Trying to escape the rat race? The answer is a day trip from Brisbane to the sleepy little town of Toorbul Beach near Bribie Island in the Moreton Bay Region. One of the best places to visit in Queensland to enjoy a spot of Pumicestone Passage fishing.
Take a step back in time to discover this picturesque township, a family and fishing bayside refuge. This serene town is located on a quiet stretch of beach alongside the pristine Pumicestone Passage. Being only an hour’s drive from Brisbane, Toorbul is one of the perfect places to visit in Queensland for a day trip away from the city fishing Moreton Bay Marine Park’s quiet waters.
To discover this peaceful Pumicestone Passage getaway, drive north up the Bruce Highway, (63km) and take the Toorbul/Donnybrook turnoff (49 km from Brisbane and a five minute drive north of the Bribie Island/Caboolture turnoff.) Turn right and drive across the bridge over the highway and head east. Pumicestone Road is the only way into Toorbul and will take you past pine forests and contented cattle enjoying their own life in the slow lane. At the 14km point you reach a T-junction where you take another left turn before arriving at the Esplanade, Toorbul.
When you arrive in Toorbul, one of the best kept secret places to visit in Queensland for fishing aficionados, stand for a minute with eyes closed and feel the serenity descend. No humdrum traffic hubbub, sirens, jets roaring overhead, or other annoying suburban sounds.
The only noises are the splash of small waves lapping the beach, calls from the huge variety of resident and migratory sea birds, for which Toorbul is famous, and just maybe the hum of outboard motors as lone fishing devotees and families make their way into the channel to throw a line in for a spot of fishing Moreton Bay waters in the tranquil Pumicestone Passage.
If fishing is your main motive for your Toorbul visit, a boat isn’t vital for success. On a daily basis folks throw their line in from the boat ramp and take home a decent catch of flathead and whiting during high tide. Bream and Tailor also swim the channel between Toorbul and Bribie but a small boat is your best bet for this catch and remember bait is plentiful along the water’s edge.
For those not into fishing who would rather find ideal places to visit in Queensland to enjoy some kayaking then Toorbul is yet again, another perfect spot for enjoying such water sporting activities. Load your kayak (or canoe) onto the roof racks and launch into Moreton Bay Marine Park from the Toorbul boat ramp.
A paddle along to the small beachside village of Donnybrook and Little Goat Island in the tranquil waters of Pumicestone Passage is inviting, but the satisfaction of pulling in a feed of fish with a hand line and showing off your skills to the family on your return will win you respect!
Now, if a day is all you can spare in this idyllic location, a picnic rug is needed to spread on the shaded grassy foreshore. Fresh air brings large appetites, so when food supplies are exhausted a walk over to the Toorbul Store is a must. Located on Freeman Road the shop is well stocked with everything from coffee, takeaway meals, bait, ice and even a cool beer that can be enjoyed on the verandah overlooking the peaceful channel. Yes – there’s actually a ‘Tavern in the Town’!
Back to family activities – pack the buckets and spades, plus bait pump if there’s one lurking in the garage. On any given day you will find children with pumps and buckets on a mission to collect yabbies’ along the shore of Pumicestone Passage. Of course kids have been known to change their mind in mid-air preferring instead to chase the hundreds of illusive soldier crabs at low tide.
When tired of chasing crabs and building sandcastles, there are hours of fun waiting to be had at the playground opposite the Toorbul Store on the parkland adjacent to the beach.
The end of the day heralds the end of escape from the real world. You may find yourself forming possible ideas to morph future visits to the township into a weeklong holiday allowing for a detox from the grind of daily life. Here is where the Toorbul Caravan Park fits the bill to perfection.
Located on The Esplanade one street across from the beach off Pumicestone Passage there are sites for caravans and tents plus cabins and cottages for hire and ample parking areas for boats. A favourite spot in the Park is the barbeque table that has heard many (tall) fishing stories over the years and witnessed hundreds of families playing trivia, charades and other fun activities – resulting in long lasting friendships being formed.
Late afternoon departures from Toorbul Beach offer magnificent and vibrant sunsets reflected in the sparkling waters of Pumicestone Passage best experienced cruising the water. Keep eyes peeled when driving home along the road for the resident wandering kangaroos who believe they are the true owners of this idyllic location.
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The Bribie Island Community Arts Centre is one of Australia’s largest and busiest arts centres, with space for display, retail, workshops and studios, and catering for more than twenty kinds of arts and crafts.