Bribie Island is a large, sandy island located near Brisbane, Australia. It is easily accessible by bridge and is perfect for a day trip filled with sun, swimming, fishing, adventure or relaxation. To best explore the island, you’ll need a 4WD vehicle. If you don’t have much time or money to visit the bigger sand islands like Moreton or Fraser, Bribie Island is an excellent choice. As with any adventurous trip, it’s important to be covered by great travel insurance.
Without a 4WD
If you don’t have a 4WD car, proceed to Woorim Beach. The beach is good for a swim and there is a nice barbecue area with showers and bathrooms located nearby. However, if you are visiting in the summer, be aware that bluebottle jellyfish are common at Woorim Beach and can leave you with a painful sting. We visited Woorim on Christmas Day this year and while we didn’t get stung, there were a few people screaming in pain that were quickly attended by lifeguards.
With a 4WD
If you are feeling adventurous, you’ll need to get a permit for the Bribie Island National Park. You can either get a week-long pass online or at a shop located on the road to the National Park for about $41 AUD. You must display the permit on your car while parked on the island.
Before driving along the “sand highway” you need to let some air out of your tires. This makes it easier to drive on the sand. Right before the access to the beach, you can find many people doing this. The next step is the most adventurous/difficult. The short drive to the beach is through VERY soft sand. It’s important not to stop driving at any point until you reach the harder, packed sand of the beach. Stopping will leave your car bogged. However, if this happens, don’t panic. There are usually many other drivers with cars and equipment willing to get you moving again.
Once you’ve beat the soft sand, especially at the beach entrance, the fun truly begins. Drive along the sand highway with turquoise waters on your right hand side. During the summer, you can find people swimming and enjoying the waves. All year round you’ll see people fishing and relaxing beside their vehicles.
Keep driving until you see a clearing on your left hand side. This is where a lagoon with an excellent rope swing is hidden. This is also where we saw the largest male kangaroo we’ve ever seen! Park near the lagoon (you will most likely see quite a few other people as well) and make your way into the water.
The lagoon is very peculiar in color due to the trees that surround it. When photographed, the mineral creates an ombré effect which is quite stunning. In real life, you’ll notice that your skin looks much darker under the water. Keep swimming to the right, avoiding the slimy ground if possible, until you find a rope swing. If you don’t want to swim, there is also a hiking path that brings you to the top of the swing in about 3 minutes.
If you prefer to play in the waves or fish, simply pull over on the left side at any point along the sand highway and set up camp. The last time we did this a HUGE lace monitor lizard (also called a goana) decided to pay us a visit. Make sure not to touch anything they have had in their mouth because they have toxic saliva.
Where to Go for Sunset
After a day at the beach, head to the opposite side of the island for a beautiful sunset with ex-volcanoes in the background. Pelicans gather near Sylvan Beach and the colors are magnificent! If you’re hungry, there are some restaurants and shops nearby.
Bribie Island, while not as famous as the other islands near Brisbane, is a great choice for those looking for a quick and inexpensive get-away. A bit of Aussie adventure and nature is the perfect cure to the monotony of the work week or as part of an epic East Coast roadtrip.
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