Bribie Island, Queensland

The calm waters of Pumicestone Passage separate the quiet coastal suburb of Golden Beach from the narrow strip of land just offshore that is Bribie Island.

The island hugs the coast from the northern end of Brisbane to Caloundra, creating a barrier between the open ocean of Moreton Bay and Pumicestone Passage. The southern part of the island, up to eight kilometres wide, is residential while the northern section ends in a long strip of densely vegetated national park. Until January 2022, the island was 34 kilometres long, with its narrow tip reaching out towards the headland at Bulcock Beach. It used to look like this.

On 2nd January, 2022 a king tide combined with wild waters whipped up by Cyclone Seth caused the ocean to break through the northern part of the island, creating a new island just two kilometres long. At first the breach was only a couple of metres across but constant erosion has widened the gap to around 300 metres.

At low tide, there is enough exposed sand to walk across to Bribie Island. Just make sure you head back before the tide turns. The ocean takes full advantage of its new course, rushing into Pumicestone Passage with a dangerous force never before seen along this part of the waterway.

20 thoughts on “Breached!

    • There are no homes at the northern end, Jo. The island is only a couple of metres wide where this happened and it’s all national park. If you look on the map, you can see the residential areas right on the southern end where it’s very wide and stable. Where the breach is the currents are very dangerous though and boats are advised not to go anywhere near.

      Liked by 1 person

    • We have friends who live there, right on the water. Their main concern is how the increased movement of the water will affect the seagrass in the passage, which dugongs feed on. I wonder if the change in tidal movements will change the spit up at Bulcock Beach too. Thanks for sharing my post, Rose.


  1. Pingback: Breached! — The Eternal Traveller – Queensland Stories

    • I guess that’s nature at work. Bribie is a sand island so it’s constantly moving and this part was just too narrow to resist. Our friends who live there think if it had been barricaded when it first happened and was just a metre or so across it may have been stopped. But Seth was pretty powerful.

      Liked by 1 person

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