Saturday, 9 May 2020

A day-trip to Bribie

Almost a century ago, a day-trip to Bribie for local community groups was a popular excursion destination. The following descriptions from 1923 and 1924 almost allow the reader to feel the wind on their face and hear the shrill whistle of the steamers!

Lockyer Schools. Annual Excursion.

It has been the custom for a number of years for the whole of the schools in the Lockyer district to co-operate in an excursion on Moreton Bay, and this year's outing took place yesterday. The rain which fell during the afternoon affected the visitors but little, as at that time they were aboard the Koopa just outside the river. Two trains were requisitioned to carry the crowd of holiday-makers to the city, the Central station being reached shortly after 9 o'clock. No time was lost in making for Kennedy wharf, where the Koopa was boarded. In an atmosphere of animated good-fellowship, the run down the river and out into the bay passed all too quickly, and tying-up operations were begun shortly before 13 o'clock at Bribie Island jetty.

Some elected to dine on board, but a great number went ashore, and picnic lunches were almost immediately in full swing. It was not very long before some of the more adventurous spirits disappeared behind convenient trees and huts, emerging clad in costumes for the water.

Just before 3 o'clock the warning whistles began to blow, and in twos and threes and laughing little companies the trippers re-embarked.  Kennedy wharf was reached again about 5 o'clock, but as another hour yet remained before they had to board their trains, they soon scattered again, and for a little while Queen-street was filled with happy, sunburned faces. Two trains were again provided for the run home, and punctually at 6.18 the second division pulled out from Central station.

Source: The Daily Mail (Brisbane) Thu 22 Nov 1923 p. 10

Bread carters have happy day at Bribie. 

Bribie was again chosen by the bread carters for their annual outing. The day was a glorious one, the weather doing its best to co-operate with the bread carters, their wives and friends, to make the day an enjoyable one. The steamer Doomba was well patronised, about 1100 attending, and the trip down was rendered most enjoyable by selections from a fine orchestra. On arrival at Bribie each child was handed a parcel of lollies and fruit, which they greatly appreciated.

Sports were commenced immediately, the results being:- ... Boys' Race... Girls' Race ... Members' Handicap ... Open Handicap .. Single Ladies' Race ... Married Women's Race ... Old Buffers' Race ... Committee Race...

Dancing took place in the hall, the music being supplied by the courtesy of a friend of the committee. Those who did not partake in the sports or the dancing were busy fishing, and everybody thoroughly enjoyed the day.

The thanks of the committee are due to Mr. Davis, of the jetty kiosk, for the excellent way in which he has prepared the course, and the way he had carried out the arrangements asked of him by the committee.

At 3.15 p.m. a loud call from the siren of the Doomba hastened the picnickers aboard, and the return journey was commenced. Fruit was distributed amongst the passengers. The trip was again enlivened by choice selections from the orchestra. Presentations followed ...

The Doomba berthed again at Brisbane at about 6.10 p.m., everybody thoroughly happy and contented. The bread carters' picnic committee feel sure that all who attended this trip will do so again and recommend these outings to their friends. ...

Source: Daily Standard (Brisbane) Fri 10 Oct 1924 p. 6

Thursday, 23 April 2020

Koopa on the Brisbane River

Koopa on the Brisbane River
In 1919, as well as plying the Brisbane to Bribie trips for excursionists and holiday-makers the Koopa also carried newly-arrived passengers from the Quarantine Station at Lytton to the city wharf in Brisbane.

Two particular trips were captured by the local press - in February returning soldiers who had arrived at Lytton on the ship Nestor and - in March returning soldiers with their brides and babies "back to Queensland" to settle down after the upheaval of war and a pandemic.

Source: The Western Champion (Barcaldine) Sat 15 Feb 1919 p. 9

Scene on arrival of Koopa in Brisbane on Saturday, with a large number
 of returned soldiers, many of whom brought brides and babies.
Source: The Daily Mail (Brisbane) Mon 3 Mar 1919 p.9


Pneumonic Influenza. The Western Champion and General Advertiser for the Central-Western Districts (Barcaldine) Sat 15 Feb 1919 p. 9

Back to Queensland. A Fervent Re-union. [pictures] Article: Soldiers' wives. Varied Experiences. Batch reaches Brisbane. The Daily Mail (Brisbane) Mon 3 Mar 1919 p. 9

The Landing of troops. Nearly 1000 men from the Nestor. A Happy Gathering at the Wharf. The Brisbane Courier Sat 15 Feb 1919 p. 5

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Excursion to Bribie via Koopa and Doomba

Travelling to Bribie aboard the steamships Koopa and Doomba are memories  held by many people.

Here is a glimpse of some of the advertisements used in the 1930s and earlier to entice excursionists to see the sights of our picturesque bay! 

The 1919 advertisement is particular relevant to the current COVID-19 pandemic.

December 1936

The Telegraph, 7 Dec 1936, p. 20
The Telegraph, 7 Dec 1936, p. 20

The popular and delightful fishing, camping and holiday resorts of Moreton Bay
Adults 4 shillings, return ; Children 1 shilling, return.
Sundays only: Adults 3 shillings return!

"Boxing Day, New Year's Day and Sunday's time-table allows four hours ashore for surfing, fishing, etc at Bribie. Refreshments obtainable on board steamers."

Accompanying this advertisement is an article entitled "Enchanted Isle"


July 1930

The Brisbane Courier, 22 Jul 1930, p. 2
Bay trip on the Koopa on Sunday to Bribie
Return fares 3 shillings, children 1 shilling


January 1924

The Doomba carried her happy cargoes to the cooling breezes at Redcliffe and Bribie.
Photo: W.G. Cummings
The Daily Mail (Brisbane) Sat 19 Jan 1924 p. 13

December 1924

The Brisbane Courier, 6 Dec 1924, p. 3
The Brisbane Courier, 6 Dec 1924, p. 3

Special Sunday afternoon excursion!
Return fares 3 shillings, children half price


March 1919

Koopa Trips to Redcliffe and Bribie

In our advertising columns appear a few statements on the "flu" question as regards bay excursions. 
Pure sea air no doubt goes a long way to keeping one healthy, and the opportunity to partake of it, the Brisbane Tug Co. Points out, is within the reach of all.

source: The Brisbane Courier Wed 5 Mar 1919 p. 3

The Koopa and the Flu
source: The Brisbane Courier Wed 5 Mar 1919 p. 2


January 1915

The Telegraph, 16 Jan 1915, p. 3
School Children's Excursions with special fares!
School children - sixpence each return. 
Adults - 2 shillings, sixpence return.

The National Library of Australia's online newspaper resource Trove is indeed a wonderful treasure-trove.

Friday, 14 February 2020

1966 bushwalk on North Bribie

The following article gives readers a view of North Bribie Island as it was in 1966.

Bushwalking on Bribie (1966)
by "Wantimba"

An island, warm in the sun, lies across Pumicestone Strait from Caloundra, inviting the bushwalker, the bird watcher, the fisherman and the casual tourist to something unusual, something different.

The invitation is especially strong on sunny winter days between May and September.

This is the northern end of Bribie Island. Of the many accounts of early Queensland only one gives an indication of the native name of this island.

John Dunmore Lang, D.D., A.M., in his book "Queensland - Australia" dated London April 22, 1861 wrote:- "To the northward of Stradbroke Island, and separated from it by a navigable channel of nearly a mile in width is Moreton Island, running due North for about twenty miles with an average breadth of three miles. The third island is Bribie's Island, the Yarun of the natives..."

For those who wish to visit "the Yarun of the natives" at the northern end, outboard hire boats are available at several points between Bulcock Beach and Military Jetty fronting Pumicestone Strait.

On the island at the site of the old jetty where military supplies and equipment were landed during World War II, there is an attractive landing. A notice board fronts the water. "Lions Park, Caloundra." There are low banksia and wattle trees shading springy, close cut grass and rustic tables - both there per courtesy of Caloundra Lions. This small square of "civilised" ground amid primitive surroundings is close to the ocean beach. The first sand dunes can be seen from the picnic tables.

The holiday adventurer should come provided with a good picnic hamper and a supply of drinking water for, as yet, there are no water tanks on the northern part of Bribie Island.

It is primitive land, retaining some of the native creatures and wild "atmosphere" which inevitably vanish before "development."

Kangaroos favour a small open area of grass land just north of the landing. Several emus stalk the sand dunes. At least two of these emus are extremely big and unusually dark in colour. Several brolgas (native companions) inhabit the stretch of dune and swamp extending south to the old lighthouse fronting the ocean beach.

The active visitor may choose between walking down the open ocean beach as a beachcomber, or following the old military road behind the frontal sand dunes. About a mile south, between the road and the beach, is the first of a string of old forts built during World War II.

The massive concrete and log structures are crumbling and dangerous. One fort is almost undermined by ocean tides - illustrating the alarming erosion which is eating away the northern end of Bribie Island.

Underground storage chambers and magazines remain in good condition. They are as sound as on the day the last soldier marched out. Hundreds of names, accumulated over 25 years are scribbled on the dry walls.

These forts and many other traces of a large military establishment tell of tense days when big guns and young men waited for enemy ships which may have attempted to force the North West Channel into Brisbane.

Today [1966], surf surges on a long peaceful beach. Keen fishermen cast into promising gutters. A feeling of primitive isolation, ignoring the ghost forts and past history, holds this island.

Some three miles south of Lions Park the dome of a lighthouse shows above the frontal sand dunes. The tower is now decrepit and neglected. Once this was an important mark for shipping. Like the ghost forts it is now part of Bribie's long history.

In "Bribie the Basket Maker," Thos. Welsby wrote:- "Comes now the Lower Light House. There are two structures of this nature on the island used as leads for deep sea vessels seeking the North West Channel into Moreton lights. They were built in 1896, one being called the front light, the other the back light. These houses contain white fixed lights, the nearest giving a front of 12 nautical miles, the back one 15. The structures are built and known as skeleton towers. The outer or ocean light has a height of 62 feet, as a building, from base to vane, with 56 feet of height of light above high water, whilst the inner or backlight is 98 feet above high water mark."

Today [1966], a clear track leads past the ocean light to the second light. People climb this tower for views of the island. The hugs timbers are still sound, excepting for one great stay which has been burned by bush fires. For 70 years these skeleton towers have stood above the flat land of Bribie Island.

Beside the track to the second light a large native fig tree has survived axe and bush fire. The ancient shells of an aboriginal "midden" are plentiful in the sand hereabouts.

The track continues past the second light to the shores of Pumicestone Strait. At the end of the track is an old boat landing where, for some two or three hundreds dollars worth of clearing, an inviting landing and picnic area could be made. From here a track leads south down the centre of the island, finally emerging on the bitumen road between Bongaree and Woorim.

The opportunity to secure the northern end of Bribie Island as a fauna and bird sanctuary, attracting tourists seeking respite from the worlds of bitumen and close packed buildings, may soon pass - dredging leases are pegged on this island in the sun.

At this landing a motor boat could meet parties having made the interesting walk from Lions Park opposite Caloundra, past the old forts and lighthouses, through kangaroo and emu country - and have them back to Military Jetty, Caloundra within half an hour.

Bushwalking on Bribie by Wantimba. Nambour Chronicle May 6, 1966. page 23.
An online copy of the article can be viewed at

Lang, John Dunmore (1847)
Cooksland in north-eastern Australia: the future cotton-field of Great Britain: its characteristics and capabilities for European colonization with a disquisition on the origin, manners and customs of the Aborigines.
London : Longman, Brown, Green and Longman, 1847. 523p.
A pdf file [13.9 MB] of the book, digitized by Google from the library of Harvard University and uploaded to the Internet Archive, can be accessed at

Welsby, Thomas (1937) 
"Bribie - The Basket Maker"
Brisbane, Qld. : Barker's Bookstores, 1937. 146p.
A pdf file [25.9 MB] of the book can be accessed on the National Library of Australia's website

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

1894 holiday on Bribie

The following article from 1894 describes a camping trip to Bribie Island by fifty-five members of Alfred Shaw and Co who cast off the "close atmosphere of Queen street" and reveled in the sandy seashore and beauty of Bribie Island.

1894 Easter Trip to Bribie
on the Tarshaw

Easter Picnic. Alfred Shaw and Co.

Exactly four years ago, shortly after the famous 1890 flood, the above firm generously gave their employees a four days' picnic at Amity Point in recognition of their services in coping with that terrible disaster. This year as Easter was approaching another four days' picnic was arranged amongst the employees and employers, this time in recognition of the mutual good feeling existing. At 8 p.m. on Thursday, the time arranged for starting, saw the Tarshaw lying at her old accustomed place, lighted from stem to stern, as gaily as if she herself had life and seemed to join in the greetings of those who came tripping aboard all dressed in that costume that all who go to the island shores know so well. Fifty-five all aboard fiddling, singing, and a hum of voices like that of many hives, and the snug little steamer cast off her lines for Bribie.
To give you an idea of what the Tarshaw looked like,
here is the ship Tarshaw anchored at Pettigrew's wharf, Maroochydore, 1882.

Source: State Library of Queensland, negative 4357

The trip down the river was enlivened with music and singing. The  run across the bay was appreciated after the close atmosphere of Queen street, and Bribie was reached in the early morning. If stars and bars denote a country, we had a big American company, as bars of burnt cork on the faces of those who slept was the order of the night. Morning dawned, the sailing boats were cast off, the boats lowered, and the company disembarked in double quick time.
Tents were rigged and the village formed on a nice sandy shore. The "Elephant," the caterer's large tent, took the lead in size; but the "A1" tent was most envied. The experience gained by the previous trip taught the party that grouping together in lots to suit tents was the most satisfactory; and of course every group must have its name. The "Toomdoongihanigan" stenciled on the side of one is still puzzling some, and even now some are trying to say it in their sleep. The "Can't be beat," the "Elephant," and the "Up to date" would well become Lytton, the latter most of all. Experience also taught us that a caterer was necessary, and Garget, with his ever pleasant smile, did more than justice can do to him. Fancy, snowy cloths and glass and silver on Bribie to suit the most fastidious. It was a notable fact that nobody was late at meal times.

After boating, fishing, bathing, and all conceivable enjoyments had been indulged in for the day, and when the tent lamps were burning, an impromptu concert was held on the beach, stimulated by the ship's band, the latter being sprung upon us as a surprise. How those woods resounded to the strains of music in the still bright moonlight; it was indeed a novel scene.

The music must have appealed to the reptiles as well as the picknickers, for a large snake was killed amongst the performers to the intense agony of a Toowoomba guest, who offered to pay the bandsmen handsomely if they would keep on all night to draw the snakes away from his chateau. A bush naturalist was also with the party, whose long walks into scrubs made him celebrated ; and this time he will be for ever remembered as Moses in the bullrushes — lost by himself in a morass in the middle of the island from Friday till Saturday morning. All night in a swamp with mosquitoes and leeches and no food was not the thing to get him away from his tent, when he saw it again, just in time to prevent a search party starting.

Monday morning. How the time went by. All fishers up at daylight to get the last chance to angle the top fish, but they were all disappointed, as the long line of fishers on the beach tried all they knew for a good catch. A splash was heard and a cry arose, "Man overboard," from the steamer at anchor. There was rushing to and fro, life lines and belts were thrown down, boats lowered, and as the man was hauled up the ship's side a cheer arose that resounded for miles, and it was generally admitted that he was the biggest catch of the day.

At 12 o'clock all aboard, and off to town. The day was all that could have been desired. In conclusion, if ever there were a ship's company that deserved a word of praise for their never ceasing attention it was this one, from the captain downwards; and when we have our next trip it will not be our fault if he is not there.

Article: Easter Picnic. The Week (Brisbane) March 30, 1894, p. 14 
Available online through NLA's Trove at

Photo: The ship Tarshaw anchored at Pettigrew's wharf, Maroochydore, 1882.
State Library of Queensland negative 4357, viewable online at

Sunday, 22 December 2019

1929 Boat Trip Through Bribie Passage

90 years ago! - An "on-the-water" tale from 1929

Two men in a boat 
by E.J.S.

Taking advantage of a holiday, a companionable friend, an outboard motor, and a serviceable boat, it was decided to achieve a long-cherished desire, and travel to Caloundra, by way of the Pumice Stone Channel, or Bribie passage as it is more generally termed.

That this waterway was mistaken for a river by its first visitors is understandable, for at the southern end it is an imposing stretch, deep, and at times turbulent. The upper reaches are more often shallow, and the course tortuous, as one portion, known as "The W's" testifies.

Though unrelieved by heights necessary to break the regularity of low islands, whose wooded shores are reflected in the quiet water, the scenery is delightful. Swamps abound where, in season, may be found wild boronia and Christmas bell - the largest and most resplendent of our wild flowers.

On the landward side distant some 12 miles are the bold outlines of Beerwah, Coonowrin, Beerburrum, Tibrogargan, and Tibberwowucum Mountains. These heights, thrown into relief by the morning sun, or silhouetted against a glorious winter sunset, are indeed beautiful.

From seaward, plainly heard across the narrow island, comes a continuous roll of muffled sounds. It is the surf breaking on the outer beach, affording a striking contrast with the placid land-locked waters which provide a home and sanctuary to all bird life.

Here, except at risk of penalty, the killer of the inoffensive may not follow his sport. Herons, curlews, snipe, cormorants, and black swans abound, the latter at times in flocks of hundreds. On the island the air vibrates with the sweet piping of terrestrial birds, whose melody is more pronounced when heard amid the harsh notes which seem to characterise our sea-birds.

One solitary brolga we saw dancing for no apparent reason other than the joy of life, for no mate to whom it might be making demonstrations of courtship was visible. With half-poised wings it pirouetted, now in a grave and stately measure, then breaking into a wild fandango till the noise of our approach warned it that not in all cases was the sanctuary respected.

Our boat, 14 feet long and five feet in beam, though well loaded with food, water, benzine, camp and fishing gear, afforded amply room and permitted us to sleep in it with comfort - that is, holiday comfort.

On the second day we made Caloundra, having navigated the Passage without touching a bank and negotiating Suez Canal with mishap. Suez is a deep gutter between two islands, not easy for a stranger to locate, and so narrow that, like its famous namesake, boats even so small as ours could not pass in it.

Caloundra is perhaps the most charming of our seaside resorts. Distant some 15 miles from the North Coast railway, lack of good roads, or, better still, railway extension, has retarded its progress. Fine beaches, rocky headland, the open seas on one side, Bribie Island and the quiet passage on the other, gave to this place a natural supremacy.

Here people were universally kind to us. Voyagers in a small boat, we probably presented an unusual spectacle, but from the fisherman who waved us from a wrong course, to the chubby angel of five years bearing a bowl of "pudden" and an invitation from Auntie to bring a billy and get some milk, we experienced welcome hospitality.

The return journey was uneventful but adventure awaited us. One very dark and hazy night we set forth on a fishing expedition and lost ourselves. Familiar objects no longer appeared so and strange features were wrongly recognised as old friends. The benzine gave out and for seven weary hours we pulled that boat.

Daybreak found us at Comboyouro Point, Moreton Island, 15 miles from home. Fortunately the sea was calm but with a heavy ground swell. How we avoided the numerous banks on which we might have been easily and quickly smashed I do not know.

Article caption: Doors of the boat shed decorated with facetious notices
On the following day, in response to our telephonic S.O.S., a motor launch came from Bribie and towed us ingloriously home to find the boat shed will decorated with humourous notices: "Shed for Sale - Owner gone abroad!" "In moments like this you need petrol!"  "Nightly service to Comboyouro!"

The lesson has been learned. Never again will we be caught short on petrol.

Two men in a boat : The beauties of Caloundra by E.J. S.
Sunday Mail (Brisbane) Sun 30 June 1929 p. 21

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Story 26 Describing Bribie Island

The following story is one of 27 stories presented in Describing Bribie Island 1865-1965: historical first-hand accounts of visiting Bribie Island produced by the Bribie Island Historical Society in 2017.

Bribie Walkabout by Zena Turner (1963)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Zena Turner (b. 1911) lived on Bribie Island with her husband Ernest Turner (handicraft worker) from 1949. Zena continued to reside on Bribie after her husband passed away in 1958. Zena lived at Ocean Beach and contributed many articles to The Bribie Star in the 1960s.

Zena’s love of nature can be seen clearly in the following article, published in the Bribie Star v.2(9) 19th October 1963 (Bridge special edition) page 17.

Although Bribie is the Mecca of many thousands of near-by city dwellers, there are surprisingly few who turn away from the water-lapped fringes of the Island and go into the bush which, at no place on the Southern end of the Island, is more than one and half miles from the water. Anyone wanting to evade civilisation for a day can find no better place to go than into the Bribie bush where the atmosphere is as remote as the never never, and the chance of meeting another human being is as equally remote. The southern end of the Island is laced with tracks suitable for a day’s tramping in the bush, and the best ones are within easy access from either Bongaree or Woorim. Some of them are suitable also for vehicular traffic but many of the good tracks, made when the army was on the Island during war time, have become overgrown for want of use.

Trackless walking on the Island is for those with a sense of direction and experienced in bushcraft. A few yards off a track in the Bribie bush and every tree and every shrub looks alike, so anyone who goes bushwalking on Bribie should follow a track unless familiar with the bush and swamps which will be encountered.

The track best known and most used by bushwalkers is that from Cotteril Avenue, Bongaree, to the centre road which runs north and south through the entire length of the Island. From this road a number of tracks branch out to different places of interest, the two main ones leading to Woorim and Dingo Creek.

Along the track from the centre road to North Street, Woorim, is the springtime beauty spot of the Island. Here is a vast garden of wild flowers, predominantly Boronia, fringed with Tea-Trees and Banksias, with a clump of tall, slim Tea-Trees standing sentinel-like in its midst. Here, too, grows the beautiful wild blue Iris, the dainty Sun-Orchid and many little ground-hugging plants, colourful little things upon which one is reluctant to walk.

Brilliant Flash
To add to this panorama of colour are the Rainbow Lorikeets which make a brilliant flash as they sweep screeching overhead. In contrast to their screeching is the beautiful Throated Warbler. As the delicate, falling cadence comes drifting across the distance it is difficult to believe that such a melody, considered to be one of the sweetest of all Australian bird songs, can be produced by such a tiny bird. After passing through the Boronia plain the track winds on to Freshwater Creek where the Dusky Coral pea runs riot over shrub and tree, and the wild Lasiandra vies with tall, green bracken for a place in the sun. Here, too, are colourful little Wrens – the Blue and the Redbacked – flitting about in the reeds of the creek. A true family man, the Wren, for he is never alone. Always Jenny and the family are there with their happy, high-pitched twittering. A short distance past Freshwater Creek the track joins North Street and Fifth Avenue Woorim, and here, at the meeting of the roads, is another sand track leading north to the First lagoon.

Grove of Pines – The Cathedral
Some distance along the track is a grove of pines standing on the edge of the sea –beautiful, gnarled old trees that have withstood countless years of seasonal salt-sea winds and cyclones. It is to the credit of the many who picnic here that these beautiful old Pines are as yet untouched by man. This cannot be said of the grove that stands parallel with it across the water of the lagoon and which is reached by passing the sand-locked entrance to the lagoon and traversing trackless Pine Ridge on its western bank. Surely it was here in this Pine grove, known for many years as The Cathedral that a small part of Nature died. It was a place of beauty – tall Pines etched the sky, sun-dappled pine-needle carpet underfoot, Orchids, Staghorns and Ferns grew green and beautiful, and over all the still quiet of the bush broken only by the low murmur of the sea and the singing of birds. But, unlike the windswept old pines on the edge of the sea, most of the trees grew straight and tall – so straight and tall that their beautiful sky-reaching greenness marked their doom. No Pine trees could grow so high and so green unless they were millable. And so they died.

Today [1963] The Cathedral has no semblance of its former beauty and few go there. Those who do venture along Pine Ridge do so because of a remembered beauty, and with the hope that Nature may perform one of her rare miracles and restore what man destroyed.

Another one and a half miles north from the First Lagoon by beach or by trackless bush walking is the Second Lagoon which may be reached also by following the centre road north to the signpost giving directions to Dingo Creek and Second Lagoon. It is necessary if going by this road to go to Dingo Creek and then walk back a half-mile by beach to the lagoon.

This is a lovely spot lying undisturbed and looking much as it must have looked centuries ago when the black man roamed here. The harsh browns and olive greens of the bush and the lagoon lie hard against the silver and blue of the sea with Moreton Island hanging like a purple backdrop in the distance. Misty grey-green Casuarinas lining the seashore and the entrance to the lagoon lend a redeeming softness to this almost too brilliant picture, and a civilisation-left-behind atmosphere pervades the whole area – an atmosphere that belies a city of some 600,000 population lying just fifty miles to the south, and a progressive Sunshine Coast to the north.

Here in the environs of the Second Lagoon the Palm Lily grows. It is an oddity of nature that this plant with its spike of delicate, orchid-like pink blooms should curve swan-like and graceful to open its beauty to the ground and not to the sun. Behind the Second Lagoon the bush is trackless and wild with tangled bracken and undergrowth, but there are surprises here for the intrepid bushwalker. A picturesque little fern-tipped swamp nestles at the foot of a pine-clad ridge, and a Pandanus Palm, too far from its natural place by the sea, grows disproportionately high seeking the sunlight through the foliage of its towering bushland companions, while a King Orchid, oddly out of place in this Bribie wilderness, struggles for existence in the hot sand. No doubt it grew at one time in a shady Pine until ravaged by bushfire.

Oak Walk
Further north and over the terrace from Dingo Creek is the Oak Walk which, as the name implies, is a track winding its way through a thick belt of she-oaks. The track was made when the army was in occupation of the Island and it is still there, but only those who know of it can find it now for it has become overgrown at both ends and there is nothing to show that it is there.

Some three miles north of Dingo Creek is Mermaid Lagoon, and a few miles north again is Welsby Lagoon, or, as it is sometimes called, the Bird Lagoon. Here many aquatic birds, black Swan and wild Duck predominating, swim serenely through reeds and water lilies sheltered from the sea by high sand dunes, and from the west by high Tea-Trees so regular in growth that they lie against the sky like a straight, dark wall. On rare occasions a Jabiru may be seen stalking quietly about Welsby Lagoon in search of prey. If frightened it will take off into seemingly effortless flight and alight on the other side of the lagoon where it will stand motionless for so long that it seems to merge with its surroundings.

Welsby Lagoon
Welsby Lagoon is the ultimate of remoteness on Bribie, for it lies halfway between the northern tip of the Island near Caloundra and the southern tip in Moreton Bay. It is some 10 miles from Woorim by beach, but if alternating the walk by bush and beach it is some 13 or 14 miles.

The track from Dingo Creek back to Campbell Road, Bongaree, and Woorim is usually in good condition for vehicular traffic as well as for walking. It passes through large areas of Boronia, and in a reasonably clear section between Dingo Creek and the sign post are hundreds of grass trees growing luxuriantly in an area which had previously been swept by bushfire. Here, when the grass trees bloom, the parrots come to feed. It is a magnificent sight to see hundreds of Lorikeets feeding on the tall, cylindrical spikes of bloom, as many as six at each spike. They keep up an incessant chatter as they feed, fluttering their rainbow wings in an endeavour to gain a precarious foothold among the thousand minute blooms.

Common Sight
Emus, Kangaroos and Wallabies are a common sight along this track, and on rare occasions a flock of Brolgas may be seen. These beautiful birds take off into flight at the first sign of intrusion, and always their flight is northward to the far end of the Island, where, in a clearing in the vicinity of the lighthouse, they have been seen performing their graceful, long-legged dance.

The only track branching off to the sea once the Dingo Creek track joins the centre road is the one leading to Woorim. There are, however, several leading off to the Passage side of the Island. These have become rather overgrown and unless they are used by experienced bush-walkers it is well to bypass them and continue on to the track leading into Cotteril Avenue.

Some half-mile before reaching Cotteril Avenue along this track the whole bush is redolent of a delightful perfume identical with that of the wild Cherry Blossom. Nothing has been found to account for this perfume, so it is referred to simply as “a delightful bush fragrance”.

South of Campbell Road there are more good walking tracks, a number of which were made when the army was on the Island. Most of them had become overgrown, but last year some of them were cleared and it is now possible to leave Campbell Road at Boyd Street, Woorim, and re-join it at Bongaree, via Skirmish Point, Woody Bay, Bald Point and Red Beach.

These are interesting tracks for walking as they give access at intervals to the Bay beaches, and one branches off to what is considered to be the best Pine grove now standing on the Island. This is at Bald Point tucked well back from the south-east winds behind a protective line of Casuarinas and Banksias which stand well back from the waters of Moreton Bay.

It is from the Red Beach section of this track that an entrance to Skirmish Swamp is found. Tree-ferns grow luxuriantly here, but it is seldom possible to penetrate far into the swamp. During the 1946 drought it dried out completely and then it was possible to walk anywhere in the area.

Beautiful Beach
Although there are many miles of bush tracks for walking there are also many miles of beautiful beach for walking – clear, unbroken beach right to the northern tip of the Island, and picturesque Bay beaches from Skirmish Point to Pumicestone Passage.

Looking from Skirmish Point across Woody Bay is like viewing a vast, remote painting tinged with sadness, for Woody Bay is a graveyard of trees. Each year the encroaching sea, pushed on by the south-east winds that run rampant across Moreton Bay, cut further into the low, unresisting terrace and one after another the rangy old Tea-Trees and Pines topple to the beach where they eventually become sea-washed ghosts of their former beauty.

Nature is both bountiful and cruel here, for while Woody Bay is being cut away by the sea,
Bald Point which lies a few hundred feet away is building up. This build-up has been taking place over the years since the 1952 cyclone sliced through Bald Point so that it was possible to see, from the one vantage point on the beach, both Skirmish Point and the beacon at the entrance to Pumicestone Passage.

Bald Point
Marram grass and Beach Spinifex took control of this section of the beach, held the drifting sand, and now hundreds of young Casuarina trees have grown until Bald Point is better able to withstand a cyclonic gale than it was before the last cyclone ravaged it.

Sunset is the time for walking on Ocean Beach, for it is here that it is possible to walk on a rainbow. As the waves recede the reflections of the sunset light up the wet sand into a rainbow ribbon that stretches mile after mile into the distance until it loses itself in the sky. As the sun sinks the colours on the sand are ever-changing until the darkness blots out the sunset splendour which is equalled on Bribie only by the magnificent sunsets that encompass Pumicestone Passage and the Glasshouse Mountains.