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Macleay Island
Bay Islands.jpg
Macleay Island is one of several inhabited islands in Moreton Bay.
Population 2,572 (2011 census)
Council seat Redland City
Region South East Queensland
State electorate(s) Redlands
Federal Division(s) Bowman

Macleay Island is an island located in Moreton Bay, South East Queensland, Australia. The island constitutes a town and locality within the City of Redland. It has the postcode 4184. Perulpa Island is a small island attached to Macleay Island by a causeway. Macleay Island is the fourth largest island in Moreton Bay after North Stradbroke Island, Moreton Island and Russell Island.


For some time in the 1800s the island was called Tim Shea's Island after a convict who lived on the island for more than a decade. The current name was given by Surveyor Warner who named the island after Alexander Macleay who was the Colonial Secretary of New South Wales from 1825 to 1837. The island has a rich history of the Aboriginal/indigenous peoples presence with middens and stone fish traps still found on the island.

Heritage listings

Macleay Island has a number of heritage-listed sites, including Industrial Ruins on Cliff Terrace.


The island as a part of the southern Bay Islands can be accessed by passenger or vehicular ferry from Redland Bay. With the growing population, many residents commute to the mainland for work daily. Translink GoCards are used on the fast ferry service to Redland Bay, with regular bus links from the ferry terminal. Travel time from Redland Bay is 18 minutes, this includes a short stop along the way at Karragarra Island. The Ferry Terminal and foreshore was upgraded in 2015 by Redland City Council, providing a recreational boat ramp, parking, and beautification.


Macleay has a range of shops including cafes, pizza, hot bread, restaurants and supermarkets. There's also a dentist, doctor, chemist, and vet as well as the islands emergency services. The large Community Centre and Hall is used by many local groups. A lively Progress Association runs the island's library.

During the 2006 state election, the Queensland Government prioritised construction of a single-officer police station for on the island it was needed with the increasing population. The station started operation in June, 2008 and now has two rotating officers.


Macleay Island has sandy beaches and mangrove foreshores. These are spots for fishing, swimming, sailing, picnicking and barbecues. A launch spot is the Dalpura Ramp towards the north of the island. Pat's Park at the northern end of the island allows for swimming, BBQs, picnics and has children's play equipment. The Anzac day services are held at the Cenotaph located there. The island has a skate park for the younger generation, which opened in 2014.

Other recreational facilities include boat, bowling and golfing clubs. The Heritage Trail is marked by signage for users. Macleay is also home to a growing community of artists, some quite well known, and the Arts Centre is well used by painters, potters, sculptors, plus other crafts. Bird watching is a popular activity. There are also various classes available in martial arts, Thai chi and yoga. Dragon-boating has recently commenced from the boat club on Sundays.


The permanent population was 1,958 in the 2006 Census. However, the population includes a high number of owners who visit the island at weekends. Nearly a third of the 1,259 dwellings were listed as unoccupied at the time of the Tuesday night census.

In the 2011 census, Macleay Island recorded a population of 2,572 people, 49.9% female and 50.1% male. The median age of the Macleay Island population was 52 years, 15 years above the national median of 37. 68.3% of people living in Macleay Island were born in Australia. The other top responses for country of birth were England 7.1%, New Zealand 6.7%, Germany 1.4%, Scotland 1.2%, Netherlands 0.6%. 87.9% of people spoke only English at home; the next most common languages were 1.2% German, 0.3% Italian, 0.2% French, 0.2% Auslan, 0.2% Greek.

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