Bribie Island is less than an hour’s drive north (65km’s to be exact) of Brisbane. It is linked to the mainland by a road bridge. It is beautiful, with lots to see and do and such an easy camping weekend away!
We camped at site ‘K’ in the Ocean Beach Camping Area which was a site suitable for a camper trailer and a tent – perfect for us and Ben, Amy and the kids who joined us on this camp. It was lovely and secluded and we had our own private stretch of beachfront! This was our first experience camping without any amenities, and our first attempt at taking Karen Camper on to the beach. We were very nervous! Especially when we stopped in the car park entrance to ‘air down’ (drop the air pressure in the car and camper tyres to a suitable level – about 20 PSI – for sand driving) and we had some people come over and say to us that they weren’t sure we would get the camper down onto the beach – eeeek! But we decided to give it a go anyway as the whole point of this camp was to test out the camper and ourselves with some beach driving/towing. We were fortunate that a nice man offered to drive ahead of us down on to the beach and make sure we made it through the ‘cutting’ okay. We were chewing our fingernails even more when we hit the cutting and saw a Prado bogged in the sand in front of us and they were not even towing anything!!! But – we followed the car in front who had visited Bribie many times and we made it through just fine – phew!
The next challenge was then getting the car and camper up the sand dune and into our campsite! It took two goes for Matt to get the camper in after backing out on the first run when he realised he hadn’t given himself enough of a run up and power to get up, and managing to reverse out! It is very nerve-wracking being on the beach, knowing the tide is coming in and not being sure if you are going to be able to get your camper off the beach and up into your campsite – I had visions of our camper having to be left on the beach at the mercy of the ocean while we watched from the top of the dunes! I guess this is what doing something new/having an adventure is all about, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t get stressful sometimes!! The campsite was quite small so it was definitely a test for Matt’s reversing skills to finally get the camper in to position for the weekend. We suffered a small dent to the front of Peter Prado when Matt hit one of the National Park ‘bollards’ (posts that mark out the campsite) so we didn’t entirely avoid a small amount of swearing!
Over the course of the weekend we tackled the ‘Fort Bribie’ walk which was a 5km return trek that ended up being quite tough for the kids but they managed! The walk wasn’t very well signed so we got a little lost a few times but did make it to the Fort in the end with hot faces and scratched arms and legs! This is an extract about the walk from the National Park website;
“Near the northern tip of Bribie Island, you can take a walk through coastal plant communities featuring casuarinas, melaleucas and some rainforest species to heritage-listed remains of gun emplacements and searchlight buildings. Wayside signs provide information about the forts and the men and women who served here during World War II (1941–1945).
During World War II, Fort Bribie was strategically located near Bribie Island’s northern tip to secure the passage south. Moreton Bay’s shallow waters are scattered with small islands, banks and sandbars, so large ships are limited to the main north-west shipping channel that runs close to shore near Bribie Island.”
We also had a fun afternoon four wheeling driving along the Northern Access Inland track and checking out the Poverty Creek camping area.
And other than that we just spent time lazing on the beach and cooling off in the Welsby and Mermaid Lagoons on the island. The lagoons were very shallow and lovely and warm – perfect for young kids!
Another great weekend getaway so close to Brisbane – I think Bribie Island would even be an awesome day trip! We loved it and just wish we had more time to go back again. The kids, and me, even survived our first bush toileting experience of digging our own ‘bush toilet’ hole! If you live in Brisbane and have a four wheel drive then definitely go and check out Bribie Island!