History of Bribie Island, Queensland

Bribie Island is named after a convict from the Moreton Bay penal colony who became the first European to live on the island. According to the folklore he became an expert at mud crabbing for the officers and was rewarded with his freedom. His name was Bribie and, once freed, he lived on the island for the rest of his life with a local Aboriginal woman.

Prior to European settlement Bribie Island was the home of the Gubbi Gubbi Aboriginal group who used bark canoes, nets for fishing and catching birds and spears for killing the local kangaroos and wallabies. There is also evidence that they used stone traps to catch fish. There is evidence of middens on the coasts of the island. It has been claimed that by 1897 there were no Aborigines left on the island.

The first European to reach with Bribie Island was Matthew Flinders who landed in 1799 to make repairs to his vessel, the Norfolk. At Bribie Flinders saw his first dugong and fired upon some of the Gubbi Gubbi residents on 16 July, 1799. There is evidence that the township of Bongaree was named after Flindersโ€™ Aboriginal companion often written as Bungaree. Flinders did not realise that Bribie was an island and consequently did not find the entrance to the Brisbane River.

The European discovery of the Brisbane River occurred in 1823 when John Oxley landed on the island. He met Thomas Pamphlett, a shipwrecked convict, who showed him the mouth of the Brisbane River.

Although it was close to Brisbane the development of the island was slow. In the late nineteenth century a fish cannery was established but it was abandoned in 1901. A jetty was built in 1912. The first car arrived on the island in 1919. In 1953 the island was finally connected to the mainlandโ€™s electricity.

During World War II Bribie Island was seen as a first line of defence against invasion of Brisbane and consequently Fort Bribie was built. Today it is still possible to see remnants of the gun emplacements on the island.

Bribie Island changed dramatically in 1963 when the Bribie Island bridge from the mainland was completed. This opened the island up to holidaymakers and day trippers.

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No bridge back in 1952! Who remembers crossing the passage in this barge?

Bribie Island History

No bridge back in 1952! Who remembers crossing the passage in this barge?

Bribie Island History
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2 weeks ago

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love love all history on bribe island

Sure do...not as early as 1952 but late 50s early 60s before bridge opened

Who are the drivers in the picture. I crossed as a foot passenger heaps of times

Yep I remember those days great memories have lived here for 35 years

I certainly do, we were only kids .

No I do not remember the barge. I did come to the bridge opening. It was a toll bridge back what it first opened Thank God it isn't now. Can you imagine that now?

YES i rember those days, best days of my life,holidays at bribie every december

My Dad Noel Roberts would would have been driveing the barge back. I was born in 1948 on island with my 8 other siblings loved it.

Certainly do. Coming across for Xmas camping โ›บ๏ธ

Why is it gone? I feel like it could solve so many traffic delays for our current days, it could be like a fun thing for tourists and the bridge would flow, eh! Just thoughts

Beforw my time

I remember crossing over on the barge.Iam 83and we use to come to Bribie for our holidays.I love Bribie and I have been living on Bribie for 30 years

Yes with my family as a kid

Way way before my time

Judy Kling

My great grandmother had a house in North St that she rented to soldiers in the 2nd world war ! We had it as a holiday house as far as I can remember from 1953 when I was born . We came up over on the barge every weekend !! Then over the bridge in 1963 !!! The best memories .... Marilyn Goodwin back in the day .


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Who remembers the Kyogle Flats on South Esplanade?

Who remembers the Kyogle Flats on South Esplanade? ... See MoreSee Less

2 weeks ago

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Those were the days. ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ‘

Sharon Weise-Munce

Need to have another look this building is having a Major reno now it appears to be a family home. There is a large block of units being built across the road. It is the best location for families with little ones as the water is usually quite shallow and calm there

Hi All, My husband & I own the house now and are doing the reno ourselves. Hopefully, it will be completed by 2023. Once done, we will have an 'open house' so everyone can see her.

me like all history on bribe island

Looking back over 70 years. My uncle and aunt lived there when I was a little girl. I always thought they owned the flats as they were known as , but maybe they didn’t. Would love to find out as there is no one in my family still alive who would know.

What year was this add for.

As it is now. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

Kathy Heuston may interest dad.

Debbie Rankin.

Gary Atkinson

Lisa Atkinson

Mel Kennett Graham Kennett

Dave Talbot..

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Look at those land prices! ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

Look at those land prices! ๐Ÿ˜ฒ ... See MoreSee Less

3 weeks ago

Comment on Facebook

My father-in-law Edwin Schrag's first job on Bribie was salesman at Len Healy's Real Estate before buying an old house on cnr of Esplanade/Hall Avenue where Schrag Real Estate started and new flats/shops were built. The building and Real Estate is still there today as First National

Maree Madden. -yes Ken MacKay (Himself) & Schraggs Real Estates we’re legendary, but Len Healy RE was the first established on Bribie

Jessica Dennis Paris Lee Jack Lee James Lee the passage side used to be called the Channel Side ๐Ÿค” Or are we calling it the wrong thing?

Taylor Westhead

They sound cheap by today’s prices but you have to put it in perspective to the wages then. Would still have to have a loan and pay it off.

Dave builder details bottom right ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

Edwin was a real gentleman, Kenny mac

If only now ๐Ÿฅด

Ken Mackay he was on real estate years ago.

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QUIZ: Who knows where this photo from the 60s was taken?

QUIZ: Who knows where this photo from the 60's was taken? ... See MoreSee Less

3 weeks ago

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The ANZ moved next door into the dark brown brick building. Built later

I used to live in the little white house behind there cnr of 1st ave and Banya st only 20 years ago

I can remember when Greg threw Dallas through the window of cool waters after I head-butted him and broke David's jaw fond memories

It’s savages now. I loved the chips and gravy in the bag. Cool waters was the best.

There was also an art shop in there for a while

The antique shop was also a bank and next to that was a Hot Bread Shop that also sold pizza on a Friday night . Yum

The antique shop still has the bank safe it in.

I think this is the complex where the Thai restaurant/florist etc is in.

Good chipsngravy at cool waters..sneak out of school at lunch time for feed

One of the shops was ours in the mid 70s started as a jewellery shopping

yep.first ave

The Ozzie Mozzie was there at one stage too.

First ave bongaree near savages seafood

There also was the Aussie Mossie jewellery store there

First Avenue service road, up the road from LJ Hooker and Savige’s Seafood, the ANZ bank building is beside the spare block on the corner

I remember tnis..First Avenue..thjs was my bank

It was taken from, what is now a car park.

Thats the building that saviges is in now

John Brady - when did the Brady’s have the fruit shop?

Bribie Island.

That’s what I thought

Across from Brennans Park

Carol Williams

Klings Bakery was there in the 50’s

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Who remembers when the RSL looked like this?

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3 weeks ago

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My mum has been a member since before this was built When it was an old tin shed she says lol. Still is a member & we celebrated her 91st birthday at the RSL on Monday โค

Liam Harwood

Sure do.

Family nights on Sundays were the best, hey Amanda Sorensen

Wow that’s old


Just. Wow. Thats mems. Different times when humans lived ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿค—


Shit yeh used to do the Sunday afternoon drinks after the pub had shut at 6.00

I do good times with the family on sunday

Definitely a blast from the past

Sure do.

Yes. Good times back then.

With you randall

Surely do. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Back when the RSL had morals.

I remember the dance floor! Suz N Andy Lavender Marcia Rae

My nephew Michael Smith works there

I do

Gary Broad remember the old rsl

Lyndal Katie ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

Rebecca Moylan ๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

Sure we do!

Sure do.

I grew up with a lot of involvement in that club my father like Fred Lacey were ex service men. I had my wedding reception there back in the early 90s. So many memories. They should have an honour board and a write up of how it came to be and history lesson of founding members.loads of history ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿนโค

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Bribie Island Improvements.

Page 6, The Brisbane Courier. Tuesday 23 April 1912.

Bribie Island Improvements.

Page 6, The Brisbane Courier. Tuesday 23 April 1912.
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3 weeks ago

Who remembers the Squatters Craft Homestead, half way across the island on First Avenue?

Join our Bribie Island History group; https://www.facebook.com/groups/bribieislandhistory

Who remembers the Squatters Craft Homestead, half way across the island on First Avenue?

Join our Bribie Island History group; www.facebook.com/groups/bribieislandhistory
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3 weeks ago

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I remember it well, had some times there including our annual Darts presentation night for Bongaree Bowls Friday night social darts. We had an excellent night.

Yes, we had a lovely meal there before it closed.

Yep used to go there for dinner was lovely sad to c it go like most good things ๐Ÿ˜ž

Enjoyed many meals there.

Great restaurant. Loved going there

Didn't we have dinner there once Sue. It was a restaurant for a short time.? Leanne was there as well I think.

Many a meal shared there and my daughters wedding reception

Our bowling club enjoyed our Christmas break up luncheon in this place !

Worked at squatters for a short while

Was a great restaurant !

I do. I lived in the house behind it.

I remember it well:)

This is where I had my wedding reception.

I think the building timber were use to build house down back of wamuarm

We had Xmas there one year and everything was wonderful.

I do Kerry the kids and l had dinner there when first opened

Yes we went there as a restaurant

Yes remember having a few meals therr

Yes remember it as a restaurant


Mary Taylor where you head chef there

Vanda Curtis

I do. Had a dinner date there. It was a great nostalgic meal

Only drove past again over Xmas and it brought back soooo many great memories of the place as a restaurant. Back in the day we used to bring guests/friends from America and Europe for somewhere different to visit and even they were impressed ! Can't remember the name of the couple who ran it, but at the time she was a nurse or an ex-nurse but not sure what the husband did. We were reminiscing about the home delivered meals as well - had THE BEST chicken kiev with a corn on the cob and assorted veggies. Bring back the old times !!

Loved the billy cart rides! I’ve got this postcard too, but haven’t been able to find any different ones. Whereabouts on First Avenue was it? I’ve driven along there trying to work out where it was ๐Ÿคท‍โ™€๏ธ

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A lot has changed since 1924!

A lot has changed since 1924! ... See MoreSee Less

4 weeks ago

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Great photo I love seeing them and what it was like.

Is that 1st av?

Brent Michels .. wow!

Wow that is interesting Dave

Stephen Kelleher

Heather Ian

Judy Secrett

Luke Miller

Tracey Lee Mischewski

Kate McLucas

Cathy Ferguson Is that you taking a driving lesson ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

Mikey Blackmore

Maree Herd

Minni Mouski

Michelle Savy Natalie Savy


Dylan Staveley

My family was Glanville they had a shop on the ocean side.

Hadn't changed much in the early 50's and 60's. I used to get a bus from Chermside to the barge and then walk across to the ocean side. I might have been 7 or 8.

Wasn't a lot different in the late 50's early 60's when we went there on holidays. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

Possibly my great, great uncle Artie Bestmann, had the first car on Bribe.

Travelled this sandy road in about 1948 , after boating to Bribie from Redcliffe. Forgotten the name of the boat. An open buss took us across.

Would have had a more 'beachy' feeling to it, then it does now.

Wow,what a great photo!

Love love love old Bribie photos.

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