Macleay Island

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Macleay Island
Bay Islands.jpg
Macleay Island is one of several inhabited islands in Moreton Bay.
Coordinates27°36′38″S 153°21′19″E / 27.6105°S 153.3552°E / -27.6105; 153.3552Coordinates: 27°36′38″S 153°21′19″E / 27.6105°S 153.3552°E / -27.6105; 153.3552
Population2,681 (2016 census)[1]
 • Density154.1/km2 (399.1/sq mi)
Area17.4 km2 (6.7 sq mi)
Council seatRedland City
RegionSouth East Queensland
State electorate(s)Redlands
Federal Division(s)Bowman
LGAs around Macleay Island:
Moreton Bay Moreton Bay Moreton Bay
Moreton Bay Macleay Island Moreton Bay
Moreton Bay Karragarra Island Lamb Island

Macleay Island is an island in Moreton Bay, South East Queensland, Australia.[2] The island constitutes a town and locality within the City of Redland.[3][4] In the 2016 census, Macleay Island had a population of 2681 people.[1]


Macleay Island is the fourth largest island in Moreton Bay after North Stradbroke Island, Moreton Island and Russell Island; it is 6.5 km long and 4 km wide at its widest point. Perulpa Island is a small island attached to Macleay Island by a causeway.[5]


For some time in the 1800s the island was called Tim Shea's Island after a convict who lived on the island for more than a decade.[6] The current name was given by surveyor James Warner who named the island after Alexander Macleay who was the Colonial Secretary of New South Wales from 1825 to 1837.[6] The island has a rich history of the Aboriginal/indigenous peoples presence with middens and stone fish traps still found on the island.

A map advertising land for sale by John Cameron auctioneer, in central Macleay, Macleay Island consisted of 308 marine villa sites each of 1/4 acre and upwards to be held on the ground on Friday 10 December 1886.[7] The land on offer bordered Kalara Street to the north, Kate Street to the east and Karrawarra Street to the south. The advertisement offered a free trip by steamer and free luncheon to attendees with terms 1/4 cash balance by promissory note at 3,6,9,12 and 15 months with 8% added.[8]

Macleay Island State School opened on 28 January 1986.[9]

Heritage listings[edit]

Macleay Island has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:


The island's natural environment includes littoral rainforest, rocky shores, sandy beaches, mangrove areas and vistas to the mainland, over to North Stradbroke Island and up to Moreton Island. There's a large variety of birds including migratory birds which visit yearly. There is a large bush stone curlew population on the island.[12]


The island as a part of the southern Bay Islands can be accessed by passenger or vehicular ferry from Redland Bay.[5] With the growing population, many residents commute to the mainland for work daily. Translink GoCards are used on the fast ferry service to Redland Bay, with bus links from the ferry terminal. Travel time from Redland Bay is 18 minutes, this includes a short stop along the way at Karragarra Island. The Ferry Terminal and foreshore was upgraded in 2015 by Redland City Council, providing a recreational boat ramp and parking.[citation needed]


Macleay has a range of shops including cafes, pizza, hot bread, restaurants and supermarkets.[citation needed] There's also a dentist, doctor, chemist, and vet as well as the islands emergency services. The large Community Centre and Hall is used by local groups. A Progress Association runs the island's library.[citation needed]

During the 2006 state election, the Queensland Government prioritised construction of a single-officer police station for on the island it was needed with the increasing population.[13] The station started operation in June, 2008 and now has two rotating officers.


Macleay Island has sandy beaches and mangrove foreshores. These are spots for fishing, swimming, sailing, picnicking and barbecues. A launch spot is the Dalpura Ramp towards the north of the island. Pat's Park at the northern end of the island allows for swimming, BBQs, picnics and has children's play equipment. The Anzac day services are held at the Cenotaph located there. The island has a skate park for the younger generation, which opened in 2014.

Other recreational facilities include boat, bowling and golfing clubs. The Heritage Trail is marked by signage for users. Macleay is also home to a community of artists, and the Arts Centre is used by painters, potters, sculptors, plus other crafts.[citation needed] Bird watching is a common activity.[citation needed] There are also various classes available in martial arts, tai chi and yoga. Dragon-boating has recently[when?] commenced from the boat club on Sundays.


In 2007, after a short segment on the Nine television network's nationally broadcast A Current Affair based on the comments made by real estate watcher John Edwards of Residex said that Macleay Island was a "boom suburb" and worth watching by first home buyers. All the SMBI Islands received a considerable amount of interest from buyers.[14]

A surge in building followed which forced the Redland City Council to do a review of the official census figures. It estimated 2,319 permanent residents on Macleay in 2008. However, with a count of 1,479 dwellings, the peak number of people on the islands during holidays and weekends the total population is thought to have been 3,254.[15]


The permanent population was 1,958 in the 2006 Census. However, the population includes a high number of owners who visit the island at weekends. Nearly a third of the 1,259 dwellings were listed as unoccupied at the time of the Tuesday night census.[16]

In the 2011 census, Macleay Island recorded a population of 2,572 people, 49.9% female and 50.1% male. The median age of the Macleay Island population was 52 years, 15 years above the national median of 37. 68.3% of people living in Macleay Island were born in Australia. The other top responses for country of birth were England 7.1%, New Zealand 6.7%, Germany 1.4%, Scotland 1.2%, Netherlands 0.6%. 87.9% of people spoke only English at home; the next most common languages were 1.2% German, 0.3% Italian, 0.2% French, 0.2% Auslan, 0.2% Greek.[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Macleay Island (SSC)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 20 October 2018. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ "Macleay Island – island (entry 20488)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 12 November 2016.
  3. ^ "Macleay Island – town (entry 20489)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 12 November 2016.
  4. ^ "Macleay Island – locality (entry 43644)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 12 November 2016.
  5. ^ a b "Macleay Island". Tourism Queensland. Archived from the original on 29 March 2011. Retrieved 9 May 2011.
  6. ^ a b Horton, Helen (1983). Islands of Moreton Bay. Spring Hill, Queensland: Boolarong Publications. p. 86. ISBN 0-908175-67-1.
  7. ^ "Advertising". Telegraph (Brisbane, Qld. : 1872 - 1947). 8 December 1886. p. 8. Archived from the original on 5 September 2020. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
  8. ^ "Plan of central Macleay, Macleay Island". Archived from the original on 5 September 2020. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
  9. ^ "Opening and closing dates of Queensland Schools". Queensland Government. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  10. ^ a b c d "Schedule 4 - Heritage Places Register" (PDF). Redland City Council. March 2006. p. 4. Archived (PDF) from the original on 5 September 2020. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  11. ^ "Industrial Ruins, south end of Macleay Island (entry 601062)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 12 July 2013.
  12. ^ "Bird Watching". Visit Moreton Island. 2017. Archived from the original on 2 February 2018. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  13. ^ Hoons run amok on bay island Archived 5 September 2020 at the Wayback Machine. The Courier Mail. 5 August 2007. Retrieved 28 December 2007.
  14. ^ (13 November 2007). Boom suburbs Archived 2011-07-15 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ SMBI Population and Dwelling Profile Archived 2009-10-01 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Macleay Island (Redland Shire) (State Suburb)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 28 February 2008.
  17. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Macleay Island (State Suburb)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 17 February 2017. Edit this at Wikidata

External links[edit]