29 things to do in the Redlands

The Redlands is a region defined as much by the water as it is by the mainland. On the shore, its bayside villages are filled with cute cafes, seaside fun and nature to explore, while the many islands dotting Moreton Bay (the jewel being North Stradbroke Island) operate on their own time zone with plenty of adventures to be had.

1. Cruise around Moreton Bay and hop between islands 

The Redlands region is an area blessed with coastline and a bay dotted with islands big and small. Get direct access to the expansive Moreton Bay via Raby Bay Harbour in Cleveland. Go on an all-day cruise to Peel Island with Aria Cruises and go for a swim and snorkel in the crystal clear waters of Peel Island or Horseshoe Bay with Brisbane Yacht Charters.

2. Trek the North Gorge Walk

North Gorge Walk, North Stradbroke Island

It’s only 1.5km long but the North Gorge Walk could take all day – if you allow time to take it all in. The views are absolutely breathtaking, with the boardwalk overlooking the clear blue ocean and pristine sands of Home Beach. Watch the waves lap against the rocky gorge, sit and spot marine life such as dolphins and turtles in the water below, spy birds circling up above and soak up rays on the rocks.

Keep an eye out for the seasonal (June to November) migration of humpback whales, and be sure to wander around to see the "Blow Hole" – a natural sea inlet that sends water streaming into the air like a humpback whale reaching the sea’s surface. Once done, refuel with a delicious icy treat from the Oceanic Gelato shop just across the street.

3.Explore culture at Indigiscapes

Lay your hands on a 400-year-old Tallowood Tree, spot a koala in the gardens and tuck into an Australian bush tucker take on Devonshire tea (think strawberry and wattleseed jam). Take a tour of the garden at the Redlands IndigiScapes centre and sample the sweetness of rosella and lilly pilly and munch on the savoury tanginess of bush tomatoes and kurrajong seed.

4. Bucket of fresh prawns and sunset

On Straddie, make the most of your island location and sample the freshest of seafood, straight from the trawler. Rufus King at Amity Point and The Prawn Shack at Point Lookout serve up fresh local seafood every day. Grab yourself a kilo of bay prawns and enjoy them with the sand between your toes as you watch the tide roll in.

5. Go on a craft beer trail through the region

Bacchus Brewing Co
Bacchus Brewing Co

Craft beer is having its moment in the Redlands. Design your own self-drive trail between the area’s micro-breweries and craft beer bars. At Capalaba, Bacchus Brewing Co has earned a reputation for brewing dessert beers – think white chocolate pilsner or the lamingtonne imperial dark ale. It’s open seven days with a cellar door and bar, plus a kitchen pumping out pizza Friday to Sunday. Red Bay Brewery in Cleveland has its bar open Friday and Saturday nights, or you can pop by to pick up beer during the week.

In the centre of Cleveland, The Bench touts itself as the Redlands' first craft beer bar. Best of all, the venue lets you BYO food from the surrounding restaurants. Over in Birkdale, Craft Brew House features the best boutique beer, wine and spirits alongside hand-stretched Italian-style pizza.

6. Walk to King Island from Wellington Point at low tide

Wellington Point on the mainland is a great spot to spend the day. Here, kids can throw in a line from the jetty, climb huge fig trees and eat ice-cream while watching sailboats gliding by. When the waters hit low tide, you can walk across to the tiny King Island. Don’t dawdle or you might get stuck over there.

7. Stop for lunch and wine tastings at Sirromet

Restaurant Lurleens

Queensland’s largest and most highly awarded winery, Sirromet Winery is a must-visit for food and wine lovers. Aside from the obvious attractions (wine, duh) it has stunning views of surrounding bushland, the bay and North Stradbroke Island. On site find fine dining Restaurant Lurleen’s for a meal, or head to the more casual Tuscan Terrace bistro. 

8. Extracurricular activities at Sirromet

Supagolf

Once you’ve finished a tasting or tour at Sirromet, grab a club and tee off for a round of SupaGolf. No, it’s not putt putt or mini golf. In SupaGolf, everything is larger.

The expansive grounds at Sirromet also host music festivals throughout the year. Keep an eye out for the popular Day on the Green concerts.

9. Dive with manta rays

Get up close and personal with marine life off North Stradbroke Island. Snorkel and scuba dive from Point Lookout to meet manta rays, leopard sharks, dolphins, sea turtles and innumerable tropical fish and corals with Manta Lodge. It offers courses that will have you taking a plunge in no time.

10. Challenge your taste buds

No trip to the Redlands is complete without trying a Mega Death Burger – the Everest of food challenges at Off The Wall Diner in Wellington Point. Sure, the name may seem a tad dramatic, but this burger is infamous for being one of the hottest meals on the planet. If you make it through, you will be inducted into the Death Burger Immortals with your name added to the wall.

11.  Visit the Cleveland Point Lighthouse

Cleveland Point

At just 12m tall, this hexagonal wooden lighthouse is so cute we just want to hug it. Originally built in 1864, the structure used kerosene until 1934 when it was converted to electricity. It’s a great place to watch the sunset or sunrise (hence its popularity with photographers) and you can extend your visit by dining at the Lighthouse Restaurant across the road. Naturally, the focus of this seaside venue is on seafood. There is also a more casual cafe and fish 'n' chips takeaway window.

12. Scones with nuns at Ormiston House

Ormiston House

Run by the Carmelite nuns, Ormiston House is one of the Redlands’ best-loved historic treasures. Open every Sunday from 12-4pm, this beautiful homestead overlooks Moreton Bay and is the perfect spot for an afternoon Devonshire Tea. After sitting down to homemade scones, take a stroll through the fully restored home (one of the few remaining 1860s country houses in Queensland) and tranquil leafy gardens.

13. Visit Salt Water Murris’ Quandamooka Indigenous Art Gallery

Quandamooka Art Gallery

Art lovers should pop on over to North Stradbroke Island for a visit to the Salt Water Murris’ Quandamooka Indigenous Art Gallery. Take in the rich colours and mesmerising patterns of traditional and modern indigenous artworks – there might even be a piece for your collection. Each work tells a story, and allows the artist to share his or her culture with others. The gallery also stocks jewellery, homewares, children’s puzzles and more.

14. Pat farm animals at Ted’s Corner

Take the kids along to Ted’s Corner, also known as Capalaba Produce, Pets & Plants. They can pet pigs, hold chicks, chase goats and run amuck with roaming geese and hens. The produce store has a wide range of pet food, plants and vegetable seedlings for sale plus an on-site cafe.

15. Head to Coochiemudlo Island

Coochiemudlo Island

Want an island escape but are short on time? No worries. Just a 10-minute journey by water taxi, ferry or barge from Victoria Point, "Coochie" is perfect for a day trip. Just five square kilometres in size, the petite and flat island features 4km of safe swimming beaches and you can hire tandem bikes. Or for some extra fun on the water, hire an aqua bike, canoe, kayak or dine out on a barbecue pontoon with Coochie Boat Hire.

16. Get out on the bay with a Redlands Kayak Tour

Redlands Kayak Tours

If you’d rather just get straight out to the bay, Redlands Kayak Tours depart from locations all over the region seven days a week. Head out for a short paddle or a half or full-day adventure on the water. Tours start from Wellington Point, Victoria Point, Tingalpa Creek, Coochimudlo Island, Cleveland Point and Thompson Beach.

17. Catch a live show at RPAC

With a 500-seat concert hall, the Redlands Performing Arts Centre is the main place for all the glitz and glam of big shows in the region. Catching well-known performers and troupes that are touring regional, RPAC also hosts locally produced music, theatre and circus acts from the culturally rich community.

18.  Dive into one of Straddie’s freshwater lakes

Blue Lake or Brown Lake? Yes, the lakes are named for the colour of the water. Both freshwater lagoons hold a special cultural significance for the local Quandamooka people, who acknowledge both lakes as being home to an extraordinarily large carpet snake. You can read more about this dreaming story here

Blue Lake or “Karboora” is within the Naree Budjong Djara National Park and is 5.2km return walk through wallum woodlands. Brown Lake or “Bummiera” has easy road access and the freshwater lake takes its brown tinge from the native teatrees around the perimeter. 

19. Explore the Redland Art Gallery

Redland Art Gallery showcases touring and local, innovative and culturally diverse exhibitions. Perhaps it’s the diverse landscape, the seaside breeze and the area’s deep connection to nature – there’s no doubt the Redlands is a creative place to live.

20. Play a round of barefoot bowls 

Kick off your shoes and sink your feet into the green – lawn bowls is a great Australian tradition to be celebrated. Gather a crew and head to Point Lookout Bowls Club. Here, barefoot bowls is available seven days a week by the beach. On the mainland, give Victoria Point Bowls Club a shot.

21. Get pampered 

If now is not the time to treat yourself, then when? Redlands has three renowned luxury day spas: Mount Cotton Body and Soul Spa Retreat, Harbour Day Spa and Stephanie’s Vintage Day Spa. If you are looking for something therapeutic, book a treatment at Salt Sanctuary, the first salt therapy clinic in Greater Brisbane, simulating the effects experienced in the therapeutic natural salt caves of Europe.

22. Experience indigenous culture on North Stradbroke Island

North Stradbroke Island Indigenous Tours

Home of the Quandamooka people, North Stradbroke Island offers the informative Goompi Trail tour, led by an experienced local indigenous guide. Here you’ll learn about aspects of Aboriginal life, such as fishing techniques, bush tucker and bush medicines.

23. Drop into the local cinema

Catch the latest flicks at 1999 prices at the Cineplex in Victoria Point. This Brisbane cinema chain sells tickets for often less than half the price of the big national guns. The same can be said for the candy bar prices – choctops for everyone!

24. Get creative on Macleay Island

Macleay Island Art

Explore your creativity on Macleay Island at the Macleay Island Arts Centre, a non-profit community arts organisation. Outside of exhibitions, the Gallery is open to the public every Sunday from 10am to 3pm. 

25. Bake and decorate a cake

Learn how to work choux pastry, perfect macaron shells, create 3D icing cake toppers or decorate cookies. Cordie's Cake School is a cake decorating school and custom-made cake bakery specialising in the art of sugar. From beginner to master baker, there’s a class for all skill levels. 

26. Learn to surf on North Stradbroke Island

Hang ten with the North Stradbroke Island Surf School. All you need to do is show up at Point Lookout with some enthusiasm and sunscreen – everything else is provided. An accredited instructor will take you out on the water where it’s common to spy dolphins and turtles during the 1.5-hour lesson.

27. Tee off at Redland Bay Golf Club

Redland Bay Golf Course

“Where the bunkers meet the bay” is the motto at Redland Bay Golf Club. The coastal course offers a challenge for all levels and views of stunning Moreton Bay. Once you’ve finished a round, head into the bistro for a bite – Thursday night is raffle night, so if you’ve been wanting to win a meat tray, this is your chance.

28. Explore history at the Redland Museum

Preserving the area’s history from 1842 to the present day, the Redland Museum is filled with a grand collection (14,000 items no less). Check out the unique engine, machinery, transport, textile and doll displays and learn a little more about yesterday on the bay. 

29. Art walks

Art really is the winner in the Redlands, which is home to a large collection of public works. Check them all out by following the Cleveland and Capalaba Art Walks. Stretching through the two business centres, the Art Walks explore the city’s sculptures and mosaics, and evocative words by North Stradbroke Island indigenous poet Oodgeroo Noonuccal.

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