Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to the Southern Moreton Bay Islands.

Russell, Lamb, Macleay & Karragarra Island.

(Locally often referred to as SMBI)

4 Residential Islands accessible from the Weinam Creek Marina at Redland Bay.


Download the Bay Islands Guide App for Ferry times, What’s on events calendar and trades and services directory. BIG app in the App store.

 Frequently Asked Questions

 How do I get to the Islands?


  • Vehicle: Redland Bay is a 60-minute drive from the Brisbane CBD; 50-minute drive from Brisbane airport. 60-minute drive from the Gold Coast or 1-hour 10mins from the Gold Coast Airport.
  • Bus: TransLink operates regular mainland bus services to Redland Bay.
  • Train: The closest railway station is Cleveland, which is located at the end of the Cleveland line, buses run between the train station and marina.


  • Passenger ferries:  departs the Weinam Creek Marina, Banana Street in Redland Bay approximately every half hour. A TransLink go card may be used for the passenger ferry, otherwise paper tickets are available to purchase onboard the ferry. A TransLink go card vending machine is located at the ferry terminal. For the most up-to-date timetable information visit the

       TransLink Journey Planner or telephone +61 7 3409 1145.

  • Vehicle ferries: Sealink Bay Islands departs regularly from 1 Weinam Street in Redland Bay; telephone +61 7 3488 5300. Bookings required.


  • Travelling between islands is free, be mindful of the direction ferries are travelling as to not get caught going back to the mainland.
  • Courtesy buses: Check with Island Clubs and accommodation providers for courtesy bus bookings for patrons.
  • Taxi Service: Russell Island & Macleay Island are serviced by Taxi and ride share provider.
  • Bike: Bring your Bike on the commuter ferry and Cycle around the Islands.
  • Walking:  Walking is an easy option for Karragarra Island, The village shops and Cafes’ are within a short walk from the Jetty on Russell, Macleay & Lamb Islands.

Is there accommodation on the Island?

There is a variety of accommodation on each of the islands, rental houses, holiday homes, bed and breakfasts, and motel.

Can I take a caravan or trailer to the islands and is there camping?

Caravan and trailers, which are attached to a vehicle, can travel to the Island. Cost is per meter contact Sealink 3409 1145 to enquire about prices. There is no Caravan park on the Islands and there is currently no waste tank disposal site on the islands.

There is a small camping ground with 2 campsites as Sandy Beach on Russell Island- bookable through the Redland Council. Facilities include a freshwater shower, toilet BBQ’s picnic area and play ground, beach and kayak launching facilities.


Is there Town water, Sewerage, Electricity and Internet?

WATER: The water supply to the Southern Moreton Bay Islands is primarily from North Stradbroke Island, but can also be supplied via the mainland. The water quality from North Stradbroke Island is very high, due the natural filtration of the water through the sand. It is collected from underground aquifers and Herring Lagoon a Perched Lake. After it is treated The Pipeline crosses to Russell Island and branches off to the other islands.

SEWERAGE: The Islands are not sewered and have septic systems. These operate inside your home essentially the same as a regular flushing toilet, there are some restrictions on what chemicals can be used to clean and what can be flushed, like sanitary products, nappies, etc, otherwise it is the same. The wase is collected in a large tank and the treated waste then goes into the evaporation trenches. There are a couple of different designs allowed by the Redlands Council they require planning and approval before installing.

ELECTRICITY: The islands have electricity connected from the grid, across the western boating channel from Russell Island to Rocky Point. Many homes have solar that feeds back into the grid. Some homes have solar and battery backup.

INTERNET: There is high speed NBN service available.

How much are the rates on Russell Island?

On average Approx $450 per quarter for a block of land ($1800 per year) and about $700 for a house ($2800 per year), this can vary across the island and can be more for waterfront blocks. **Approximate prices as of October 2022, see Redlands Council for current pricing)

Can I build on my block?

Nearly all-island blocks are purchased for building either residential or commercial and in some cases semi-commercial. Soil tests will be required and planning applied for through Redland City Council. However, there is very little difference between general procedures on Russell Island and the mainland.


How much does it cost to connect water and electricity to a vacant block?

Water approx $800 and Energex quote approx $285 for connections. With the additional cost for an electrician to carry out works approx $1,000. Electricians and plumbers are located on the islands and available to quote.


How much does it cost to clear a block?

This is dependent on the block of course. The cost will vary according to the number of trees and their size. There are firms located on the island and available to quote.

Emergency Services:

Police Station: There are 4 permanent Police stationed on both Russell & Macleay Island.  We also have a dedicated Police barge that brings over patrol cars or detectives if needed.

Ambulance Service: We have 2 Paramedics and 2 ambulances stationed on Both Russell and Macleay Islands with their own fast water transport moored on Russell Island. In the case of a serious injury, trauma and emergency such as heart attack there are designated rescue helipad assigned at several locations around the islands.

Rural Fire brigades are on all 4 Islands, in fire emergency we have support from the mainland and water bombing aircraft.

SES & Marine rescue service all the bay islands when needed.


There is a Medical centre and Chemist on both Russell and Macleay Island.

There are specialist clinics on the mainland in Victoria Point and Cleveland. There is also a satellite hospital currently being built at the mainland marina. The closest hospital is the Redlands Hospital in Cleveland.

There is a dentist on Macleay Island.

Allied health professionals such as Podiatrist, psychologist and massage therapists visit the islands. There are also Natural practitioners such as herbalist, Bowen therapy, Reiki  and massage working on the islands.

Shopping for groceries:

IGA The largest shopping centre on the islands is at Russell island IGA. It has a good selection of general grocery items vegetables and meat, a deli and bakery, hot chicken and take away meals.

Woolworths deliver most days to the islands, set up an account to order online, it is quite popular so it’s recommended to order a couple of days in advance.

SPAR at Macleay Island is a small convenience store.

Foodworks small convenience store at the service station on Macleay Island.

My Health Aisle Macleay Island stocks a good range of healthy alternative groceries (gluten free, low carb, paleo etc), fresh artisan breads and herbal supplements.

Slice patisserie/Bakery Bread Pies and cakes is located at Russell Island IGA complex and Macleay Island Foodworks complex near the Servicestation.

Fresh Fruit and vegetables Oasis Direct has a pop-up shop at Russell Island at Auntie Alices café on Wednesday & Saturday, and My Heath Aisle at Emerald Isle shopping complex on a Sunday.

Willow and Oak shopping complex Macleay Island has a bakery café and Butcher and pop-up fruit and veg.

Lamb Island has a very small convenience section with basic needs covered at the take away store.

Furniture delivery moving company.

Bay islands transport pick up and deliver furniture and white goods from stores like Harvey Norman and Freedom. They also do home removal work to and from the islands.

What about Midges, Sandflies and Mosquitos?

 Queensland is lucky to have a warm climate, which unfortunately is perfect for insects as well. Like many coastal locations in Queensland, the bay islands have an influx of insects during the summer months. Dusk & Dawn are the worst times. The council has a Mosquito eradication program, with regular spraying, however repellent, coils, and midge screens are a fact of life. The Islands are no worse than other bayside/waterside suburbs. To reduce the annoyance, keep lawns and shrubs short and tidy. Mosquitos do not like wind so a fan on your deck may help. Keep screens closed and mosquito coils burning or bug zappers on decks.

Is there Day care and a school on the island or how do kids get to school?

 Pre school, Day care, Early learning centre: Macleay Island has the Early learning centre, busses run on both Russell Island and Macleay to pick up for this centre.  There is also private home day-care available on the islands

Primary school: Both Russell & Macleay Island have Primary Schools. The Big Blue Bus picks up on main road stops around Russell & Macleay Island and there are dedicated school ferries between Islands.

High school: The closest High school is at Victoria Point. There is a pick up around the Islands on the Big Blue Bus and then a dedicated ferry to the Mainland where dedicated busses take teens to the school.

Some children both Primary and high school prefer to go to other schools such as, Cleveland or private colleges (Kimberly/Calvary/Faith etc) some of which have busses that pick up at the Mainland Marina.

Home schooling /Alternative Education: On the Bay Islands and there is the Alcheringa Island Naturalist school. There are a number Children who home school on the islands with a large network in the Redlands for social and group activities.

There are Music Lessons and art classes available on the islands to learn new skills.


Check Council laws on pet regulations. Restrictions apply for livestock and roosters.

The Islands are classed as mostly residential with a few acreage blocks.

Dogs & Cats:

 Dogs & Cats need to be registered with the Redland city council. The Animal control unit regularly patrols the islands for stray animals.

As a pet owner in the Redlands you are required to comply with the Animal Management (Cats and Dogs) Act 2008 and Council’s Local Law 2 – Animal Management by ensuring you:

  • register your dog or cat at 12 weeks of age
  • microchip your dog or cat before they reach 12 weeks of age (but not before they reach 8 weeks of age)
  • keep no more than 2 dogs or 2 cats on any property. A third dog or cat permit may be considered, however, you will need to apply for a Third Animal Permit [PDF, 0.1MB]
  • keep your dog or cat in your property
  • keep current registration tags attached to your dog’s collar at all times
  • keep your dog’s barking to a minimum
  • walk your dog on a lead, except in designated off-leash areas
  • carry a bag or container and pick up your dog’s droppings when in a public place. On-the-spot fines apply
  • prevent your dog from attacking or frightening people or animals.


Properties less than 500sqm No poultry allowed

Properties between 500sqm and 2000sqm  Up to six hens, ducks or drakes x No geese, turkeys, roosters, ostriches, emus, peacocks or guinea fowl

Properties between 2001sqm and 4000sqm Up to 12 hens, ducks or drakes Geese and turkeys x No roosters, ostriches, emus, peacocks or guinea fowl


Macleay Island:

Bay Islands Veterinary Services (Manly Rd Vet Clinic subsidiary)

Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday and vet nurse only on Saturdays 3409 4962

Emergency person to travel with you to vet hospital if available-

Michael 0407 771 330

Russell Island:

Redlands Vet Clinic has a shop at High St & Bay View Rd Russell Island.                        Tuesday & Thursday. (07) 3207 7325

Loveable Pets  3409 1573 Tracy is a vet nurse, and they have a mobile vet on a Friday.

Emergency number for Bay Islands Pet Emergency Assistance Scheme –                        BIPEAS – 0466 783 515


Russell Island & Macleay have a good selection of eating venues and Lamb has their Rec club

Café’s, Restaurants, Golf Club, RSL, Bowls Club and Take Away. Kebabs Fish & Chips Burgers and Pizza etc.

Russell Island:

Café Auntie Alices, breakfast/lunch daily, dinner Friday & Saturday.

Café Bayview Breakfast & Lunch.

Café Memory Lane Breakfast & Lunch and special events.

Slice Patisserie bakery shop hours

Bistro at RSL, Bistro at Bowls club.

Takeaway: Kebab Express Pizza & Burgers IGA Complex

Macleay Island

Café Blue parrot Café

Café My Health Aisle gourmet coffee.

Café Willow & Oak

Bistro at Bowls Club, Golf club, Pub Paradise.

Take away: fish & Chips/burgers Emerald Isle shopping complex

Lamb Island

Lamb Island Recreation club

Take away


Macleay Church Catholic 24 Scotts Rd.

Russell Island St Peters Anglican Church High st Next to IGA

Bay Islands 7th day Adventist – Recreation Hall Russell Island.

Macleay Community Church: community hall

Russell community church Recreation Hall near the Jetty

Safe Harbour church The Hut community centre Jackson Rd.

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