For 20,000 years the indigenous people of Redlands Bay have travelled across the little stretch of water to collect red ochre dye from the rocks, to use in ceremonies around Moreton Bay .
As you chug across in today’s car ferry you can easily see the deep rusty colour in the cliffs and on the beaches. There are scar trees whose bark was used to make canoes and carry tools all those millennia ago, and middens in several places.
Much later, European settlers have left banana trees, jetties, and rock walls and memorial stones. Coochiemudlo is an island where history can be read at every step. But if that is not your thing, it is also an island with pure and empty white beaches, tall shady trees, a café or too, continuous bird song, and every kind of accommodation, from tents and shacks , to sumptuous holiday homes.
Eight of us rented a spacious airy house on the quiet end of the island, all of 5 minutes from the ferry. We were over the road from the beach for sunbathing, swimming and fishing, and just along from the carefully preserved Melaleuca wetlands. Early in the morning, we watched for koalas, snakes and frogs, while hearing the loud songs from parakeets, cockatoos and kookaburra.
Coochiemudlo is the tiniest of the Moreton Bay Islands- most of which can be visited by boat. Perfect for holidays of sun, sand and sea, and great for more historical explorations, as many were used as convict stations, oystering, farming and timber. Ferries run from Victoria Point and Weinam Creek, Redland Bay.
Ceridwyn Parr articles on Women Travel
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