Honest answer please as we are looking at moving to the area soon !!

Garry here my partner and I are looking at moving to one of the islands and would like to get some honest feedback on the ups and downs of island life please and we would like beach walks is there sandy beaches on one or the other island thanks
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4 Answers

You can read any of my posts, all honest answers. Best sandy beach is on Karragarra Island, (probably dearest island to buy on, personally nothing against Karra but I don't know why that is the case?) not a long walk, but you can swim or put your feet in the sand and water and sit and look out at the lovely views and boats moored in the channel between Karra, Macleay and Lamb. After all these are smallish islands, particularly Karra and Lamb, where people have been allowed to build to the waterline, so no "long walks" like on the Gold Coast or where ever. Also there is "Sandy Beach" on southern end of Russell and a sandy beach in the middle of Macleay on the western side, but also lots of mangrove areas and sand that mangroves flourish in, so darker sand. An idea of the community here: I see lots of people on the passenger ferries, talking to lots of people who just happen to be on the same ferry, I don't see that happening on any public transport, which I take all the time, on the mainland?! It is a community out here. People say hello to each other in the street or when passing and at the local shops etc. I think you could do worse. Been here for 7.5 years, and counting. Hope that is honest enough for you. See u soon

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Islands : higher living costs on everything from food to tradesmen to goods and services

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After living on Russell for a year and a half, here are the Pro's and Con's I've personally found:

The Pro's

1. Affordability in buying. Even today houses and land are pretty cheap compared with the mainland. You can also get an affordable rental too but the market is competitive.

2. NBN Access. If you work from home or just simply like being online and don't need to commute to the mainland then you're set.

3. The community. What I've found is rather than a "Russell Island" or "SMBI" community that the Pollies often talk about, there are different groups of people on the islands just like you'd get anywhere else. You're not going to get on with everyone but there are plenty of people to find your own and by & large people are friendly and will say hello to you in the street.

4. Safety. You'll hear all sorts of stories, but ultimately Russell Island has a relatively low crime rate for the things that matter.

5. The Environment! Much of Russell Island is conservation, and if Macleay island is what Russell's future holds, then much of the landscape and wildlife will be maintained. There is nothing better than hearing the beautiful Curlews singing to you in the morning.

The Con's:

1. Noise. When we moved to Russell we were under the impression that it was going to be a quieter "retirement" style community. The reality is it's quite diverse and you have plenty of 30 - 70 year olds still getting their party on (I think sub woofers feature as much as boats). Lots of people also have their own hobby's which involve using machinery and chain saws. Each to their own, but just wasn't what we were expecting before we moved.

2. The Ferry/Parking. This is half a Con because the ferry's do come regularly enough and are accessible enough for you to enjoy a day out of the mainland. But if you need to commute to and from work, it can be a hassle finding a place to park on the island/waiting for the taxi's, getting on/off the ferries, getting the mainland car then driving to work.

They are building a huge complex on the mainland at Redland Bay which will (hopefully) make living and commuting to and from work easier and make life even better with more jobs on offer at the (soon to be) satellite hospital and the cafes/shops at Redland Bay. I think they are also building more car spaces on the mainland too.

I'd highly recommend either trying to stay with someone on Russell, booking a BnB, or getting a short term rental (if you can that is!) before you move all of your stuff over. Try before you buy as Island living can be amazing but isn't for everyone.

My experiences are also based on living at the top of the Island not far from the jetty, so you might also find a different experience at the bottom of the Island.

As for the beaches, I think 88KATmando has summarised it best. Russell does technically have a beach and as lovely as it is, it's not the longest during low tide. The beach of Karragarra is easy to get to and inter-island travel is free.

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Lookup The Friendly Bay Islander online magazine for monthly issues about Island life. Or DOTS trade directory for Russell Island.

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Rentals in Russell Island, QLD 4184