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Enjoyable Days at Carbrook Boat Ramp

Enjoyable Days at Carbrook Boat Ramp

Just a short drive from the Gold Coast is the Carbrook Boat Ramp Bait & Tackle near Brisbane, a great stop for some local history, or to watch high-adrenaline cable park waterskiing. For those looking for a unique boat launching location, the area provides direct access to the heart of the Logan River or as a gateway to the southern Moreton Bay Islands and northern Broadwater area.

The most exciting aspect of this once off-the- beaten-track destination must be local larrikin and site manager, Tony Bartlett. His enthusiasm has revitalised this destination into a popular must-do for local boaters.

The Carbrook Boat Ramp Bait & Tackle has been around since the late 1960s. Tony explains further, “We have a manmade lake that was built by Herb Gardiner for his daughter to practise her skiing. I have been told she was a skier at Sea World. The lake was under construction in 1970. The shed, which houses the shop, was built between 1971 and 1972, with the boat ramp already there in its primitive state, when it was a dirt road with a little ramp. In 1973, Herb Gardiner also gained the approval for Aquatic Gardens Caravan Park also situated on the same property. Herb sold the property to Martin and Shella Wedd in 1987. It was sold again in 1992 to two brothers Bill and Peter Hiland, and eventually sold to the current Claremont Holdings in 2005.”


The shop has quite a colourful past, with a lot of people running it over the last 50 odd years. Tony took over the shop in late January 2020, and was thrilled to be a part of its rich history and prosperous future. “I have undertaken a lot of work to the shop and boat storage yard, including

painting, cleaning up and renovating. The main aim of the shop is to supply good bait and tackle on the northern side of the river, which was lacking, and I thought was needed by locals. So now, they have great bait and tackle, drinks, snacks and many more services planned for the future.”

Tony dreamt of having a fibreglass shark to put on the roof of the shop, as the Logan River is renowned for bull shark fishing. “I didn’t realise how difficult or simple this was going to be, finding a giant-size shark.” Tony reminiscences, with just a hint of excitement. “I was just about to put the idea of a shark on the back burner, as I couldn’t find one anywhere. Then, one day, while going for a drive to visit a mate, not even 10km from the shop, I found Bernie, the bull shark, sitting in the front yard of Darren, the demolition man’s house. I couldn’t believe it! I quickly reversed up the road; and we just sat and stared at each other, man and shark, and right then, we both knew it was love at first sight.”

After negotiations with Darren, who said that it wasn’t necessary for Tony to get on his knees and beg, Darren agreed Bernie would be more appreciated at the tackle shop. “We agreed on a very fair price, so Bernie is now part of the Logan River community. “

Bernie was originally at the wharf in Mooloolaba, which was built in 1988. So, a lot of people who visit the shop say they have seen that shark somewhere before. After explaining where Bernie came from, they are very happy to know he is still around. Tony states, “Just recently, a couple that took a photo with him explained, they are second generation Bernie fans, as they had photos with Bernie and their parents, decades ago.”

This love and enthusiasm for Bernie makes Tony happy; seeing smiling faces is his great reward. He says, “Our boat ramp is very popular in all weather, as the stretch of the Logan River is well sheltered and it is a quick run down the river to beautiful Moreton Bay.”

Carbrook Boat Ramp Bait & Tackle is an ideal destination for the boat beginner, as they have a boat and jet ski licencing centre on site. The shop is open seven days a week to answer any questions about the local waterways. “So, if you’re in the neighbourhood, don’t be shy! Drop in, say hi, and get your photo taken with Bernie,” Tony invites all readers with a smile.

They have great security in the car park, with CCTV cameras and someone always on site. There is an entry free of $10 to use the ramp with parking included. Tony explains, “It really gives one the peace of mind to know that when you return, all your belongings are still safe and sound.”


The 184-km-long river is one of the dominant waterways in South East Queensland that drains the southern ranges of the Scenic Rim and empties into Moreton Bay, after navigating the City of Logan, a major suburban centre located south of Brisbane.

The Yugambeh clan of the Jagera people are thought to have once roamed throughout the catchment. Traditional owners in the catchment made use of the abundant natural resources. Various plants and animals were used as staple foods as the seasons changed and as new food sources became available.

In August 1826 Captain Patrick Logan was the first European to discover the river. Logan initially named the river the Darling River, but to avoid confusion, Governor Ralph Darling ordered the name be changed to honour its discoverer.

Boat traffic was thriving along the river by the 1860s mostly because it was the best transport route in the area. Steam ships, cutters and hand-loaded punts were the most common vessels

A popular fishing destination, the Logan River offers flathead, tailor, whiting, bream, mulloway and the king threadfin salmon, as well as small sharks, for fishers. During winter, there are pods of dolphins in the river, a sign that the mullet are running. Sea eagles, gulls and pelicans fly overhead, looking for bait schools, which are preying on mullet, herring and other species. “And don’t forget your pots! The river is famous for big mud crabs,” declares Tony.



By Andy Kancachian



Published in the August – November 2020 print edition.



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