Southern Moreton Bay Islands

The Southern Moreton Bay Islands are so beautiful. I have just returned from the Whitsundays and I was stunned to see that they were similar to the magnificent scenery here on our Southern Moreton Bay Islands.

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The Southern Moreton Bay Islands, also known as the Bay Islands, the RKLM, and abbreviated as the SMBI, are the four inhabited southern Moreton Bay islands located in South East QueenslandAustralia. The group is part of the Redland City

I left Russell Island on the free Inter-Island Ferry  if you only travel between the Islands. You pay a fare if you go to and from the Mainland, but inter-island has no fare so Islanders can travel to the different Islands free of cost. There is a shopping centre at Russell Island and Macleay Island.

Lamb Island has a Community Store at the Jetty.  Karragarra Island has a sandy Beach.

Islanders enjoy the beautiful ride on the ferry as it travels inter-island or to the Mainland for shopping or other business. Buses meet the ferry and take you to Brisbane, Logan City and Mount Gravatt. The Bus system links to all travel modes and places, and is convenient, if slow during peak hours. A vehicle ferry takes all vehicles to the islands

Originally subdivided in the early 1970s, a bridge was promised by the then government. This never eventuated and residents are now feeling the pressure of transport to the mainland for some shopping trips, as mainland parking has become very scarce.

The Bay Islands enjoy a quiet, relaxed lifestyle with many retirees, pensioners and more recently, an influx of younger families looking for some safety and security, away from the hustle and bustle of the mainland.

Each Island has its own unique jetty. Only Russell and Macleay have a taxi service, the others rely on own vehicles or simply walking. I lived at the far end of Lamb Island, which was 2 kms from the Jetty, and had to walk when my car was not available. Karragarra is even smaller.

The Islands are trying to develop a tourist trade but this is still developing. There is a motel on Russell Island, and Brb’s on all the Islands where you can either rent a whole house, or simply a room in a private home. One day Redland Bay will realise the jewel they have in their own nest, and develop the Islands more. Until then, the Islands are home to those who have discovered them in some way and fallen in love with the joys of ‘living on an Island’ and calling the Islands, “Home”

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November Sunset Skies Russell Island

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November sunsets have been spectacular. The first weeks have had rains and cloudy skies which make for some colorful and different sunset skies.

When the sky lights up, the whole sky is a mass of color. The sun is setting more westerly this time of the year, and is creating some wonderful skies such as this sunset all taken within a few minutes with the sky constantly changing because of the winds above.

I walked down to the water edge at Ooncooncoon Bay, the Bay of Swans, to take these over the sea sunsets from the banks at the end of streets.

November has been a spectacular time for sunsets, and the Skies have created some wonderful reflections and colors. Every sunset a different scene. Never are there two sunsets the same….Wonderful November

 

Willis Island Queensland

IMG_0005 Willis Island is the only permanently inhabited island in the Coral Sea Islands Territory, an external territory of Australia, located beyond the Great Barrier Reef in the Coral Sea. The island is located some 450 kilometres (280 mi) east of Cairns, Queensland. It is the southernmost of the Willis Islets…

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology has a weather monitoring station on the island.[3] There are usually four weather observers, one of whom is Officer-in-Charge, and one Technical Officer (electronic engineering) living on the island. The Willis Island weather monitoring station was established in 1921 and equipped with a radio transmitter in order to provide a cyclone early warning service for Queensland

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The most common inhabitants are wedge-tailed shearwaterssooty terns and common and black noddies. Their numbers are usually quite high and bird cries continue day and night on the island. Several species of booby migrate through the Island including maskedbrown and red-footed boobies, and also the lesser frigatebirdcrested terns are also seen to migrate, although not as often.[10] Other birds mentioned by John King Davis are the buff-banded rail as a resident, wood sandpiper, and sacred kingfisher and red-tailed tropicbird as occasional visitors

Cruise Ship Pacific Aria

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Seven Day cruise trip from Brisbane to Cairns, with a stop at Hamilton island and an hour at Willes Island where the Weather Station island. The Pool was in the middle between the restaurants on one side, and the gym, Casino, Marque and Dome Bar on the other side. My room was front/starboard and every meal time I had to walk past the pool, which is a better option than the long passage below. The swimming pool was below

I had breakfast at The Waterfront Restaurant, lunch at The Pantry, and dinner at Angelo’s, Waterfront, or once at Dragon Lady, which was always booked out, why I do not know as it was the last choice for me.  Every evening was dress up time with a theme that I followed because I had done the cruises before with P&O….cocktail, black, white, Gatsby and Halloween this trip. The last night was my birthday and that was made special when Angelo’s provided a cake with a candle, and a team, who happily sang ‘Happy Birthday’ while making sure the surrounding tables joined in too.

 

The meals were thus fun. I shared a table with Leonie from Maleny and Lola from the Gold Coast and we enjoyed all the evening fun and got on very well together. Lunch I mostly had alone and linked up with a German Trio..Peter, Gabi and Inge, so that was fun too. Days were casual, I was happy to sit on the Balcony alone, and go on tours every day in Port. Breakfast was always at the Waterfront for me, because I enjoy a formal sit down breakfast complete with juices and Tea and if lucky, a happy waiter. Mostly they were grumpy in the morning, and the maitre D’ would come and apologize.

Meals were very small as you can see above, but as there were 3 courses, that was not an issue. We enjoyed the food and the dining together. Lunch was in The Pantry where there was a selection of different types of food…Mexican, Roast, Sri Lankan, Bakery with filled bread rolls and sandwiches and a Salad Bar. At the two ends there was the drink corner with tea, coffee and water. It was basic and adequate. If you had bought a drinks Card, which I had done for $49, soft drinks were available, and I was able to get the ladies a drink on my card too in the evening. I mostly drank soda with a slice of lime and sometimes, bitters. All food was served at the food bars, so portions were controlled somewhat, but many went back for seconds.

Halloween Night was fun and many came dressed in weird and wonderful costumes. We simply wore black. It was fun laughing with others about what they were wearing. I made the comment that we three were the best looking there..as many were painted with blood, black lips, white faces, and wearing what they thought were ghoulish looks. It was a fun evening. The Marque had a Dance show the evening before with some macabre dance moves with futuristic screaming changing lights and effects that were dramatic and characterized a ghostly cemetery with awakening ghouls perfect  for All Saints Night.

I did enjoy the Jazz quartet that played every evening. I sat there one evening and took these photos… There was music in many areas of the ship. One could party all day and night if one so chose to do this. Mostly people just sat around and watched. They were a very quiet group of cruisers and extremely well behaved. Everybody sat in their couples or small groups of 3 or 4 and just watched.  One lady sitting behind us at the show, was talking loudly, so when Leonie pointed this to to me, I turned around and said, “Shush!!” and to my amazement, she did and never spoke again for the rest of the evening.

Ooncooncoo Bay Russell Island

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Ooncooncoo Bay is the front bay of Russell Island between Lamb Island and Russell Island. Bay road homes look onto Ooncooncoo Bay, which means Bay of Swans.

The ferry travels from Russell island Jetty to lamb Island going over Ooncooncoo Bay.

I have tried to find out about the name, but maybe there were swans in this area as it is a mudflat and has an area where swans could frequent at certain times of the year when they come to the Island.  The lifestyle of the Quandamooka people was nomadic, moving between semi-permanent campsites. They built shelters of various kinds, ranging from simple lean-tos for an overnight stay to more robust huts used at well-frequented campsites The Quandamooka people used several local food sources, including many from the ocean. The collection of these resources was often segregated by gender. Canoes were used to fish in Moreton Bay for Mullet, and to hunt Dugongs and Sea Turtles. They were also used to travel to the mainland to hunt

I would say that the Bay was where the swans came to nest and mate and was named Ooncooncoo, which means, Bay of Swans.

The fishing website has said Ooncooncoo Bay is good for fishing. People who live on the shore do fish from the edge, and when I was taking these photos, fish were jumping out beside that mangrove tree. A neighbor was also swimming in the water