You can drop posts in Your say for any specific queries you may have. After your visit, we hope that you will also take the time to use Messages to share your Coochie experiences with all of us, residents and visitors alike.
COOCHIE AND MATTHEW FLINDERS
On July 19, 1799 the famous explorer, navigator and cartographer Lt Matthew Flinders, sailing on his sloop Norfolk, was the the first European to set foot on Coochiemudlo Island. While not the first to use the word ‘Australia’, he encouraged the use of that name for the continent and wrote the seminal work on Australian exploration A Voyage To Terra Australis.
Flinders referred to the island as the “Sixth Island”. However, generations of Aboriginal families before him had always called the island Kuychi Mudlo, the place where they obtained red ochre stones used as a red pigment for the painting of shields and skins.
There is a stone monument marking where Flinders landed (Flinders’ Landing) about 300 metres east on Victoria Parade (as you arrive on the jetty), in what is now Norfolk Beach. This historic event is commemorated each July with a parade (including in period costumes), a ceremony, a re-enactment of the landing and a crafts market. The Flinders Day celebration on Coochie is often one of the busiest days on the island, and usually occurs on the Sunday closest to the 19th of July. Check the Calendar for the next Flinders Day celebration on Coochie.
- Coochie has an area of approximately 140 hectares and a population of perhaps 500-600 people.
- Coochiemudlo Island is part of Redland City Council. We are currently represented at the state level by the Liberal National Party and at the Federal level by the Liberal Party.
- Regular ferry and barge services to/from the island are only available off the Victoria Point jetty and the barge ramp on Masters Avenue. Ferry service is at 30-minute intervals daily from as early as 5:00am off the Coochie Jetty and as late as 11:30pm off the Victoria Point Jetty. Daily barge service is available at 40-minute intervals from as early as 6:20am from Coochie and as late as 7:00pm on Fridays from Victoria Point. Check out the latest ferry and barge timetables and fees here.
- Vehicles are not prohibited on Coochie, but there isn’t really a need to bring yours to the island during your day trip. The island is only about a kilometre or so across each way and the beach areas are just next door to the jetty and/or the barge ramp. For your food provisioning, Coochie Kiosk and Coochie Island Resort are all also within walking distance from the jetty and/or the barge ramp.
- The best way to explore the island is by foot. Most day trippers to the island stay well within the beach areas. Those who do venture beyond generally do so on foot or on their bikes.
- But if you feel desperately like a bit of breeze on your face, Coochie Island Resort has a number of those cute scooters for hire.
- There used to be public transport available on Coochie, but not anymore. Public transport service provided by a local operator ceased in 2005 after four years of operation. Previous efforts at providing public transport service on the island on a full commercial basis similarly failed.
- Laid back as we are, we do know we are part of a larger, modern world. So, of course, many of us have Internet connections at home, either broadband or landline. But there isn’t any Internet connection available for use by the public anywhere on the island.
- Mobile phone service is patchy on the island. Reception is best when you’re at an elevated area or when you’re in the periphery of the island (ie when there are no obsructions).
- There is a public phone booth very close to the Coochie Kiosk, not far from the jetty. It’s the only one on the island.
- There is no school on Coochie. Coochie children take the ferry for free every school day to attend schools in the mainland.
- There is no hospital on Coochie. The nearest hospitals are in Cleveland.
- There is no police station on Coochie. The island is within the Cleveland Police Station’s operating area.
- We have our own community-supported Library. It is open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9am to noon, and is located in the Community Hall (Lower Level) on Victoria Parade.
- There is one chapel on the island, located in Shirley Street.
- Up until 2005 we had no postal delivery service. We had to pick up our mail every morning until 11AM from the Baywaters Realty office in Elizabeth Street. We still don’t have a post office.
- Finally, we now have a proper sewerage system. Houses are progressively being connected to this system.
- There are three (3) beaches on Coochie: Main (between the jetty and the barge ramp), Morwong (north) and Norfolk (east of the jetty). They all have barbecue, toilet and shower facilities.
- Our beaches are calm and generally shallow. For these reasons, they are particularly popular to families with small children.
- Coochie Boat Hire has beach gears — canoes, kayaks, tinnies, aqua bikes and others — that will make your (or, more accurately, your children’s) day on the beach even more memorable. They are right there on the beach, to the right of the jetty when you arrive on Coochie.
DON’Ts … AND A FEW REQUESTS
- No camping is allowed anywhere on the island.
- We do have asphalted/cemented roads. But clearly not enough of them yet. When it’s really dry, we ask that you drive in such a way that the dusts are not unnecessarily disturbed. There are certain areas of the island where dust can be a problem for residents.
- It’s dark on Coochie at night as there are very few street lights to speak of. If you’re staying overnight on the island, we urge you to drive slowly and carefully as people — as well as birds and other animals! — do walk on our unlighted streets at night.
The Coochiemudlo Island Directory can be a handy list of contact numbers on your visit.