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Nature, culture and history

Natural environment

Minjerribah is a picturesque island featuring spectacular rocky headlands—great for viewing whales—with stunning ocean views and long stretches of white sandy beaches. Photo: Queensland Government.

Minjerribah is a picturesque island featuring spectacular rocky headlands—great for viewing whales—with stunning ocean views and long stretches of white sandy beaches. Photo: Queensland Government.

Minjerribah's wetlands, foreshore swamps and interconnecting land are listed as part of the Moreton Bay Ramsar site. Photo: Queensland Government.

Minjerribah's wetlands, foreshore swamps and interconnecting land are listed as part of the Moreton Bay Ramsar site. Photo: Queensland Government.

The best way to explore the coastal habitats of Minjerribah is on foot. Photo: Queensland Government.

The best way to explore the coastal habitats of Minjerribah is on foot. Photo: Queensland Government.

Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island), the second largest sand island in the world, is a picturesque island, featuring spectacular rocky headlands with stunning ocean views, long stretches of white sandy beaches, freshwater lakes, rolling surf and tranquil bayside waters.

The island has a diversity of habitats including mangroves, wetlands, endangered heathlands, freshwater lakes, rainforests, old growth forests and woodlands. These are home to threatened species including the Cooloola sedgefrog Litoria cooloolensis and black-necked stork Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus, the endangered swift parrot Lathamus discolor and little tern Sternula albifrons, as well as a genetically distinct population of koala Phascolarctus cinereus. In addition, the island’s wetlands, foreshore swamps and interconnecting land are listed as part of the Moreton Bay Ramsar site, acknowledging the rich biodiversity of the area and the role it plays in providing a habitat for vulnerable, endangered and near threatened species.

Minjerribah is surrounded by the waters of Moreton Bay Marine Park, a popular spot for boating, diving, fishing, surfing and tourism. From the island’s rocky headlands, humpback whales, manta rays and marine turtles are regularly seen, while threatened species such as the dugong and grey nurse shark rest and feed in nearby waters.

The ancient topography of the island preserves evidence of climatic changes over thousands of years along with remnants of some of the earliest human habitation in South East Queensland.

Culture and history

Quandamooka dancers share their stories about Minjerribah during the native title determination celebrations on Minjerribah. Photo: Queensland Government.

Quandamooka dancers share their stories about Minjerribah during the native title determination celebrations on Minjerribah. Photo: Queensland Government.

Karboora (deep silent pool) is an area of special cultural significance to the Quandamooka people. Please respect their culture by not swimming in the lake. Photo: Queensland Government.

Karboora (deep silent pool) is an area of special cultural significance to the Quandamooka people. Please respect their culture by not swimming in the lake. Photo: Queensland Government.

Showcasing local Indigenous artwork, the gallery is located on the main street of Dunwich. Photo: Queensland Government.

Showcasing local Indigenous artwork, the gallery is located on the main street of Dunwich. Photo: Queensland Government.

Located in the original and replica Benevolent Asylum buildings the North Stradbroke Island Historical Museum gives and insight into early life on the island. Photo: Queensland Government.

Located in the original and replica Benevolent Asylum buildings the North Stradbroke Island Historical Museum gives and insight into early life on the island. Photo: Queensland Government.

Indigenous culture

Quandamooka people (‘people of the bay’) know North Stradbroke Island as Minjerribah meaning ‘place of many mosquitoes’. Our relationship with the island dates back thousands of years and as such the island is rich in our traditional culture. Archaeological sites show evidence of countless generations of our people using the island and the rich surrounding waters for food, work and recreation. Our connection to the land, sea and country is still as strong today.

Blue Lake is an area of special cultural significance for our people who call the lake Karboora, meaning ‘deep silent pool’. Other places of cultural significance include Eighteen Mile Swamp, midden and bora ring sites and Moongalba (Myora) Mission and springs. Please respect our culture and places—enjoy the experience and leave only footprints.

Temporary Restricted Access Area

Stingaree Island and lands adjacent to Swan Bay

A temporary restricted access area currently covers the southern end of North Stradbroke Island where the national park coincides with the marine park, including Stingaree Island and the lands adjacent to Swan Bay.

The purpose of the proposed restricted access area is to allow for the Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation (QYAC)—the prescribed body corporate for the Quandamooka people—to carry out an audit of the natural and cultural heritage values of the area.

The Quandamooka people will assess the plants, animals, dunes and cultural values of North Stradbroke Island’s southern tip in a study which is anticipated to take at least six months.

Signs have been put in place in the area to let people know about the restricted access, and the area will remain closed until further notice.

Boaties can still enjoy the waters around Stingaree Island, along Duck Creek and Swan Bay as per the existing provisions of the marine park green zone.

Main Beach will remain open for driving and fishing—the closure does not restrict access to any tracks or through-routes.

See the restricted access area notice (PDF, 169K) for a map and further information.

Visit one of the many centres to help reveal the Indigenous and non-Indigenous history of Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island).

North Stradbroke Island Historical Museum
15–17 Welsby Street, Dunwich Qld 4183
Ph (07) 3409 9699
Email
www.stradbrokemuseum.com.au 
Open 10am to 2pm Tuesday to Saturday
Admission fees apply.

North Stradbroke Island Aboriginal and Islander Housing Co-operative Society Ltd
18 Welsby Street, Dunwich Qld 4183
Ph (07) 3409 9340
Email
This centre has a photo gallery and artefacts display.

Minjerribah Moorgumpin Elders in Council
2 Mitchell Crescent, Dunwich Qld 4183
Ph (07) 3409 9723

Salt Water Murris Quandamooka Art Gallery
3 Ballow Road, Dunwich Qld 4183
Ph (07) 3415 2373

European history

European contact with Minjerribah dates back to 1770 when Captain Cook recorded the sighting of a rocky headland, which he named Point Lookout. Flinders Beach and the towns of Dunwich, Amity and Point Lookout are all sites of historical significance.

Last updated
22 October 2018