Super six tourism experiences for long weekend


Naturally wonderful Redlands Coast is having a big weekend in October and the rest of Greater Brisbane is invited.

Redland City Council is rolling out a tourism campaign highlighting great Redlands Coast getaway ideas which are “just up the road yet a world away” for neighbouring communities whose Ekka long weekend was delayed.

Mayor Karen Williams said Redlands Coast was the perfect spot for Greater Brisbane residents to spend the big break from Friday 29 October, with Council working with local tourism operators and businesses to ensure exceptional COVID-safe experiences.

She said island and coastal escapes in the heart of Quandamooka traditional country were a specialty.

“We have an amazing 335km of coastline and, with fast ferry services available to all our islands, it doesn’t take long to immerse yourself in a whole new world, whether it is taking in the stunning beaches, wildlife and rich cultural history of North Stradbroke Island (Minjerribah), heading for a family beach holiday on Coochiemudlo Island (Goochie Mudlo) or relaxing at the bowls club with the best-ever view on Macleay Island (Jencoomercha),” Cr Williams said.

“While on Minjerribah, it really is worth joining an Aboriginal Cultural Walk with a Quandamooka guide and hearing sacred stories dating back more than 21,000 years.

“For water sports lovers, there are a number of canoe and kayak launching pontoons if you have your own water craft or you can hire a standup paddleboard, canoe or kayak from one of the local waterfront businesses, join a guided tour or sign up for a sailing adventure.

“There’s also a three-day long weekend visitor itinerary to guide you around our tourism treasures.”

Redlands Coast’s thriving food scene offers on-trend bars, micro-breweries and outstanding dining options.

“There’s no doubt you will find something to satisfy everyone’s taste, with the Redlands Coast online food trail directory a great place to start,” Cr Williams said.

“Visitors hoping to reconnect with nature also won’t be disappointed, with plenty of great experiences from guided eco-education tours by Ranger Stacey at Redland City Council’s IndigiScapes Centre, to bayside and hinterland wildlife spotting, and Point Lookout (Mooloomba) boardwalk on Minjerribah from where you can see an incredible array of marine creatures.

“October is also a great time for divers to see the famous annual visitors to Minjerribah’s Manta ray Bommie, while humpback whales continue on their annual migration past Point Lookout (Mulumba) – one of Australia’s best land-based whale-watching destinations.

“Those who prefer more energetic land-based pursuits, Redlands Coast is blessed with some of the region’s best hinterland mountain bike, hiking and horse riding trails, with more than 60km of tracks in the Bayview Conservation Area alone, which is home to koalas, goannas, glossy black-cockatoos, wallabies and powerful owls. There is also almost 240ha of natural conservation bushland at Redlands Track Park, along with the many kilometres of off-road cycling routes across Redlands Coast.”

Redlands Coast offers a range of accommodation options from island waterfront cottages and camping and beachfront resorts on Minjerribah to glamping at Mount Cotton’s (Boolimba) Sirromet Winery and hinterland getaways.

Half a dozen of the best

Redlands Coast’s October long weekend getaway options can be as relaxing or adventurous as you like. Here’s six to get you started.

Enjoy local arts on the Minjerribah arts trail.

  1. Immerse in a Quandamooka experience. Redlands Coast’s traditional heritage and culture is rich indeed and well worth getting to know. Go to quandamookacoast.com.au or YuraTours.com.au for details of guided cultural tours on North Stradbroke Island (Minjerribah). You can also book a Goompi Trail experience with a Quandamooka guide booked through Stradbroke Ferries which explores Dunwich (Goompi) and covers aspects of Aboriginal life such as the fish ring, bush medicines, local food and how artefacts are made. Complete the experience with a visit to Salt Water Murris’ Quandamooka Aboriginal Art Gallery (9am-2pm, Tuesday-Friday, 8.30am-12.30pm weekends); Island Arts Gallery (open every day 9am-2pm); and Delvene Cockatoo-Collins Studio, renowned Quandamooka artist, where you can buy her handmade wares or immerse in Delvene’s personally guided Art Walk and weaving workshop. Talk to the helpful staff at the Redlands Coast Visitor Information Centre, open 7 days from 9am – 4pm, or phone 1300 667 386, about the cultural tours available.

Wales off North Stradbroke Island (Minjerribah).

  1. Go land-based whale watching. The humpback whale migration continues in October, so while you are on Straddie, head to picturesque North Gorge Walk at Point Lookout (Mulumba) and see who can spot the first whale (or a heap of other marine creatures). It is rated one of the best land-based whale-watching spots on the Southern Hemisphere.  If you get the taste for it, you can also get fresh seafood straight from the trawler with Rufus King located at Amity Point (Pulan). Travel to and around the island costs about $30 for an adult (passenger water taxi return ticket + bus pass) and $16 for a child (passenger water taxi return ticket + bus pass). Alternatively, Stradbroke Ferries are running specials on selected dates that allow you to take a car over at a discounted rate, so check their website.

  1. Experience Island time in no time on Coochie. Taking the short 10-minute ferry ride over to Coochiemudlo Island (Goochie Mudlo) from Victoria Point (Warrer Warrer) really is one of the best quick escapes in South-East Queensland. The sheltered beach is a little piece of paradise with plenty of barbecue and picnic spots, or you can hire a pontoon barbecue boat or head off on the island’s awesome coastal walking trails. There’s a cafe nearby with its own art gallery offering homemade meals and refreshments. Adults can travel on the water taxi for $10 return and children for only $5 return.

The Don and Christine Burnett Conservation Area is great for bush walking.

  1. Hit the tracks. Warm up with a hike to Mount Cotton (Jungalpin) summit for views out to Moreton and North Stradbroke Islands (it’s particularly beautiful at sunrise or sunset). You can begin at the Eastern Escarpment Conservation Area, Gate 2, West Mt Cotton Road (opposite Schoeck Road), Mount Cotton – suitable for hikers, mountain bike riders and horseriders. If that isn’t enough, why not walk or cycle the Eddie Santagiuliana Way from Cleveland to Thornlands (wheelchair and pram friendly) or take in the wild surrounds of Redlands Track Park, Bayview Conservation Park, Venman’s National Park, Don and Christine Burnett Conservation Area or the Southern Moreton Bay islands.

  1. Connect with nature. IndigiScapes Environmental Education Centre and Café, located in Capalaba (Kapallaba) is an awesome place for families to go for a wander to learn about our naturally wonderful environment, dine at the eco café, overlooking the natural bushlands, with meals inspired from spices of the bush. Kids will have a blast at the discovery centre and outdoor adventure trails. You’ll find all the details at indigiscapes.redland.qld. gov.au

Macleay Island

  1. Go island hopping. Bring your Go Card and catch the water taxi from Redland Bay (Talwalpin) and make your way around the Southern Moreton Bay Islands. Karragarra Island is the first stop, just a 15-minute ride from the terminal, and a great spot for a picnic on the foreshore and maybe a visit to the community gardens. Next is Macleay Island (Jencoomercha) where you can enjoy a meal on the deck after a fun game of barefoot bowls with its stunning views. Just a short stroll from the bowls club, you’ll find the Macleay Island Arts Complex, showcasing proud local artists wares (10am-3pm, Tuesday-Sunday; art classes available). It is then on to Lamb Island (Ngudooroo), a 2km x 1km peaceful island where you can enjoy the local fishing spots and unwind in the natural environment. Then another seven-minute ferry ride to Russell Island (Canaipa) where there are conveniently located cafes, the perfect spot to enjoy views over Canaipa Passage out to North Stradbroke Island (Minjerribah). On the water taxi, inter-island travel is free so you can do the whole trip for $16 return for an adult and $8 return for children ages 5-14 year, 0–4 years travel for free. Or for a shorter island trip, walk to King Island at Wellington Point.

Find out more about Redlands Coast getaways by calling the Visitor Information Centre on 1300 667 386 or by going to visitredlandscoast.com.au