Southern Moreton Bay Islands
SMBI: Russell, Karragarra, Lamb and Macleay islands
Russell, Karragarra, Lamb and Macleay Islands were incorporated into the Redlands on 12 May 1973. In the 1960s and early 1970s, much of the island land was subdivided into small allotments. Since then, Redland City Council has restricted further subdivisions and rationalised planning so that the significant environmental and cultural values of the islands and surrounding Moreton Bay are preserved. The islands are serviced from Weinam Creek Marina, Redland Bay, on the mainland by passenger ferry and vehicle barge.
Redland City Council is proposing a new conservation park on southern Russell Island that weaves around existing homes to protect wetland areas. The park will showcase these unique wetland areas and provide recreational opportunities for islanders and visitors. More >>
Russell Island is the largest of the Southern Moreton Bay Islands, measuring 3km wide and 8km long. It is home to around 2,500 to 3,000 people. The island provides an alternative lifestyle for permanent residents and weekenders, with some low-key commercial development.
The island has a primary school, medical and fire services, electricity, reticulated water and garbage collection services, post office, library, community hall, general store, chemist, restaurants, transport services, holiday and long-term accommodation, parks, clubs, garage and service station.
High school students and some residents commute daily to school and work on the mainland eight kilometres away. The commercial centre is close to the main ferry access on the northern part of the island.
Karragarra is the smallest of the bay islands, about 0.5 km wide and 4 km long, with a small permanent population. Sandy beaches and a protected swimming pool near the jetty make the island popular for picnics. There are no shops - all food and other provisions must be brought from the mainland or the larger islands. Some holiday accommodation is available.
Lamb Island was known by the Aboriginal people of Moreton Bay as Nguderoo, or paperbark trees. It is the second smallest of the Southern Moreton Bay Islands. The island is easily navigable and has a swimming enclosure for cooling off in the bay waters. Measuring 2km by 1km, it’s an easy walk around the island, with the Progress Hall the gathering place for the island’s local residents, along with the bowls club and general store within easy reach. Holiday homes and rentals are available.
Macleay is a popular place, with more than 3,000 people enjoying a permanent island lifestyle here. A bowls club, boat club and golf course provide focal points for residents and visitors. There are several beaches for swimming and fishing, with barbecue facilities in the foreshore parks. A bitumen all-weather road runs through the centre of Macleay from the ferry terminal in the south to Pat's Point picnic and swimming area to the north.
There is a primary school, a local shopping centre with food shops, chemist, service station, restaurants and hotels. Services include taxi, medical and fire brigade. High school students and some workers commute to the mainland daily. A causeway connects Macleay to the quaint island of Perulpa, which in Aboriginal means 'the island off the island'.
In response to requests from the community, Council regularly posts information bulletins at the passenger terminals on the four islands and at Weinam Creek, Redland Bay.