Passenger and vehicle ferries servicing North Stradbroke Island (Minjerribah) arrive and depart from Dunwich (Goompie) a small, relaxed and friendly township rich in history and culture.

Walk the heritage trail and visit the many significant sites signposted for visitors. You can visit the old leper colony station and asylum and Straddie's former military sites, or take it all in at the North Stradroke Island Museum on Minjerribah which charts the island's history from its indigenous traditions through to its shipwrecks and sand-mining period. Just a short drive out of town you will find Brown Lake, a favourite swimming and picnic spot for locals who attest to the nourishing effects of the native tea trees which give the water its brown tinge. The popular Little Ship Club is a top spot to relax.

A wealth of local Indigenous history can also be found at the Terra Bulla Leaumeah reserve, where you can learn about the history of the Noonuccal people. You can explore the signed reserve on your own, or request a guided tour.

Location

Shopping

This is the main service centre for North Stradbroke Island. About 19km across the island at Point Lookout, you will find more eateries and boutique shops.

Take the time to have a look around and you’ll find plenty of interesting spots, such as the Salt Water Murris’ Quandamooka Art Gallery, featuring paintings by local Indigenous artists.

Accommodation

There are two waterfront camping grounds among the accommodation options. More information is available at the Redlands Coast Visitor Information Centre.

Schools and colleges

Getting there

Passenger and vehicle ferries regularly depart Toondah Harbour (Emmett Drive, Cleveland) for Dunwich:

It is advisable to check directly with hire car companies about whether they allow vehicles to travel to North Stradbroke Island.

Buses

There are bus connections to and from Cleveland which link with island transport services.

The three main townships on Straddie – Dunwich, Amity Point and Point Lookout – are connected by sealed roads. The island also has great 4WD bush tracks and sandy beaches you can drive on. Vehicle access permits are required, available through Minjerribah Camping.

History

A depot for unloading stores was set up at Dunwich in 1827, utilising a stone jetty that was built by convicts. Fishing was an important industry for Aborigines and European residents. Dunwich is still home to fishing communities, including oyster farmers, and for a time, bêche de mer (sea cucumber) gatherers. 

In 1850, a quarantine station was set up at Dunwich for the settlers who flocked to the new colony. They had to stay at the quarantine station if they were sick so that they didn’t infect people in Brisbane and elsewhere. In 1866, the quarantine station was closed and the buildings converted into the Dunwich Benevolent Asylum, Queensland’s first dedicated home for the old, infirm or homeless.

Find more about our local history on our library Local History section.

Your councillor

Dunwich is in Division 2 (Cr Peter Mitchell).

More information

Visit the popular parks in Dunwich.