Monday 25 October 2021

Trip to Bribie Island in 1916

 The following article was published in 1916.


Walter J. May

Several islands are situated in Moreton Bay, at the entrance to the Brisbane River, and on one of these — Bribie Island - the writer, with a few friends, spent a very enjoyable week end a short time ago.  

Bribie Island is infested with snakes, and we could not help admiring the beautiful markings of a carpet snake, between five and six feet long, which had been despatched by one of our party, who, noticing a tremendous bulge in its body, cut it open, when out tumbled a fowl  !  

We were able to indulge in some very fine bathes in the calm water, and, the water being warm, we were able to stay in for hours ; but felt very thankful that no untoward incident occurred to spoil our enjoyment.  

A shark, we were afterwards told, had been caught a few days previously, and two large iguanas were found in its stomach. This shows that iguanas must be in the habit of swimming from the island to the mainland — a distance of one mile.  

Another interesting episode occurred whilst returning in a motor-boat, along the channel to Bribie Island. Something was noticed swimming in the water. All eyes were riveted on the object ; what could it be?  On closer investigation it proved to be a wallaby. The boat was stopped, and the wallaby taken on board, but it evidently objected to be rescued, and, jumping overboard, continued swimming to the mainland ; this being the first occasion that I have seen recorded of a wallaby swimming.  

Looking North up the Passage from the Pier.
Photo: N. Langdon
Queensland Pictorial, Supplement to The Queenslander 1 Jan 1916

Towards dusk, a series of long-drawn-out howls were heard, and soon afterwards an animal was seen approaching through the scrub. When it saw us, it retreated, but we could see through the bushes the yellow coat of what must have been a dingo.  

The fishing here was not too good ; perhaps we did not fix upon the right spots. One of us caught twelve fish, but as they were all catfish our larder was not replenished thereby.  

Mosquitoes proved a great trouble, as they were present in clouds and annoyed us a good deal. On the whole, we had an enjoyable outing, the pleasant bathing being, perhaps, one of the most enjoyable incidents of our stay at Bribie Island.  



May, Walter J. (1916) A Trip to Bribie Island. The school magazine of literature for our boys and girls / the Department of Education, New South Wales, v.1(8) September 2, 1916, page 127. 

1916 Scenes on Bribie by N Langdon. BIHS Blogspot post Sep 2018

Scenes on Bribie. The Queenslander 1 January 1916, page 22. To access a high resolution copy of page 22, go to State Library of Queensland's online catalogue at:  Queensland Pictorial, Supplement to The Queenslander 1 Jan 1916