Russell Island (Canaipa)
Be greeted by an amazing mosaic masterpiece that will set the mood for your visit to Russell Island, the largest of the Southern Moreton Bay 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 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 evidence to show that Aboriginal people lived on Russell Island. Canaipa Point was an important crossing place from the island to Stradbroke Island.
John ‘Tinker” Campbell was one of the earliest major landowners, growing sugar and building a saltworks at Canaipa Point in 1865. Until 1870, the main crops grown on the island were sugar and cotton, after which time the sale of agricultural land attracted other farmers. Ticket-of-leave convict John Clowes was an early land-owner from 1871 who gathered shells to burn for lime, used in brick-making. In 1878 there were 30 kilns on Russell Island operated by Aboriginal people collecting coral for lime.
The island was named Russell Island in the 1840s after Lord John Russell, the Secretary of State for the colonies.
In the 20th Century fruit-growing became the main industry along with oystering. Today Russell Island, like the other Southern Moreton Bay Islands, has a growing a reputation for tourism opportunities and is home to residents of Redland City.
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.