Mitchells Island, my home, is the largest of several islands in the mouth of the Manning River. You might not think of it as an island as it is very big, and there are lots of places where you don’t see any water. It is roughly triangular in shape and has an area of approximately 50 square miles. It is bordered on the north by the main channel of the Manning River, on the southwest by Scotts Creek, and on the east by the Pacific Ocean. The ocean edge extends from the surfing mecca of Old Bar in the south to the village of Harrington to the north.
Mitchells Island varies is altitude from sea level to 151 meters. It is named after Thomas Livingstone Mitchell (1792-1855), who served as Surveyor-General for Australia. Mitchells Island and the adjacent Oxley Island are shale outcrops rather than a sandy deposits.
The population of Mitchells Island is approximately 300 permanent residents – perhaps with our arrival, now 6 more. The public school has a mere 30 pupils, of all ages, with just two teachers.
Much of the island is covered by dairy farms, but it is also a popular holiday location and has two caravan parks and many rental homes and units.
There is one village on the island, Manning Point, which is about 330 km north of Sydney. Besides the holiday rental units, it has a general store, a bowling club, the two caravan parks, a cafe, and a bait shop. The general store is very versatile and also houses the news agent, the video rental shop, the Australia Post Office, the bottle shop, the burger and fish and chips grill, and the grocery store.
The Pacific Ocean forms the eastern border of the island. While the entire length is a rugged sand beach, there are two accesses. The northern access is from the village of Manning Point and is reinforced to allow four-wheel drive vehicle access. The southern access is from Beach Road, a narrow path over the boundary dune. Neither beach is patrolled so watch out for those rips.
It really is an island. Click here for a map!