Our Bribie Island Day Trip. The weekend began early for us. A short 1 hour drive down the Bruce Highway and sharp left turn onto Bribie Island Road gets us onto the only island accessible from our mainland with a bridge. The building of the 831m bridge to Bribie Island half a century ago took two years of work and was considered an engineering marvel at the time, being the longest pre-stressed, pre-cast concrete bridge in Australia.
The opening of the bridge not only swelled the number of tourists. It also paved the way for a boom in the permanent population. The tiny community of Bribie Island stood at just 600 people before the bridge’s erection. That has swelled to more than 17,000 people today. The Pacific Harbour residential development helped the population boost. But growth on the island is limited by environmental protections, ensuring its natural beauty is preserved for future generations.
My parents lived in an apartment on the island for many years, with views of the Bribie bridge. I often found myself “destressing” as I crossed the bridge and began thinking about fishing with my dad at White Patch for some fresh Sand Whiting.
The Sandstone Point Hotel & Caravan Park
The Sandstone Point Hotel stands proudly on the mainland directly opposite Bribie Island, and adjacent to the original oyster leases laid in the mid-century.
The Hotel has multiple function spaces, a great menu, the Oyster Shed for fresh seafood and a petting zoo. On a Friday-Sunday enjoy their Spit Roast. The Big 4 caravan is approximately 200m from the hotel and has massive pitches for even the largest caravan. Top this off with beautiful cabins and a water playground & pool and you have the ultimate stay. Book ahead – it’s very popular!
The Luxury Safari Tents are a unique way to camp in style with your significant other. Sleeping 2, these beautiful tents feature an air conditioner, a Queen Bed and ensuite bathroom with double sinks, a bath, large shower and separate toilet.
The luxurious tent also has an open plan living area with a Smart TV and fridge opening out to a private alfresco dining area with a kitchenette and BBQ, perfect for intimate outdoor dining with water views.
Before the sunset we drove back across the Bribie Jetty and took photos of the sun setting over the water. It’s absolutely magical how the colours of the sun reflect on the still estuary waters.
Woorim is on the ocean side of Bribie Island. I love Woorim and what it has to offer. There’s less traffic, a quieter beach, enough shops for the provisions you need and a great little campground close enough to the beach. I’d class Bribie Island Caravan Park in Woorim as 3 star for facilities but 5 star for location. You can go “posh” and grab a villa or cabin but we like to pitch a tent.
Fort Bribie by 4×4 or a 20 minute walk
The naval site of Fort Bribie was built at the outbreak of WWII, becoming operational by early 1942 to provide defence support for the RAN against light raiding warships.
Originally the fort was a fairly primitive construct, but as Japanese aggression intensified the bunker’s superior tactical position prompted it to be upgraded into Moreton Bay’s major defence installation.
Once upgraded, it acted as the Examination Battery at which ships identified themselves and formed a vital part of the ring of protective Moreton Bay defence sites which were linked to the loop controlled underwater minefield surrounding Brisbane during the war.
The minefields worked in-conjunction with a system of indicator loops – submerged magnetic cables which were designed to pick-up on the path of a vessel passing over them above the surface or below. The cables stretched between Skirmish Point at Bribie Island and Comboyuro Point on Moreton Island.
In 1945 the fort was abandoned by the military having fulfilled its purpose. With the reassessment of Australia’s defensive installations during the 50s, the importance of artillery batteries in coastal defence diminished prompting the complete dismantling of Fort Bribie.
The fort’s buildings were disassembled and any building materials recovered were transported off the island to be repurposed elsewhere.