Coburg Island



Coburg Island


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Coburg Island is a Canadian First Nation reserve that nestles perfectly in the waters of Lake Winnipeg. It can be reached by a trip up the Nelson River and by way of Sioux Lookout and Pelican Narrows. In Canada, it’s the first reserve to be located in an inland lake, part of its remoteness being a consequence of the wartime internment of many native people in camps during the Second World War. Its location is already ideal for fishing, hunting, camping, and exploring canoe-side beaches, but also when it comes to boating.

Coburg Island


The first inhabitants of what is now Coburg Island were the Algonquin people. In 1876, the Canadian government signed a treaty with the Algonquin Nation ceding parts of their land in exchange for cash and goods. This treaty also allowed for European settlement on these lands, which started with squatters who arrived seeking opportunity during Manitoba’s agricultural boom years.

In 1911, a group of settlers bought part of Coburg Island from the Algonquin for about five dollars. A few years later, the settlers abandoned their land and a sheep farmer took over but only stayed for one year due to rough weather conditions on the island’s west end. The subsequent government survey said that it should be owned by no specific person or farmstead and instead given to its inhabitants who would own portions in common.

Tens of thousands of ducks colonized Coburg Island each fall, flocking together in its water from as far south as Manitoba and the United States. Farmers who settled Coburg Island soon found themselves very busy trying to catch these beautiful birds for their markets.

The majority of these animals were shot before they could ever fly or swim back out onto their spring migration, creating a demand for duck skinning with which many local people made a good living during an already difficult time period.

While no singular person owns Coburg island today, the island is a true community made up of more than 70 different families.


The climate on Coburg Island is oceanic, with warm summers and cold winters. The average annual precipitation is 1,597 mm. The longest winter period lasts 23 weeks although temperatures can dip below -30 C in February. The warmest month on record has been July with an average daytime temperature of 17C but nighttime lows between 0 and 6c.

Metropolitan area(s) Beauval, Braeside, Carlyle Beach; Coburg Island is a small independent rural center on the East Coast of Victoria, located west of Queenscliff on the southern shores of Port Phillip Bay. In 1851 Coburg Island was part of its original grant to pastoral runs in Nelson and Westallen Counties which were subsequently combined with mainland Crown Land into counties that later became recognized as urban districts.

The population at this time (estimated): 3 whites 70 blacks. It started life not much more than ten miles from Stradbroke Island and Port Phillip Bay. The area was originally inhabited by Wurundjeri people, who called the island “Ana-gorm” (meaning little mainland or shore).


Since the early days of European settlement, Coburg Island has been a quiet rural community. With few paved roads and no major stores or restaurants, the island relies mainly on agriculture (growing crops such as wheat, canola, and cattle), tourism, and seasonal fishing for its sustenance.

Today there is still a strong sense of community spirit among the Islanders – everyone looks out for one another and helps out when needed. There are also many old-fashioned customs that are practiced.

Coburg Island has been used as a shooting location for Hollywood movies and television series such as the 1985 film “The Full Monty”, 2000 movie “and 2002’s Australian mini-series, “. The island was also featured in Season 4 of Getaway.


Coburg Island is part of the state electorate of Maribyrnong. It is represented in the Victorian Legislative Assembly by Laura Kelly, a member of the Greens.


Coburg Island supports a number of local sporting clubs, most notably the Olympic Club is the main governing body for soccer in the area. Coburg has two public Halls that host numerous community events throughout the year including dances, socials, and children’s programs. The Leisure Centre operates day-to-day activities such as PLC classes to run along with adult fitness sessions on Friday mornings (therapy Thursdays).

Government services

Coburg Island is serviced by the Department of Human Services, with a primary health care provider on-site. Other services include a post office, pharmacy, and ambulance service. The Coburg Island Primary School operates from buildings onsite, as well as providing educational opportunities for students up to year 6 (Kindergarten to Year 6).



Coburg Island is one of Victoria’s top tourist destinations, with visitors to the island encouraged to experience local culture and traditions. Tourist activities available on-island include fishing (from land or boat), swimming, snorkeling, and browsing the many shops and cafes. Ferries connect Coburg Island with surrounding areas including Melbourne, Port Phillip Heads, and Phillip Island for day trips.



Coburg Island is serviced by the Melbourne metropolitan bus network as well as a limited number of taxis. There are also bicycle and car parking facilities available on-island. Advanced access to the island is possible via private boat, which must be booked through the non-emergency local police station.


The traditional cuisine of the island features fresh seafood and local produce. Grills are common in outdoor cafes, providing diners with chargrilled seafood options as well as steak and chicken dishes. Desserts often include home-made pastries or ice-cream.



The island is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including eagles, kangaroos and seals. Visitors are also encouraged to see the native flora and fauna.


Among the most famous islands in the world. Coburg Island is one of the few places in the world you can ditch all your cares, relax and have a stress-free vacation. Enjoy the beautiful coral reefs and clear waters, swim in the turquoise blue waters around the island, see some of the rarest marine species in the world, sleep on a soft white sand beach, go for a boat ride to see the few naturally vegetated islands that have been lost amidst all the coral reefs, and much more! In this video, learn about Coburg Island and why it’s a favourite among travellers from all over.


Can I Buy Anything On Coburg Island, Or Do They Only Sell Food And Souvenirs There?

There are a few small businesses that sell food and souvenirs on the island, but there is no convenience store or supermarket. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own food and drinks with them when they visit.

What Are The Best Ways To Get Around On Coburg Island?

The best way to get around on Coburg Island is by renting a bike from one of the local businesses. There are also boats that can be rented for tours, and walking is also possible along some of the paths in the forest.

Is There Anything That I Should Bring With Me On Coburg Island?

Visitors are encouraged to bring their own sunscreen, hats, insect repellent and water shoes. There is also a small health clinic on the island that can provide basic medical supplies if needed.

Are There Any Beaches Or Places To Swim On Coburg Island?

There are a few beaches on Coburg Island that visitors can swim at. However, the best swimming spots are usually located around coral reefs.

How Can I Get To Coburg Island?

Coburg Island is located off the coast of Cocos (Keeling) Islands, which are part of Australia. Visitors can fly into the town of Cairns and then take a taxi or boat ride to Coburg Island.

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