Bribie Island is one of only two islands connected to the Queensland mainland by bridge, and the closest to Brisbane – being only a 90-minute drive from the CBD.
With spectacular views of the Glass House Mountains to the west, and the northern part of Moreton Bay to the north, it’s easy to see why it is such a popular destination. Even though it’s fairly small, you can still have fun on the beach – with approved four wheel drive tracks leading to surf or calm bay waters.
Bribie Island is the easiest of the Moreton Bay islands to get to. Access is via the Bribie Bridge (Bribie Island Rd), which connects from Sandstone Point to the island.
Driving north, the Bruce Highway connects from either the Gateway Motorway or the A3/M3 (Gympie Rd), which will take you up to Caboolture. Then you can follow the exit for Bribie Island Rd and follow it past Ningi and Sandstone Point onto the island.
Bribie Island has a community of around 6,500, so the majority of their shopping is done at the local shopping centre which has a Woolworths, Target and specialty stores. It’s also open seven days a week, so if you’re planning on having lunch on the island, you don’t have to worry if you forget the drinks or salad.
Bribie is the smallest of the Moreton Bay islands at 34-kilometres long and 8-kilometres wide, so you shouldn’t run out of fuel, but if you do need to fill up, there are two petrol stations on the island itself and two in Ningi before you get to the bridge. Petrol won’t be too much more expensive than in Brisbane – but you might pay a few cents more because the fuel trucks have had to travel out further.
Because Bribie Island has paved roads, you don’t need to bring a 4WD to access the beaches, but if you want to get right up to the surf and drive on the beach then you’ll need to book a vehicle access permit with a high-clearance 4WD.
You can go online and get your permit in advance, or visit Gateway Bait & Tackle in Ningi or Surfside News on Bribie to pick up a permit on your way over.
Note: Surfside News is closed on Good Friday and Christmas Day, but Gateway Bait & Tackle should be open every day until 5pm. Alternatively, you can source a permit online at www.nprsr.qld.gov.au or via 1300 130 372.
On the southern part of Bribie Island, there is bitumen roads. It is only when you head to the northern section that you require a 4x4. This means high clearance four wheel drives with low range capacity are a must, vehicles with ‘all-wheel drive’ systems are discouraged.
Travelling 2 hours either side of low tide is always recommended for beach driving – this is when the maximum amount of hard sand will be exposed and make for comfortable and safe driving.
The key thing is to ensure your 4x4 is adequately equipped for the beach – this includes packing the minimum:
Recovery gear (like a snatch strap, d-shackles)
Maxtrax Style Recovery treads
A long handle shovel (for getting out of sand)
Tyre pressure gauge
Familiarise yourself with the recovery points are on your vehicle
Flat piece of timber (useful if you need change a tyre on the sand and need the jack to get some leverage)
You need to ensure you reduce the tyre pressure of your tyres down to 18 – 25 psi – this will maximise the tread pattern on the sand (due to a broader surface area of the tyre).
The main areas for off-road driving on Bribie Island are in the national park on the northern half of the island. The protected Pumicestone Passage marine park runs between the western coastline of Bribie and the mainland, and features calmer waters because of the bay. There are several popular camping & 4WD tracks including Gallagher Point, Poverty Creek, Mission Point & Lime Point.
The eastern side is the surf beach and where the most of the four-wheel driving is done. Due to it’s close proximity to Moreton Island, you’ll tend to find that the wave sizes are smaller then the more open eastern beaches of Stradbroke, Moreton or Fraser Island. Nevertheless, the beach can still be soft and narrow in parts, so driving 2 hours either side of low tide is highly recommended. There are also a number of Lagoon’s that sometimes flow through to the ocean, particularly after heavy rain.
Best suited for a day trip, Bribie Island is ideal to pack a sun tent and maybe the beach cricket gear for a day out. But there are plenty of options if you forget the wickets.
Whale watching – From July to October, humpback whales are sometimes seen diving in the ocean as they migrate north past Moreton Island.
Fishing – You are really spoilt for choice - with beach fishing, estuary fishing in the famous Pumicestone Passage or offshore options all possible from Bribie Island.
Camping - There are several popular camping & 4WD tracks on the western side; including Gallagher Point, Poverty Creek, Mission Point & Lime Point. Along the eastern beach, there is a 3 km section of camping allowed on the Ocean Beach along the northern section of the beach (fires allowed in fire rings). Bookings & permits are required. See link http://www.nprsr.qld.gov.au/parks/bribie-island/pdf/bribie-isl-rec-area.pdf
Bird Watching – over 70% of Bribie Island is national park, so there is plenty of birdlife. Over 350 species call Bribie Island home, and there are bird hides located at Buckley’s Hole, south Bongaree.
Lagoons – There are a total of 4 freshwater lagoon’s along the eastern beach. These require a 4WD to access – be very careful after heavy rain or high tide as they can flow through to the ocean beach.
Buckleys Hole Environmental Park – over 190 bird species have been viewed or recorded in this area along. Makes for a nice walk along the beach around South Point to Red Beach.
Woorim Beach – this is the closest patrolled surf beach to Brisbane. It is well set up with play grounds, café’s & skate parks all located nearby.
Remember, the expert team at Motorama 4x4xMore can help you find the perfect vehicle for your next off-road adventure, and give helpful tips and tricks on how to make the most of your four-wheel drive.
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