Be greeted by an amazing mosaic masterpiece that will set the mood for your visit to Russell Island, the largest of the Southern Islands. At 3km by 8km, it is separated from North Stradbroke Island by Canaipa Passage and extends down almost as far as Jumpinpin Bar between North and South Stradbroke islands. It also has views south to the Gold Coast.
Check out the Southern Moreton Bay Island Museum, swimming pool, RSL and bowls clubs. There is also a medical centre, supermarket, library and many public parks to explore.
Russell’s hallmarks are its easy-living, fishing opportunities and connection with the natural environment. The bird life is simply amazing, with the island a world-recognised sanctuary.
The island has a shopping centre, including an IGA supermarket, and a wide range of services.
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
Russell Island State School serves the island community. Secondary students attend school on the mainland.
Passenger and vehicle ferries depart 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.
As with the other Southern Moreton Bay Islands, there is a great deal of evidence to show that Aboriginal people lived there. Canaipa Point was an important crossing place from the island to Stradbroke Island. Ticket-of-leave convict John Clowes was an early land-owner who gathered shells to burn for lime, used in brick-making. 1878 there were 30 kilns on Russell Island operated by Aborigines collecting coral for lime. Timber was rafted from rafting grounds near the present public jetty.
In the 20th Century fruit-growing became the main industry along with oystering. In the 1970s land sales which included properties that were underwater at high tide became national news. The Russell Island land fraud conspiracy trial ended in March 1983 without a verdict, although a surveyor was deemed to have been incompetent. Eight people had been accused of conspiring to defraud the public by deceitfully inducing people to buy land on Russell Island between 1968 and 1979. It was the longest fraud trial in the history of British justice. Today the island is home to 1,780 people.
Find more about our local history on our library Local History section.
Russell Island is in Division 5 (Cr Mark Edwards).
Visit the popular parks on Russell Island.