Boasting Brisbane’s closest child-friendly beaches, amazing seafood, and a cosmopolitan cultural scene, the Redcliffe Peninsula is fast becoming the ideal getaway destination for families, foodies and festival lovers.
While accessing Redcliffe’s beaches in the early 1900s meant hopping on a steamer and heading down the Brisbane River, today the Peninsula is just a 30-minute drive north from the Brisbane CBD.
Here are ten top things to do in Redcliffe.
There are plenty of great beaches to choose from on the Redcliffe Peninsula. Scarborough Beach is the Peninsula’s northernmost option — and due to the sheltering islands in Moreton Bay, this beach is perfect for swimming. Suttons Beach and Margate Beach — the largest on the Peninsula at 2km long, are also ideal for taking a relaxed dip. While not suitable for swimming, Redcliffe Beach is home to the historic Redcliffe Jetty and plenty of cafes and restaurants along the waterfront.
The fabulous Settlement Cove Lagoon at the base of the Redcliffe cliffs, offers an alternative to beach swimming. It’s perfect for everyone — with shallow play areas for the littlies and deeper areas for competent swimmers — all surrounded by rocky banks, sandy bays and swaying palm trees. When everyone has worked up an appetite, there are ice cream and hot food kiosks onsite.
In the late 1950s the Gibb brothers played their first gig at the Redcliffe Speedway and signed their first music contract on the kitchen table of their Redcliffe home — naming themselves the Bee Gees. Their first airplay was on Brisbane’s 4BH radio station and the Bee Gees’ roots in Redcliffe are celebrated in a laneway dedicated to the group. Freely accessible to the public, Bee Gees Way is open day and night. The multimedia tribute features life-size statues of the boys as they were back then (barefoot!), and a 5.3sqm video screen playing exclusive interviews and home movie footage. Check out the light show at night, which is set to the group’s hits.
The Redcliffe Jetty Markets are held along the Redcliffe beachfront every Sunday from 8am, and you can pick up fresh produce, handmade products, jewellery, clothing and that unique gift that you probably won’t find anywhere else. Recently expanded, the markets now feature food trucks, live entertainment and demonstration areas. For more handmade wares, the Handmade Redcliffe pop-up market is held at various times throughout the year.
Redcliffe2Moreton Express offers a 40-minute scenic ferry transfer from Redcliffe to picturesque Moreton Island. Spend the day snorkelling around the Bulwer Wrecks, bushwalking or simply relaxing on the beach with a picnic. If it’s whales, turtles, dolphins and dugongs you’re hankering to see, book a whale-watching cruise with Brisbane Whale Watching. Cruises operate between June and November.
Held on Good Friday each year, Redcliffe Festival of Sails is held on Suttons Beach, and coincides with the Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race. You can’t get better waterfront views of the race action. On top of that, a sky-diving bunny lands on the beach every year to deliver Easter eggs (always managing to miss the hundreds of market stalls that line the foreshore).
In August you can check out the Redcliffe KiteFest, where kites of all shapes and sizes fill the sky with aerobatic colour. The festival attracts expert kite flyers from around the world, and you’re very welcome to bring along your own kite and join in the high-flying fun.
Grab yourself a guide from the Redcliffe Visitor Information Centre and set off on possibly the most picturesque historic walk you’ll ever take. Named Red Cliff Point in 1824, the Redcliffe Peninsula was the site of the region’s original penal colony — which was established to take Sydney’s incorrigible convicts. The settlement was moved up the Brisbane River due to a lack of drinking water. The Convict Trail walk will take you to sites such as the prisoner’s barracks, the Commandant’s house and the whipping post. Next, follow the Esplanade Walk to see where Australia’s first Luna Park once stood, along with historic highlights such as The Ambassador Hotel.
For a dash of local, national and even international culture, head to the Redcliffe Cultural Centre to see ballet, opera, jazz, musicals, movies and more. Check their website to see what’s on during your visit.
You can’t visit the Peninsula without sampling some of the best seafood in Queensland. Situated right on the Scarborough Boat Harbour, Morgans Seafood offers visitors everything from basic fish and chips to sushi and oysters. Choose from the huge range of fresh seafood and whip up your own seafood barbie at one of the surrounding beaches.
Hire a bike and take on the Moreton Bay Cycleway (22km return trip). Start near Scarborough Beach and enjoy the fresh sea breezes as you cycle along the Peninsula’s foreshore to the Ted Smout Memorial Bridge in Clontarf. Take a breather at Scotts Point Beach in Woody Point to check out the HMQS Gayundah shipwreck. At picturesque Woody Point Jetty, local fishermen will be happy to chat about the day’s catch.
Do you have any suggestions to add to our list of ten top things to do in Redcliffe? We would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below.
Additional images: Shutterstock/Bigstock
Marianne Diaz is a research scientist by day and a freelance travel writer by night! She has travelled to Sri Lanka to explore her children’s part-heritage, and enjoyed research trips to Japan, and Bloomington, Chicago and Boston in the USA. Marianne’s main travel goal is to get to the Italian Aeolian Islands to check out the other half of her children’s background. She also loves exploring history-laden Australian country towns.