Slipping Sands on Stradbroke Island is a stretch of golden sands that fall down to the waters edge. Its at the top of South Stradbroke near Jumpin’pin Bar. This area is known as Millionaire’s Row as every weekend very expensive craft can be found anchored here. This area is great for fishing, crabbing, swimming and beach walks and has easy access to the wide deserted ocean beach and sand dunes.
GPS: 27° 45′ 14.2″ S / 153° 26′ 15.9″ E
An interesting fact about Jumpinpin is that it was formed by the shipwreck of the Cambus Wallace with its dynamite cargo that was piled up and deliberately detonated on the beach between North and Stradbroke Islands. Northern tip of South Stradbroke Island and entrance to Tipplers Passage.
The majority of the crew on board managed to swim to shore, except for six men that drowned.
The ship never left that spot, she broke up over the next few months, her cargo, which included dynamite, was washed up on the beach.
The explosives were piled up and deliberately detonated, leaving large craters on the ocean side of the island.
The explosions weakened the sand dunes, further narrowing the fragile strip of sand and while not breaking through to create Jumpinpin Bar, there was reportedly a large basin on the ocean beach.
A few years later in 1896 a severe cyclone drove big seas onto the beach and sand dunes, eventually making a small passage into Swan Bay.
Initially the narrow opening was reported as 20 feet wide, however strong tides and further big seas continued to erode the sand increasing the newly created channel, within a few years it was more than a mile across.
After low tide the lagoon slowly fills with water, attracting Pelicans into the bay and sea gulls and is a safe place for swimming and walking the beach searching shells and coral washed ashore.
Jumpinpin channel is an area of swift moving water that is constantly changing with the spit sometimes extending a vast distance out to sea. During a treacherous storm 121 years and a couple of days before our visit, a ship named the Cambus Wallace was wrecked just off the coast of where the channel now lies. Much of the ship’s cargo was washed ashore and while the locals salvaged what they could, mainly whiskey, a large quantity of dynamite that had also washed ashore was left behind. The wet and unstable dynamite was eventually gathered up in a pile and detonated. It is believed that the explosion on the narrow isthmus of sand contributed to the destabilisation of this area. A few years later a storm, which generated big waves that lashed the already narrow band of unstable land turned the 6000-year-old sand island into two sand island that we now call North and South Stradbroke Islands.
Its a great place to visit as you anchor in a safe cove, and then there are stretches of sandy edges to explore, or, walk across to the Surf Beach for a swim in the surf. The cove is excellent for children and safe relaxing. Make sure you are aware of the tides as the change happens quickly and your boat can be stranded in soft sand if you are not careful. Your stay is limited to the tides. Many small boats and jet skis come to the cove for a swim and a picnic, and also to walk their dogs, and then move on.
Any sign of food and a host of seagulls appear, to leave just as quickly when the food disappears. Its a beautiful spot with no shelter, so make sure you are wearing a hat and sunscreen. I was to get painfully sunburnt from the reflecting glare of the sands as I walked the sands, as well as the water reflections from the boat.