Bribie Island, in the northern part of Moreton Bay, is separated
from the mainland by the Pumicestone Passage, named by Captain James
Cook, who noted small floating pieces of pumice. Examples of pumice
from ancient volcanic cones on the mainland north of the island are
still frequently washed up on beaches in the passage.
Location: The northern tip of the island is close to Caloundra while
the southern end is in the proximity of Deception Bay.
Bribie Island is 34 km long and just up to 8km is wide, it has a
population of around 15,000 and much of the island is national park, so
it offers non-polluted, unspoiled forests and white beaches. Centuries
old natural bush, which is growing at the water's edge, is home for
more than 350 species of birds. The waters provide protection to
dugongs, turtles and dolphins as well. Cruises are operated along the
passage by tourism operators to allow visitors to have a look at this
Bribie Island is one of only two islands connected to the Queensland
mainland by a bridge (the other being Boyne Island near Gladstone). The
bridge, over Pumicestone Passage, was completed in 1963. Bribie has a
'calm side' or 'passage side' with safe family beaches and calm water.
The 'surf side' of the island is about 5 km away and boasts long sandy
beaches and dunes, with a small surf. Most of the island is
uninhabited, consisting of National Park and forestry plantations, but
the southern end of the island has been intensively urbanised as part
of the Moreton Bay Region.
Bribie Island National Park
Bribie Island National Park covers 55.8 km2 of the island. There is
a common misconception that the National Park covers most of the
non-inhabited area, but in fact most of the centre of the island
consists of conifer plantations closed to public access. Formerly
leased to CSR Timber, the Queensland Government is currently
re-planting around 25 km2 of this area through its DPI Forestry arm.
Much of the rest has been developed for housing. Buckley's Hole, at the
southern tip of the island, was declared an Environmental Park in 1992.
More than 250 species of birds live in or visit the area.
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Bribie Island Coaches operates a bus service around the Island as
well as a route which runs to Caboolture and Morayfield via Ningi and
Pebble Beach. In August 2007 an alternative route, via Beachmere, was
introduced. The service to Caboolture is timed to connect with trains
to and from Brisbane.
Unlike other islands at Moreton Bay, Bribie Island has a rich
history in social and military. The island was used by army and navy
authorities during the World War 2 to protect the entrance to Brisbane
and this led to the establishment of Fort Bribie. For those interested
in history, original World War II bunkers and gun emplacements
positioned along the ocean beachfront to defend the entrance to
Brisbane can still be viewed.