodation, activities and tours contact:

Bribie Island Visitor Information Centre
www.moretonbay.qld.gov.au
Benabrow Avenue, Bribie Island
Phone: (07) 3408 9026
Fax: (07) 3408 9684

For tourism information for all regions in Queensland see the Queensland Holidays website.

Further information

Contact us

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Last updated
14 February 2013