The Tides are Turning (Again)

Bribie Island CircumnavigationIn mid-2015 a group of us took on the challenge of paddling 82km from the mouth of the Brisbane River up to Colleges Crossing.  A trip report can be found here.  To keep the tradition alive, we are set to tackle another long paddle mission this year: a circumnavigation of Bribie Island.  The idea of this trip has been on the cards for a while now and the plans have fallen into place.  All are welcome to join us, you just need to be self sufficient – shoot me an email at if you want to opt in.  There is also the option of just doing one of the two sections as a point to point paddle.

Total distance is approximately 79km.  As it is a round trip there should be no hassles with car shuttles.  Paddle in an anticlockwise direction.

Timing of the trip has been selected so as to not clash with any major adventure races or rogaines.  It will also be a great time of year weather wise for a paddle like this.  The trip is also set for 4 weeks before XPD to make the most of the training benefit for people doing this race. A bit of work has gone into selecting the timings to make the best of the tides.


Link to the route can be found here.


Saturday 8 October, 2016.


Section 1 – Ocean side. Bellara to Caloundra– 43km

  • Start at the beach near the corner of Bibimulya St and Marine Parade on Bribie.
  • Two start waves:  5:30am departure for boats paddling at 6-7km/hr (eg CTR doubles or slow plastic boats) – should have a slow following tide for the first 6km down the passage.  6:15am departure for boats paddling at 8-10km/hr (eg Ocean skis, Mirages, good ocean kayaks, etc) – will be departing at slack low tide.
  • Low tide at Bongaree is 7:21am.  Low tide at Woorim is 06:47am.
  • Fingers crossed for a predominant southerly swell for a down wind paddle north along the ocean side of Bribie Island.
  • Beach once or twice for an optional short stretch and food break.  Perhaps visit Mermaid Lagoon 20km in and/or a Fort Bribie WW2 ruin 36km into the paddle!  A convenient map for stop off point suggestions can be found here.
  • All boats to paddle this section in pairs or small groups, but everyone must be self supported.
  • Regather on the protected side of Bulcock Beach at Caloundra for lunch.  There are cafes on the opposite side of the road for those looking for take away or wishing to meet the family for lunch.
  • People just paddling the ocean side can finish here, but will need to arrange a car shuttle.
  • Note that there are limited bail out options for those paddling on the ocean side, although there is beach access for 4WDs with a permit and there are a couple of spots where 2WD cars can access the beach for pick ups.  A couple of bail out options include making your way back to Woorim Beach at the 12km mark of the paddle and trekking back to get a car, or to portage across the Northern Access Track to get into the passage and continue either north or south from here (this track can be found between the 32km and 54km marker of the gmaps link).
  • Caution paddling through the bar at Caloundra.  You will want to take it wider than I have indicated on the route map so you approach perpendicular to the surf.

Section 2 – Passage side. Caloundra to Bellara– 36km.

  • Restart for all boats from Caloundra at 1:00pm (quicker boats could hold off for 15-30min more).  High tide at Caloundra is 12:53pm.
  • People looking to just paddle the passage could start here at this time, but will need to arrange a car shuttle.
  • High tide time at the turning mid point near Thoolara Island is approximately 3:45pm.  This point is 20km away from Caloundra, so if you hit it close to then, you will have the tide with you all the way down the passage to home (ie an incoming tide behind you for the first 20km of this section and an outgoing tide with you for the last 16km).  High tide will also make it easier picking lines down the channels.
  • Possible break points on this leg include Lighthouse Reach (10km from Caloundra and at the 52.5km mark of the gmaps link) and Mission point (at the 66.5km mark of the gmaps link).
  • Note that sunset is around 5:50pm with last light at around 6:30pm, so it may be worth having a set of lights in your kit.
  • Finish at Bellara.  Everyone grabs fish and chips from the Sylvan Beach Seafood Café and sits by the water for a celebratory beer (family and friends welcome to join us).

Disclaimer: Note that this is not an officially sanctioned QLD Rogaine Association or Rogue Adventure event, and we are not liable for the safety of you or your boat.  It is just an a social training paddle.  Anyone attending is ultimately responsible for their own logistics and safety.

Bribie Island

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