There’s plenty to do on Maclea Island, with a bowls club, boat club, golf course and beaches for swimming and fishing and barbecue facilities in the foreshore parks. It offers some of the best views in the southern bay. A sealed road runs through the centre of the island from the ferry terminal in the south to Pat's Point picnic and swimming area in the north. A causeway connects Macleay to the quaint island of Perulpa.
Potts Point is a popular spot for picnics and swimming. Dalpura Beach, on the island’s western shores, is a top spot to relax, have a barbecue or go for a swim. This is arguably the best place to check out the stunning sunsets.
There are several boat ramps making this a great place for boating and fishing fans. And, with a flourishing arts culture, Macleay Island also has a range of galleries to explore.
While Macleay is the second largest of the Southern Islands at 6.5km long and 4km at its widest point, it boasts the largest population.
There are plenty of facilities, including local shopping centres and places to eat.
There is a range of holiday accommodation and B&Bs on the island. More information is available at the Redlands Coast Visitor Information Centre.
Schools and colleges
Macleay Island State School serves this island community. Secondary students attend school on the mainland.
Passenger and vehicle ferries depart from Weinam Creek Marina, Weinam 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.
For a time, the island was widely known as Tim Shea’s Island. Timothy Shea was Irish convict transported in 1826, arrived Moreton Bay July 1827, escaped from Dunwich and lived on Thompson’s Point near a water hole for 12-14 years. In 1851 he was imprisoned again. An 1865 map shows subdivision on Macleay Island allowing for roads, wharves and reserves for aboriginal sites, including Corroboree Point. Well known as an important aboriginal site right from beginning, Corroboree Point was camp of oysterman Thomas Lucas.
In 1865 the first lease-holder was Robert Perkins Campbell, son of Tinker Campbell. He took up leases under coffee and sugar regulations. Tinker Campbell set up a salt-works on Pininpinin Point, on southern tip of the island c1866 – now Cliff Terrace. He made no money, and possibly it was a front for a rum distillery. The Campbell family owned the whole island at this stage, and used South Sea Island (Kanaka) labour to build his enterprises.
Find more about our local history on our library Local History section.
Macleay Island is in Division 5 (Cr Mark Edwards).
Visit the popular parks on Macleay Island.