Karragarra Island, between Russell and Macleay islands, is a great day-trip destination with a family-safe beach and netted enclosure. This is the smallest of the southern islands, approximately 500m wide and 2km long and is a top spot for picnics.
The island has sandy beaches and a protected swimming area near the jetty, with barbecues, picnic tables and shady trees as well as public amenities and a playground.
Everything here is within easy walking distance, which means there is virtually no traffic. This is a great place to chill and escape the rat race.
The shopping facilities and eateries on the larger islands of Macleay and Russell are a short – and free – ferry ride away.
Schools and colleges
There are primary schools on Russell and Macleay islands. Secondary students attend school on the mainland.
Passenger ferries and vehicle barges leave from Weinam Creek Marina, Banana Street, Redland Bay:
- Southern Moreton Bay Island Ferry – 07 3206 8033 – passenger ferry
- Stradbroke Ferries – 07 3488 5300 – vehicle ferry
Inter-island transport is free.
Mainland bus services connect with island transport services.
Having no permanent fresh water supply, Karragarra appears to have had no permanent Aboriginal residents. By 1859 the Moreton Bay Oyster Company had built an 8-acre (3.25 hectare) depot for oyster leases on the western side. In the 1860s John ‘Tinker’ Campbell bought leases on several of the Southern Moreton Bay islands, including the whole of Karragarra. In 1871 Campbell sold Karragarra Island to Frederick Cutten who bought Karragarra as a seaside residence. Together with his four sons he ran cattle on the island, swimming them across from the mainland. Cutten built a small house there, but near Christmas in 1873, while they were at their mainland Coopers Plains home, the house burnt to the ground. The Cuttens moved north and grew tea, and their plants later became the catalyst for the Nerada plantation.
By the mid-20th Century the island’s sandy northern beach was a popular lunch spot for cruising day-trippers. There were 4 farms on the island, and at their fruit stall they sold pineapples, strawberries, passionfruit, chokos and poultry.
Find more about our local history on our library Local History section.
Karragarra Island is in Division 5 (Cr Mark Edwards).
Visit the popular parks on Karragarra Island.