Redcliffe is a thriving suburban city and a delightful place for a day trip. A 35 minute drive north of Brisbane via the Bruce Highway, Redcliffe has 22 kilometres of golden sandy beaches, ocean views, gentle rolling waves and delightful foreshore parklands.
Where is it?: Redcliffe is located in the east north-east of the Redcliffe peninsula, approximately 28 kilometres north-north-east of the Brisbane CBD. It serves as the Central Business District for the Redcliffe Peninsula and its surrounding suburbs.
Beaches in the area include Deception Bay, Scarborough, Redcliffe, Scotts Pt., Woody Pt. and Clontarf. Being sheltered from open water by Moreton Island, Redcliffe has calm, surf-free beaches which are perfect for families with younger children.
Aside from smaller events, in September each year, Redcliffe celebrates its history as Queensland's first European settlement location with the Redcliffe festival event. This festival is chiefly held in the Redcliffe CBD with Redcliffe Parade being closed off to traffic for most of the day. Other attractions as part of this festival include the KiteFest, The Jetty Fiesta, KiteFest Live and Spring Break Beach Party with ongoing interest from local community groups and sponsors to create larger and more attractive events each year.
Scarborough is at the northernmost of the Redcliffe peninsula, approximately 30 kilometres north-northeast of Brisbane. The suburb is known for its thriving seafood industry centred upon the Scarborough Boat Harbour. Scarborough Beach is one of a number of sandy beaches along its eastern coastline, with its Scarborough Beach Park awarded the "Queensland's Friendliest Beach" in 2003[ and "Australia's Friendliest Beach" in 2004. At low tide, the waters of Scarborough Beach are only knee-deep until about a hundred metres out from the shore and fish and even the occasional ray can be seen through the crystal clear water. A short walk up the beach will bring you to volcanic rock pools full of colourful crabs and other creatures. Continue further and you will be able to see the amazing red cliffs which tower over the beach and give Redcliffe its name.
This jetty is like the centrepiece of Redcliffe. Good for fishing, walks, photography and even weddings, the jetty is another of Redcliffe's main attractions. It's been considered the 'heart of the peninsula' ever since ships carrying holiday makers started arriving in the late 1800s.
Redcliffe jetty has a convenient fishing platform, it is close to the free public swimming lagoon and a multitude of cafes with sea frontage. Remember to abide by Brisbane's recreational fishing rules. There are closed seasons to help protect species at vulnerable periods in their life cycle and this varies depending on the type of fish. For example, in tidal waters, the closed season for Australian bass is from 1 June to 31 August.
Redcliffe Jetty Markets
Not only a great place to visit and purchase unique products but it also has its heart in the community. The Redcliffe Jetty Markets supports local communities and charities throughout the year as well as important community and historical events. Fresh fruit and vegetable stalls, hippie clothing, face painting, phone cases, hand-made jewellery, soaps, scents, bonsai trees, print T-shirts, paintings and art for sale, belly-dancing, jugglers, musicians and buskers; and then there's the food; and boy is there food.
With German sausages, hamburgers, slush puppies, corndogs, hot chips and also the permanent food shops to chose from, you won't be starved of choice. Held every Sunday, 8am and 3pm. Location: Anzac Place Parklands, Marine Parade, Redcliffe.
The First Settlement Memorial Wall
Redcliffe was Queensland's first European settlement colony in 1824. However, the colony was relocated to Brisbane in 1825. Redcliffe remained deserted until around 1860 and by 1880 Redcliffe had gained a reputation as a popular seaside resort.
The First Settlement Memorial Wall marks the location and event. In September each year, Redcliffe celebrates its history as Queensland's first European settlement location with the First Settlement Festival. This festival is chiefly held in the Redcliffe CBD with Redcliffe Parade being closed off to traffic for most of the day.
The museum hosts a changing major exhibition, and constant displays of items from Redcliffe s convict past, its sporting heritage, links to sister cities, Winton and Onoda and the Shed.
The Shed is a wonderful assortment of early to mid 20th Century tools and household appliances. For people interested in craft, there is a display of quilts and an opportunity to touch. Open Tuesday to Sunday,10am and 6pm. Location: Anzac Avenue, Redcliffe.
Bee Gees Way
In 1958, The Gibb family emigrated to this area from Manchester, England and called it home for a period. Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb went on to form the highly successful music group, The Bee Gees. A laneway located in the heart of Redcliffe celebrates three of Redcliffe's most well known sons - Barry, Maurice and Robin Gibb. The Bee Gees Walkway features photos, captions, famous song names and a statue of the singing trio at the foreshore entry of the lane. Local sculptor Phillip Piperides crafted the statue from a number of photos of the boys, personally selected by Barry Gibb himself. Barry opened the walkway on Valentines Day, 14th February 2013.
The Redcliffe waterfront underwent a major redevelopment during the late 1990's, the focus of which is the rebuilt Redcliffe Pier and seaward breakwater, and the Settlement Cove lagoon located between the pier and southern Redcliffe Point. Wedged in on the south side of the pier is an 80m long pocket of white sand, that now forms a separate small beach (Settlement Cove). It is backed by a stepped seawall and walkway. Most people however swim at the lagoon which has excellent shade and all facilities, including pockets of sandy shore.
Queens Beach South is a 600m long sand beach, extending from the Grants Creek seawall to the concrete Redcliffe Pier. The beach consists of a high tide sandy-gravely beach, with lateritic rock along the base of the beach and rock sand flats off the beach. A shady reserve of Norfolk Island pines and walkway backs the beach, then 20m high slopes, ontop of which is the main road then the Redcliffe town centre.
Redcliffe's only patrolled beach, Suttons is perfect for families with young children. Suttons Beach is close to everything - the jetty, the markets and all of the shops along the main road - so it's easy to pop over to grab some fish and chips for the family if you haven't brought your own. The beach stretches for about a kilometre, hugging the shoreline closely, and there are numerous barbeque and small park areas set up along the way if the kids want to transfer from the water to a see-saw or the like.
Redcliffe Point forms the northern boundary of the straight 2km long Suttons-Margate beach, which terminates in the south at Scotts Point. The Redcliffe Peninsula surf club is located at the northern tip of the beach, with a carpark and picnic area on the point. The beach consists of a sandy high tide beach and shallow low tide sand flat. Suttons Beach is one of the more open and popular swimming beaches on the peninsula.
Settlement Cove Lagoon
Settlement Cove Lagoon is also located on Redcliffe Parade, close to Suttons Beach, the jetty and the markets. It is patrolled by lifeguards during daylight hours and has it's own picnic areas too. It is wheelchair accessible, has 'wading pools' as well as 'deep' sections and a children's section as well. This lagoon also has shower and toilet amenities available for use.
Scotts Point is the start of a 1km long low rocky bluff and reef section that terminates at the southern Woody Point. Along the central northern section is a narrow 200m long high tide beach, backed by a boulder seawall, walkway and vegetated bluffs, with rocks and reefs littering the intertidal zone.
HMQS Gayundah in 2007
The remains of HMQS Gayundah lies on the beach at Woody Point, at the southern end of the Redcliffe Peninsula. HMQS Gayundah was a flat-iron gunboat operated by the Queensland Maritime Defence Force and later the Royal Australian Navy (as HMAS Gayundah). Amidst concerns about Russian influence in the Pacific, in 1884 the Queensland Maritime Defence Force was established. The same year, the colony placed an order for its first vessels: a torpedo boat, HMQS Mosquito, and two gunboats, HMQS Gayundah and HMQS Paluma.
HMQS Gayundah first arrived in Brisbane in March 1885. Following the Federation of Australia, Gayundah and sister ship HMQS Paluma joined the Commonwealth Naval Forces in 1901. Two years later she was used for the first ship-to-shore wireless telegraphy experiments in Australia. Between January and August 1914 Gayundah underwent a significant refit at the Cockatoo Dockyard in Sydney. In 1917, due to the threat posed by German raiders such as SMS Seeadler, Gayundah patrolled off Port Jackson and in the Spencer Gulf, although she made no contact with enemy ships during this time. By 1921, she had been retired from military duty and was being used as a sand and gravel barge in Moreton Bay. Her guns were subsequently used for coastal defence. Her 6 inch gun is preserved at the Australian War Memorial, as is a scale model of the ship. The ship was beached at the bottom of Woody Point cliffs in June 1958 to serve as a breakwater.
Located on the corner of Creek street and is home to many varieties of bird and fish. There are beautiful fountains, lush green grass, bridges and picnic areas to take advantage of. This is a great place for any budding photographers too, or bird-watchers wanting to get some close-up encounters. Maybe after you've taken your family for a swim at the lagoon or beach, you can take them over to the Humpybong Creek Precinct for a picnic or just to feed the ducks.
Redcliffe: Brief history
Before European settlement, the Redcliffe Peninsula was occupied by the indigenous Ningy Ningy people. The native name is Kau-in-Kau-in, which means Blood-Blood (red-like blood). Redcliffe holds the distinction of being the first European settlement in Queensland, first visited by Matthew Flinders on 17 July 1799.
Explorer John Oxley recommended "Red Cliff Point" named after the red-coloured cliffs visible from Moreton Bay to the Governor Thomas Brisbane for the new colony, reporting that ships could land at any tide and easily get close to the shore. Redcliffe became Queensland's first colony in 1824; however, it was soon abandoned for Brisbane. The party settled in Redcliffe on 13 September 1824, under the command of Lieutenant Henry Miller with 14 soldiers, some with wives and children, and 29 convicts. However, this settlement was abandoned after one year and the colony was moved south to a site on the Brisbane River at North Quay, 28 km south, that offered a more reliable water supply.
Redcliffe became a pastoral district in the 1860s and in the 1880s boomed as a seaside resort town with the paddlesteamer Koopa making regular trips to its jetty from 1911. The Hornibrook Bridge, completed in 1935 allowed easy access to and from Brisbane by motor car leading the way to rapid suburban development.