What is it like living on the islands?

What is it like living on the islands?

The Lifestyle on the bay islands is relaxed and casual. Unlike a resort island the SMBI have more of a village feel. There is a strong community with lots of activities and events to be part of, or if you prefer there are plenty of places you can just relax, wet a line, paint a landscape or unwind and enjoy the nature. There are plenty of groups and clubs within the community, meeting regularly at the community halls. Bay Islands Multi sport and recreation association -BIMSARA  (we love acronyms on the SMBI) have many groups and clubs under their umbrella like Bridge & Marjong, Indoor Bowls, Tennis, Yoga, Zumba, Gymnastics and Dance, Soccer, Car Club, Fishing, Boating & Sailing.  New residents are made welcome within social clubs and even a regular newbies coffee morning at local cafes.

Travel between the 4 islands is free on the passenger ferry, which expands our services and social Network greatly. You can find a venue with entertainment like live music/DJ or Kareoke most weekends: Russell Island: Bowls Club, RSL, and Auntie Alices Café.  Macleay Island: Golf Club, Bowls Club, Pub Paradise.

There is a very strong Arts and Crafts community with the Macleay Island art centre-MIAC and RicArts -Russell Island community arts both holding regular exhibitions, pottery shed, quilting and mosaic group.  There are often art workshops held at the galleries. There are a large number of Artists on the islands and some have their own studios that are open to the public, they can be found advertising their open days on the community noticeboards, Facebook groups such as Garage Galleries, Russell Island & Macleay Island chit chat.

Facebook groups are the Islands grape vine, it’s where Lost and Found, community notices, events and Garage sales etc are advertised etc.

Which Island is best?

Each of the 4 Islands have their own “feel” what is paradise for one person is not for another so it’s recommended to visit and see which one suits your needs, however here is a rough guide.

Russell Island & MacLeay are the 2 largest islands with the most facilities and services like Police, Fire & Ambulance supermarkets/doctor/chemist/library/schools/hairdresser/hardware store/vets/petrol station/post office/bowls club/restaurants & cafes/holiday homes & BnB’s public parks & BBQ facilities.

Russell Island the largest Island has more open green space with conservation trails picturesque wetlands and farming blocks. The bird life is simply amazing, with the island a world-recognised sanctuary. The old avocado farm with abundant fruit trees is a beautiful backdrop for the monthly Artisan Markets and ‘The Farm art house & Gallery”. In this green precinct there is also the community gardens and the Sports fields football/soccer/Tennis & Basketball.

Sandy beach at the Southern End of the island has a nice parkland on the beach with BBQ facilities and a children’s playground and Kayak launching facilities, just a short paddle to Nth Stradbroke Island and amazing mangrove forests.

There is also a 5 lane 25-meter public swimming pool near the school and a swimming enclosure at the Jetty. The RSL, & Bowls Club have bistro meals and entertainment most weekends and there are a number of Cafes and takeaway options. Jackson Rd has a Community Centre, Op shop, Museum and hosts monthly flea markets. There is a Recreation Hall at the jetty for community gatherings, events, table tennis club, and the weekly Thursday evening sea view market. The Anglican Parish Church is located next to the IGA complex which includes a hairdresser, chemist, bakery post office Cafe and Kebab shop.

Macleay Island- boasts a social feel. Pub Paradise overlooking the Jetty welcomes you on arrival and hosts regular live music, and the progress hall across the road has regular events and the monthly market on the balcony and green great places to mingle meet and make friends. In this same area there is a shopping area with convenience store, chemist, café, post office and used car lot etc. The community centre has the Lions Club Trash & treasure market on monthly.

The Sailing Club, Bowls Club and Art Gallery are all close together at Sandpiper Beach along the western coast with spectacular sunset vistas over the bay. There is a Golf course with clubhouse bistro & Bar, and a number of cafes and takeaway options. There are 2 more small shopping centres along the 6km central road, one with a petrol station, and small convenience store and variety shops, another with the health food store My Health Aisle which also has practitioner consulting rooms for chiropractor, podiatrist, massage etc, in this complex there is also a hairdresser/beaty and take away.

Macleay has a swimming enclosure at Pat’s park, a skateboard park and Dalpura Beach, located on the western side of the island, is the perfect place to relax on the beach, have a family BBQ or go swimming. There is also a boat ramp for recreational boats. This is the best place to check out our beautiful sunsets!

Karragarra Island has the smallest population with no shops -important to remember if going for day visit or swim, take your packed lunch and water. The Community Garden is the hub of the community, focusing on sustainability, and permaculture. Karragarra has a lovely swimming beach with a swimming enclosure BBQ’s and playground right at the Jetty. Very easy to walk or cycle around this quaint little island.

Lamb Island is Just two kilometres by one kilometre, the island is perfect for those looking to explore by foot or bike. A peaceful place with a fun community. There is a park, swimming enclosure, playground, public tennis court, community garden, dog off-leash area, recreation clubhouse and general store. The Lamb Island Rec Club is the Hub of the island with lots of community activities like trivia night and bistro meals. The small takeaway shop often hosts markets.

Is it isolating living on an Island?

Not at all. There are a lot of services available on the Islands, however the mainland is only a short ferry ride. The Southern Bay Islands are well situated approximately halfway between the Gold Coast and Brisbane with a good bus network to universities and major shopping centres. Many islanders commute to the mainland daily for work.

Within walking distance is the Jetty Coffee Co at the Marina, Jetty Café, The Pelican Café and the Iconic Redland Bay Tavern for meals and regular live entertainment. Across from the Tavern are a number of variety stores, dog groomer, Subway, fish & chips, Pizza, Post office, Op Shop, Newsagency, bakery, and Shopping at Woolworths, and specialty shops, restaurants and take away. There is also a satellite hospital being built at the Marina.

Going Further from Redland Bay Marina.

Busses go to Cleveland; Logan and the City from the Marina check the TransLink website for timetables and connections.

Bay Islands Car share: have a rental car club where residents can hire a car on an hourly basis.  Join today at bayislandscarshare.com.au

0403 378 917

Bay air: Marina to Airport Shuttle service.0422 691 971

SMBI transport (uber style) 0428 115 886, smbitransport.com.au. also has a mainland uber style service for islanders.

Distances from the Marina to popular destinations by Car:

7 minutes to Victoria Point Shopping Centre: K Mart, Coles, Woolworths, Cinemas, Restaurants, Aldi, Bunnings and specialty stores KFC & McDonald’s.

15 minutes to Cleveland 12k: Hospital, Train station, Shops, Clubs, Dept Main Rd, Centrelink, Library, Museum, show grounds, RPAC theatre, Art gallery and Raby Bay Harbour, foreshore and beach. Sunday and twilight Markets.

15 Minutes to Mt Cotton, Large IGA and parklands.

20 minutes to Sirromet Winery. Restaurants and A Day on the Green with regular touring entertainment the likes of Kylie Minogue, Sting & Robbie Williams

20 minutes to Capalaba 18 km. Two large shopping centres, Target, K Mart,Big W, Coles, Woolworths specialty stores and a commercial area for trade services and building materials like Stratco, car sales, furniture, whitegoods, JB HiFi etc.

21 minutes to Westfield Garden City Shopping Centre at Mt Gravatt.  Busway to change on to other buses.

20km Logan Hyperdome shopping centre. Bus interchange.

23 minutes to Loganholme: IKEA, Anaconda, Spotlight, specialty stores

37 minutes to Brisbane Airport

41 minutes to Griffith University

40 minutes to Brisbane CBD.

40 minutes to Dream World, Movie World & Wet n Wild fun parks. Upper Coomera.

56 minutes to Surfers Paradise

1hr 45minutes to Byron Bay


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