Ningi will most likely be familiar to anyone who has visited Bribie Island. It is a fast-growing community, with the population increasing by more than a quarter between 2011 and 2016. The slow, easy pace of the town makes it a great place to raise children. It is becoming a popular commuter town for people working in nearby Brisbane, and its proximity to the city, Sunshine Coast and Bribie Island means that there are plenty of entertainment and activity options available nearby.
- Population – 4,675
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander percentage of population – 4.5%
- Closest major town/city – Caboolture (12 km)
- Distance from airport – 56 km (Brisbane)
- Cinemas – 0
- Cafes/restaurants – 3
- Pubs/bars – 0
- Primary schools – 0
- Secondary schools – 0
- Tertiary education providers – 0
- Annual average maximum temperature – 25.3°C
- Annual average minimum temperature – 17.0°C
Located just 60 km north of the Brisbane CBD, Ningi sits on a low spit of land 12 km east of Caboolture. A few kilometres further east is the bridge crossing the Pumicestone Passage that connects Bribie Island to the mainland.
This century has seen rapid growth in the number of people calling Ningi home. In 2001, the population was just 638, but by 2016 it had increased to more than seven times this figure. While the median age in the town is 39, this is somewhat deceptive as there are higher than average numbers of young families and seniors among the town’s inhabitants.
Three-quarters of Ningi’s residents were born in Australia, with a further nine percent hailing from England or New Zealand. The area’s original Indigenous occupants were known as the Ningi Ningi. Today, just 4.5 percent of the population are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander heritage.
Health care in Ningi is provided by Ningi Doctors, which has more than a dozen resident and visiting doctors. The nearest hospitals are located in Caboolture, with both public and private options available. The public Caboolture Hospital provides a wide range of services and is currently in an expansion phase that is expected to add extra wards and services by the early 2020s. Caboolture Private Hospital is a 43-bed hospital offering surgical and medical services, including an oncology unit.
For emergency transport, there is an ambulance station located in Ningi. While there are no nursing homes in the town, Centacare Waminda Respite Services provides help for seniors living in their own homes, as well as respite care.
Ningi is in the Brisbane North PHN and is classified RA2.
There are two centres for preschool education in Ningi, but the town doesn’t have any primary or secondary schools. There are, however, numerous options in the surrounding area.
Primary-aged children can head over the bridge to Bribie Island, where there are two public primary schools, or travel to the nearby towns of Beachmere or Morayfield. There are also several primary options in Caboolture, both public and private, including a Montessori school. For secondary schooling, there is Bribie Island State High School as well as a further two state high schools in Caboolture. Caboolture also offers a few private secondary choices, including Catholic and Lutheran schools, in addition to Alta-1 College and Horizons College, both of which conduct programs for students who find mainstream education unsuitable.
Ningi is well placed for post-secondary education. Six universities have campuses in Brisbane, with Queensland University of Technology also having a Caboolture campus. University of the Sunshine Coast has a Caboolture site as well which it shares with TAFE Queensland, meaning vocational course options are also available locally.
Career options for partners
While the majority of those in the workforce commute from Ningi to larger towns for work, there are some local options, primarily in retail or aged care services. Residents work in a good mix of occupations, from labourers to clerical workers to professionals. Almost one in five of Ningi’s workforce are employed as technicians or tradespeople.
The rate of full-time employment for residents of the town is around five percent less than that for other parts of Queensland, and unemployment is a little higher. However, with Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast within commuting distance, the options for work become almost endless if the partner is willing to travel.
Volunteer work, like paid work, is primarily outside of Ningi itself as there are few opportunities in town. Some options are Bribie Island Seaside Museum or the visitor information centres in Bongaree or Caboolture.
Arts and culture
Although the town of Ningi has no cinemas or art galleries of its own, there are plenty of opportunities for experiencing art and other cultural activities in many of the nearby communities. There are art and craft classes on offer at the Bribie Island Community Arts Centre. The centre also has galleries to stroll through, or you could head to the Caboolture Regional Art Gallery to take in an exhibition there. There is a guitar teacher in Ningi, but for a wider range of music lessons, or dance classes, you’ll need to go further afield to Bribie Island, Caboolture or other surrounding towns. For those interested in museums, the Bribie Island Seaside Museum is at Bongaree, just over the bridge, or take in the Abbey Museum of Art and Archaeology just 8 km west. To see the latest movies, the nearest cinemas are on Bribie Island and at Morayfield.
Access to forests, tranquil beaches, docks for fishing boats and a host of other wonderful outdoor opportunities may be the biggest reason many families are moving to Ningi. There are four national parks within 60 km of the town. Bribie Island National Park is ideal for boating and fishing as well as birdwatching and beautiful spring wildflowers. For something a little different, head to Glasshouse Mountains National Park for some rock climbing or abseiling. D’Aguilar and Bellthorpe national parks are great for cycling and four-wheel driving. Camping is allowed in the Bribie Island and D’Aguilar parks, as well as at Coochin Creek – also great for water-based activities – which is in Beerburrum State Forest. Or just take a stroll through any of the parks and enjoy the forest and views. Moreton Bay Marine Park and Ningi Creek Conservation Park are also nearby for fishing, boating and birdwatching.
In Ningi itself, Theo Green Park is a good spot for a picnic. As well as barbecues and tables, it has a playground, half basketball court and fitness equipment. For organised sports, there doesn’t seem to be much on offer in Ningi, so those wanting to play a sport will need to travel to surrounding towns.
Food and drink
As stated above, there are few places to go out in Ningi. There are no pubs or restaurants, so you’ll need to go further afield for a cold beer, wine or dinner out. However, for a daytime meal or drink, there are two cafes – 48 Beanz Espresso and The Coffee Bus – as well as Beefy’s, which has won awards for its pies.
Housing in Ningi is mostly comprised of single detached homes. The median price for a three-bedroom home is around $285,000, however, four-bedroom houses are significantly more expensive – expect to pay in the range of $440,000. There are very few flats in the town, and most of the housing stock is new because of Ningi’s recent growth. However, the good news is that the homes tend to be spacious and come well equipped for a growing family. If renting, expect to pay around $330 a week for a three-bedroom house.
There are numerous bus services linking Ningi to nearby Bribie Island and Caboolture. From Caboolture you can catch trains northwards to Gympie, Cairns and Longreach or south to Brisbane to travel on the city’s public transport network or to connect to bus or train services to regional areas.
If travelling by car, the short drive to Caboolture connects to the Bruce Highway (M1), which runs north-south close to the coast, and the D’Aguilar Highway (State Route 85), which heads west, so driving to other parts of Queensland is quite straightforward.