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Breakfast Creek Boat Club: Where Wooden Boats Gather

Breakfast Creek Boat Club: Where Wooden Boats Gather

Named after the breakfast that occurred between John Oxley and an Aboriginal clan at the mouth of the creek in 1824, Breakfast Creek in Brisbane has an interesting history, as well as an interesting boating community.

While you might be happy doing your own thing out on the water every weekend, or like spending time on your boat with family, it is also nice to have a group of other boaties to connect with and learn from. One local Brisbane boating club offering these benefits is the Breakfast Creek Boat Club (BCBC).

Only relatively new and operating for seven years now, the Club’s membership is made up of a group of people who are moored at or connected in other ways with the boat-building premises and moorings in Breakfast Creek. “Our numbers have grown very quickly,” notes Commodore Ross Jordin. “This has not been as a result of advertising, but rather from a dormant desire members have to share common stories, the ‘Brekky’ Creek history, and boating issues.”

Currently, meetings are held in an area within the Breakfast Creek boatyard lovingly referred to as “Under the Mango Tree”. Use of the space was given to the club by property owner Terry Holmes, a keen local boatie and Breakfast Creek historian. A flagpole has even been erected “Under the Mango Tree” to allow club members to hoist the Aussie flag along with the club ensign at Friday evening BBQs and general meetings.

The group hopes, though, to take possession of new premises shortly, after having received support from Councillor David McLachlan at Brisbane City Council. Jordin says, “We’re currently negotiating with Brisbane City Council to share Clubhouse facilities found opposite the boat-builders in Argyle Street at Albion/Breakfast Creek.”

Members of BCBC come from a variety of backgrounds and, while the majority are now Brisbane locals, members previously hailed from all over the country. “The club membership is made up of the full gamut of people types and socio-economic backgrounds. Boat ownership seems to be a great leveller, with good comradery exhibited at all meetings and outings,” says Jordin. “Our club began with an immediate membership of around 30 members and this number has been climbing steadily to now reach over 100. Our central Brisbane location is a real bonus for those who live a little further out of town.”

The majority of BCBC members own wooden boats; this was not intentional. “This type of vessel seems to hold a special fascination to a lot of people,” says Jordin. “The old acronym B-O-A-T, “bring out another thousand”, is not lost on any of our members! Yet, we somehow generally manage to overlook this quite obvious liability.”

There is something special about wooden boats, Jordin feels. “Wooden boats are said to be just a loan; yours for the time being, but they’ll live on far beyond your tenure, to their next custodian. Wooden boats are what make up much of the history of “The Creek”, both commercial fishing and private vessels,” says Jordin.

The BCBC members meet approximately every six weeks in the early evening, usually on a Friday. Meetings begin with a club-financed BBQ and paired with a few ales. Gatherings are informal but stick to a fairly standard process. “Much of our time is filled with discussing upcoming BCBC Bay trips, as well as the interesting escapades of members,” says Jordin. “Another regular feature has become the visit of guest speakers with a story to tell. This is sometimes instructive, sometimes amusing, but always interesting. Everyone has a story to tell,” Jordin muses. Guest speakers may also be club members.

For the last few years, the group has participated in the Clean Up Australia Day event. The members have worked to rid the creek banks and adjoining lands of rubbish, mostly plastic bottles. “We fear for what the Creek could look like if we were to let it go for a few years,” says Jordin.

For those new to boating, Jordin suggests joining a club (the BCBC in particular, of course!) to enjoy the comradery, sharing of ideas, and sense of community members remark on. “Boating and life on the water offer something special that can seldom be found elsewhere in life.” Members can join by themselves or bring their family along.

“There is nowhere better than the Bay (Moreton Bay) when the weather is fine. One of the best and easiest excursions is to travel our own Brisbane River; you can travel to the River mouth in about an hour (at 8 knots) or upstream for many hours as far as the Bremer River mouth,” suggests Jordin.

The club has explored many of these areas together over the years. “One excursion took us (with a guide boat) up the Bremer River into the heart of Ipswich, which is full of historical landmarks. Your city from the water is like a new world,” says Jordin. “It’s a shame more craft don’t take advantage of Brisbane’s best attribute.” Members were able to get a very different perspective of the South East.

You don’t need anything other than an interest in boating to become a member, either. “There are usually boats available that can accommodate another ‘hand’ when our trips are planned,” says Jordin. The Club has many events filling their calendar during the second half of the year, so now is a great time to join. You can be part of the regular July trip to Carrington Boat Club in the upper reaches of the Brisbane River, for instance, or later attend the Interclub Bay Cruise. This is an event where multiple clubs get together to spend quality time on the water in Moreton Bay.

If you are interested in joining the fun-loving Breakfast Creek Boat Club, contact Rob (0419 796 065), Bailey (0413 717 711), or Commodore Ross (0408 453 585).


By Kellie Byrnes


The Breakfast Creek, or Barrambin, is a small urban stream that is a tributary of the Brisbane River, located in suburban Brisbane, Queensland. John Oxley and Allan Cunningham met members of an aboriginal clan at the mouth of the creek in 1824. After they had breakfast at the site, a minor conflict with the Aboriginals arose after one of them grabbed Oxley’s hat. Oxley named the waterway in remembrance of the incident. An important Aboriginal camping ground occupied the Breakfast Creek/Hamilton area until it was broken up by police raids in the 1860s. The camp was one of the major sources from which local Aboriginal people supplied the Moreton Bay colony with fish. It was also where Aboriginal leader Dalaipi spoke his famous ‘Indictments’, which were published in the Moreton Bay Courier in 1858.


Published in the Jan-Mar 2020 edition.