Redland Bay, Queensland 🇦🇺
It’s Friday, and Brisbane steams under blue skies and 29c. Queensland has now banned all interstate border crossings. This is the last week of school until after Easter although nearly all children are now at home, social distancing, except for the children of key workers.
Cabin fever is in the air. But 30 min east by car lies salvation. The tranquil waters of Moreton Bay lap the mangrove forests and the muddy beaches of Redland Bay, one of Brisbane’s outer suburbs.
The rich red soil of this area was once home to thick rainforest and later farmland where sugar cane, pineapple and citrus were grown. The suburb was also home, from the 50s to the 70s, to a flying boat station operated by Qantas that was part of the international service between Sydney and London. For a time Redland Bay was THE international airport for Queensland.
Across the bay further to the east are Stradbroke and Moreton, the two large islands that defend these quiet bayside suburbs from the full force of the south Pacific Ocean. In between are dotted smaller islands with tiny communities that survive on tank (rainwater) water, a ferry service and jungle-strength mosquito repellent. But here on the coast, amongst the mangroves, it’s peaceful, with water lapping gently against the rocks, mangroves the mudflats. A cooling breeze blows lightly across the water.
Many of the bayside suburbs offer walking trails along the waterfront and Redland Bay is no different. Today my nephew Brendan and I try a new tactic. Divide and Conquer. I take two of the tribe for an out-and-back 4km walk along the coastal path to the ferry terminal that connects the many Island communities to the mainland. Brendan goes fishing. Although for two of the group staying with him, just playing in the mud and looking for hermit crabs proves much more fun than casting a rod.
As we return to the car, earlier grumbles about going out for a walk have melted away. And, at the end of the day, we get in some fresh air, a short walk, and a chance to go barefoot in the mud. Although the latter also means several nicks and cuts from rocks and shells hidden deep in the mud – with one cut that requires first aid, soothing words and promise of ice cream.
But we also catch a fish – a flathead, that gets served up with garlic and herbs for dinner. For me, this afternoon was a chance to grab some much-needed exercise, spend time with the minions away from electronics, and revisit a lovely part of Brisbane. For Brendan it was fishing, catching a sizeable fish and then cooking it for dinner.
Exercise, family bonding and stress relief (to be honest, I also enjoyed squelching through the mud). And, Bren got to feed the family free of charge. Although it did cost me a few ice creams! Not a bad day out.