Coochiemudlo Island

Travel: Top ten things to do on Coochiemudlo Island

Coochiemudlo Island

Coochiemudlo Isand: Have you heard of it? Having moved back to Brisbane three years ago, I am on a quest to discover places in South East Queensland that I have never travelled to. So often when we grow up in a city and return as an adult we make many assumptions about what there is to see and do. For example, the islands of Redland Bay; if you think you’ve seen it all just because you’ve been to North Stradbroke Island, you’re wrong.

Coochiemudlo Island (Kutchi-mudlo) is a name that many people have not heard since the 1980s. I know, because I recently surveyed my Facebook friends and the responses were, well a little interesting… It seems that not many had been back to the island since their high school science excursion where the only thing they remember is being knee-deep in mud.

So now, I was curious. Why had no one been back? Was there something wrong with the island? We spent a weekend there to find out exactly what the island offered.

Up for the challenge were my two children and friend and fellow Instagrammer Amanda. Amanda took care of the logistics and found a friend who let us stay at his holiday house, so that we could provide you with an objective view of the island.

How to get there:

Ferry from Redland Bay.

You can travel on the passenger-only ferry (perfect for a day trip) or the vehicle ferry. You’ll have to reverse onto the vehicle ferry so that you can drive off forward when you reach the island.

The history of the island:

  • Matthew Flinders landed here in 1799, and the first white settlers came in 1895, however, it took until 1978 for electricity to come to the island! Coochiemudlo retains its Aboriginal name and although thought not to have been settled by the traditional landowners of Australia, they did use the island for collecting shellfish and other bush tucker. As of 2008, 708 people were recorded by the Australian Census as living here.

Top ten things to do on the island:

Coochiemudlo Island

There’s a 5km bike track that starts at the ferry and meanders through wetlands and beaches. Or, if you’re like Amanda, you can jog it! Bring your own bike on the ferry or, hire a fancy one.

collect shells
Collect shells at low tide. I have never seen as many whelks as there are on Coochie. This place is kid heaven for collecting all things fascinating.
3. SUP
SUP: Stand Up Paddle boarding at high tide. Amanda took her board out and paddled through the mangroves.
4. Have fun on the water
Hire a kayak, tinnie, BBQ boat, or aquaboat from Coochie Boat and Bike Hire and have some fun on the water!
5. Get Wet!
Get your togs on (or cozzie’s if your from the south and visiting) this is the best place to swim at high tide for the kids- there’s no surf, so the water’s calm.
6. gorge yourself (1)


What’s to eat on Coochiemudlo island?

Given this is not a built-up island with a massive tourism focus most holidaymakers bring their own food and cook in their accommodation, We found a mulberry tree and gorged ourselves. If you’re more civilised you might like to try dining at Red Rock Cafe, or enjoy licking an ice-cream on the beach from the kiosk.

7. relax
Relax and read a book while the kids play at the park, or even better, join this vibrant community of artists, photographers and writers, and take a retreat and write your own book here!
8. Get your camera out
Get your camera out, on Coochiemudlo island there’s tranquility, rugged beauty and an abundance of wildlife! Bring a waterproof camera if you like exploring the mangroves at low tide.
9. Play Golf
Yep, you’re right, that’s definitely not a photo of a golf ball. But the kids didn’t want to get off their bikes and hike down to the course, so you’ll have to imagine it is. Betcha didn’t think there was a golf course on Coochie!
10. exfoliate
Get more than dirty in the mangroves- have a professional give you a real exfoliation, massage or beauty treatment.

Our verdict:

This is good old fashioned fun at its best! Time out in nature, where wildlife is at your doorstep and there’s no pressure to fill your time with expensive activities and a never ending list of restaurants. This island is about spending time with and actually talking to your holiday companions, and doing the simple things that you used to enjoy before we came obsessed with bucket lists, and instagramming our every meal.

You can stay in Brisbane and travel to Coochie as a day trip or stay on the island.
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