Myora Springs, Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island)
Myora Springs is one of beautiful North Stradbroke Island’s lesser-known gems, found just a few kilometres out of the Moreton Bay island’s main town. As well as being a picturesque piece of natural beauty, the freshwater springs – known as Capembah Springs by the local Quandamooka people – play an important role as a source of water for the wildlife of the Dunwich area. The surrounding forest and waters are full of freshwater crayfish, prawns, bungwal fern and other plant foods, a testament to the springs’ vitality.
How to get to Myora Springs
First you need to travel across to North Stradbroke Island via car ferry or water taxi. We have a handy guide to getting to North Stradbroke Island that you can find here. The car ferry and both water taxi providers – Stradbroke Ferries and the Stradbroke Flyer – will all drop you off in Dunwich. From there it’s about three kilometres north on the East Coast Road to reach the Myora Conservation Park. If you keep following the road you will either end up at beautiful Point Lookout on the north-east tip, or turn off toward Amity Point on the island’s north-west.
What to do on Stradbroke Island at Myora Springs
Myora Springs, sometimes also referred to as Moongalba (sitting down place), is a place to be explored and enjoyed peacefully. Erosion and vegetation loss, including the particularly valuable mangroves, was becoming a big problem in the early 2010s, before a raised walkway and viewing platform was installed. Take a slow walk through the area, tuning your senses to the sights, sounds and smells of the forest. Enjoy the wildlife and read up on the local area through informative signage. A rare breed of mammal, the false water rat, was thought to be extinct until it was discovered living here in 1978.
History of Myora Springs and Minjerribah
North Stradbroke Island, known as Minjerribah by its custodial owners, has a rich history stretching back at least 25,000 years of inhabitation by the Quandamooka people. With its fresh water and teeming wildlife it is no surprise to learn Myora Springs was a favoured camping place of the local people. The banks feature parts of large middens, which contain, among other things, cockle, oyster and whelk shells. Tourism is forming a more and more important role on North Stradbroke island as it moves away from decades of sand mining, stretching back to 1949. Quandamooka elders have played an integral role in trying to create attractive and sustainable tourism options to help replace the old sand mining jobs, which were due to come to a close by 2019. Oyster farming has also been key since European arrival.
Well-known former residents
Award-winning Australian poet and author Oodgeroo Noonuccal hailed from the nearby area and drew on it in children’s books such as Stradbroke Dreaming. In 1964, her work We Are Going became the first poetry publication by an Aboriginal Australian and she was recognised with a host of honours and awards in her lifetime. Despite some critics dismissing the prominent black rights activist’s work as “protest poetry”, she was once claimed to be Australia’s second-best-selling poet. The Quandamooka woman was appointed appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 1970 but returned the honour in 1987 in protest against the forthcoming Australian Bicentenary celebrations the next year. She called out a lack of political action to rectify the damage done to Aboriginal people during and since European arrival. Queensland Labor Minister Leeanne Enoch is also a proud Quandamooka woman, hailing from Minjerribah.