Looking for a beach within 2 hours of Brisbane where you can drive on the sand, swim, camp and fish? Located roughly 70 kilometres north of Brisbane city, Bribie Island offers all of this and more.
When considering where to hold our second Ladies Day meet-up drive, we needed a location that catered for a wide range of driver skills. We didn’t want the experienced drivers to get bored, but we also needed somewhere that suited beginners. A beach was a bonus in the amazing summer weather we’ve had lately! Bribie Island fitted the bill perfectly.
About Bribie Island
The drive from Brisbane to Bribie Island will take you between 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on where you’re setting out from. Unlike Stradbroke and Moreton Islands, there’s no expensive ferry crossings to get there – a bridge connects Bribie Island to the mainland. It is, however, mostly National Park. Also, vehicle access permits are required to drive on the beach. At under $50 for a 7-day vehicle pass, and camping at only $6.35/night per person, it’s still an affordable option for a short get-away so close to the city.
The Ocean Beach drive heads north from Woorim up to Fort Bribie, and is accessed off North Street. The full length of this drive is roughly 25 kilometres. There’s a 50km/hr speed limit along most of the beach, however this is reduced to 30km/hr in the camping and recreation areas. You can choose to return back along the beach, or trek down the inland track to White Patch.
The old WWII forts and bunkers dotted along the beach provide a unique point of difference to other 4WD-friendly beaches in South East Queensland. You can read more about Fort Bribie and the history of these bunkers on the Visit Moreton Bay Region website.
If you’re keen to camp, you’ll be pleased to know the camping facilities are impressive for a National Park. The Ocean Beach campsite offers toilets, cold showers, and marked campsites with fire rings. Additionally, if you’re looking for somewhere to swim, the various lagoons provide a nice alternative to the ocean.
The Ladies Day Meet-Up Drive
We had a total of 6 cars come along for the drive. As James and I hadn’t been to Bribie before – we relied on information from books and online when organising the day – we were grateful to have a couple drivers with extensive local knowledge join us.
We headed off from Woorim mid-morning, aired down and ready to hit the beach. For those who haven’t ventured onto sand before, airing down is essential for this type of driving. Airing down increases the footprint of your tyre, helping you glide on top of the sand rather than digging in and getting bogged. We chose to run the narrow tyres on the Jimny at 18PSI (hot) and had no issues.
The beach access can get a bit chopped up and rough due to the softer sand and high use at this time of year. None of us had any issues getting onto the beach. There was a bit of traffic around, but comparably less than you’d encounter at Double Island Point further up the coast. Our run north up the beach was all smooth sailing, with the beach nice and firm after the high tide earlier that morning.
We stopped for lunch towards the northern end of the beach, near Fort Bribie. Our run south in the afternoon was a little rougher as the incoming tide forced the traffic higher on the beach, into the softer sand. A swim at 2nd Lagoon (Norfolk Creek) was a perfect way to break up the afternoon’s drive. Don’t let the murky brown water put you off! While the lagoon isn’t particularly deep, it is cool and very refreshing on a hot summer day.
What we liked about Bribie Island
Who knew that you’d find such a great spot to enjoy the outdoors so close to Brisbane? Despite having lived in the city as long as we have, we had no idea so much was on offer at Bribie!
Bribie Island is a perfect spot for a weekend escape. With no need to waste most of your day travelling, you can be on the beach with a cool drink, having a fish and soaking up the sun by mid-morning. What more could you want?
Bribie is also very family-friendly. If you plan to come here regularly, the yearly vehicle pass and affordable camping fees make it quite cost-effective. The shallow water at 2nd lagoon makes it a great spot for kids to swim and explore. And the old forts would surely get their imaginations running wild! However, it is important to ensure kids are aware that the beach here is like a road anywhere else.
Finally, we loved that Bribie Island offers the best of both worlds. While you can spend your day exploring what the National Park has to offer, you also have the convenience of the towns like Woorim and Bongaree close by. Why not take a lazy night off cooking and head to one of the fish and chip shops for dinner? Bongaree is also a nice spot to enjoy the sunset looking across the bay to the mainland.
While we certainly aren’t videographers, we put together a short video from the day which shows some snippets of what’s on offer at Bribie Island.
Interested in our next Ladies Day Meet-Up Drive?
As Trinity was keen to get some experience driving off-road – and wanted to meet other ladies interested in doing the same – these Ladies Days were born. Our Ladies Day meet-up drives are informal, family-friendly days where anyone is welcome. You don’t have to be female or a beginner to come along! They’re not an official event, just a casual meet-up. A chance to have some fun off-road and outdoors. You might be interested in reading about our last Ladies Day where we drove the Condamine River Road.
We hope to organise these meet-up days every few months in locations across South East Queensland and Northern New South Wales. If you’re keen to join us on future Ladies Day meet-up drives, drop us a comment below or send us an email. We’d love to have you join us!