Also known as the RKLM, the SMBI and Bay Islands, the four inhabited southern Moreton Bay islands in Queensland, Australia. The group is at 27°38’S 153°23’E, and is part of the Redland City, with a permanent population of 4240 as of the 2006 census. However, nearly one third of all dwellings on the islands were unoccupied, suggesting a high proportion of “second homes” are maintained by people elsewhere on Census Night
The four inhabited Bay Islands in 2006 were:
Tiny Perulpa Island is joined by a causeway to Macleay and is generally regarded as part of Macleay.
In 2007, after a national A Current Affair television news segment, the islands received an enormous amount of interest as having the cheapest land in Australia.
Russell and Macleay have most basic services such as supermarkets, restaurants, primary schools, doctors, police, ambulance, fire brigade, SES, clubs and pubs. Lamb Island has a kiosk with basic supplies and convenience items. Karragarra has no shops at all, which is preferred by the residents.
Originally subdivided in the early 1970s, a bridge was promised by the then government. This never eventuated and residents are now feeling the pressure of transport to the mainland for some shopping trips, as mainland parking has become very scarce.
The Islands enjoy a quiet, relaxed lifestyle with many retirees, pensioners and more recently, an influx of younger families looking for some safety and security, away from the hustle and bustle of the mainland.
The inhabited Southern Moreton Bay Islands are not part of the Southern Moreton Bay Islands National Park, which is also located within Redland City.
The islands have a frequent scheduled vehicle barge provided by Stradbroke Ferries and fast passenger ferries services provided by Bay Islands Transit, leaving from Redland Bay. The spectacular Canaipa Passage between North Stradbroke and Russell is a favourite destination for private boats.
Photos courtesy of Bay Islands Photography