Southern Moreton Bay

Southern Moreton Bay is a beautiful region stretching south from Port of Brisbane, taking in Cleveland Point and Wellington Point down the coast to Victoria Point.

Moreton Bay itself stretches from Bribie Island in the north to the Southern Bay islands. It's only 25 km, which is about 15 miles from the Brisbane CBD which makes it very much Brisbane's coast.

Southern Moreton Bay, Cleveland lighthouse

Moreton Bay is where folks from Brisbane go diving. This is because with the islands, reefs and the HMAS Brisbane wreck, there's a lot to see underwater.

Two places of particular interest on land for visitors are the Cleveland heritage area and the Redlands Indigiscape centre near Capalaba. Both  are in the southern Moreton Bay region.

Captain Cook was from the Cleveland area of Yorkshire and Cleveland it's said, is named  in honor of the Duke of Cleveland.

The bay it stands on is called Raby Bay. It is said that it was named after the duke's principal seat of Raby Castle. Alternatively, it may have been named after the Secretary of State of the day.

I prefer dukes to politicians so I'm going with the more romantic explanation.

Cleveland Point and the lighthouse, look into Raby Bay and out to Peel Island and North Stradbroke Island.

If you checkout the history of Brisbane, you'll find that it was originally built in 1864.

This was when Cleveland, as well as Redcliffe to the north, were vying with Brisbane to be the future principal city of southern Queensland.

For those looking to continue their tour out into southern Moreton Bay, a ferry takes people and vehicles from the foot of Emmett Drive off Middle Street in Cleveland to Bingle Street in Dunwich on Stradbroke Island. 

Southern Moreton Bay, Raby Bay and Cleveland

© Bert Knottenbeld | Flickr - Moreton Bay Shores

Southern Moreton Bay, cormorant

Cleveland is part of Redland City, a name which owes its origins to the rich red soil volcanic soil, that is perfect for farming.

This is similar to Redcliffe, to the north of Brisbane, that was also named for its soil color.

The Ormiston and Cleveland heritage trail starts at Ormiston. It follows a winding route around Raby Bay past Cleveland Harbour and out to Cleveland Point.

This area has a number of heritage trails for visitors to experience this older part of Queensland's history. All the trails can be walked or driven, as they are on, or accessible by public roads for the most part.

The Grandview hotel was built in 1849, and its claimed to be the oldest licensed hotel in Queensland. 

It stands on North Street in Cleveland. Not too far away, along the same street, is another heritage building, the Lighthouse restaurant.

It serves seafood, as you'd expect, and all the usual favourites for those who don't like seafood.

The Old Courthouse restaurant on Paxton Street, Cleveland is also from the same time period.

The Old Schoolhouse, also from that period, is now an art gallery on Shore Street North.

It provides a showcase for the many talented artists in the local Redlands area. Redlands Indigiscape Centre in southern Moreton Bay has long been a haven for Koalas, though it's growing less so, as the staff will tell you.

This is because the suburbs of Capalapa, with all its local cats and dogs, are pushing right up against the Centre's fences. Sadly koalas don't understand fences, and climb down on the wrong side, and become injured.

Southern Moreton Bay, koala in koala sanctuary
Southern Moreton Bay, Redlands Indigiscape Centre's koalas

Koalas, so the joke goes, can't decide whether to eat or sleep, the only two things they are able to do. The two koalas we saw on our visit suggest the stereotype is pretty accurate. One was eating and the other sleeping.

Indigiscapes also has a number of different 'gardens', with plants from different Australian regions. For more gardens visit our page devoted to the City Botanical Gardens.

One of the aims of the gardens is to encourage Australian visitors to go home and plant local plants in their own gardens. This is a valuable way to aid the environment.

Southern Moreton Bay, butterfly

They are better than the imports from other parts of the world, which need more precious water and feeding than the local ones do.

And if you plant the right trees you can encourage butterflies to live in your garden.

The Center has a restaurant and cafe called the Tea Garden, which does nicely prepared healthy style food, such as wraps and salads... with an Australian flavor.

If you've enjoyed these koala pictures, you may want to visit our page about the Lone Pine Kola Sanctuary. Another attraction in the area, though more in North Moreton Bay, is whale and dolphin watching.

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