The name ‘Coochiemudlo’ refers to a red rock, a natural cliff composed of iron-rich rock which is exposed on the south western side of the island and is easily recognisable when seen from the mainland. Coochie, as it is commonly known, is located only 1 kilometre from the mainland and is easily reached by a short ferry trip from Victoria Point, the island being serviced by both passenger ferry and vehicular barge. Most day trippers elect to travel by passenger ferry as the island is an easy walk being only 1.3km long by 1.8 km wide and having a land area of approximately 165 hectares.
Coochie boasts more than 4 km of beautiful sandy beaches that wrap around the island’s southern, eastern and northern sides with mangroves covering the western foreshore of the island. The beaches are calm and generally shallow, which make them particularly attractive to families with small children. Coochie is a predominantly residential island, with a population of 708 people according to the 2011 Census.
Settlement on Coochie dates from 1895, with land used mainly for farming. Significant development did not occur until the early 1960s when the island was subdivided into about 700 allotments. Gradual growth took place from the late 1960s, initially in the northern part of the island. More substantial growth took place from the early 1990s, with the population nearly doubling between 1991 and 2006, a result of new dwellings being added to the area, and an increase in the proportion of occupied dwellings. The population grew at a slower rate between 2006 and 2011 as fewer new dwellings were added.
The island’s facilities include a kiosk/general store, ambulance, boat hire, golf course, tennis court, holiday units and a restaurant. Always a popular destination for visitors, the island becomes a vibrant hive of activity when the Coochie Island Craft Markets line the island’s foreshore park and the talents of the island’s many artists and craftspeople go on display. Both primary and high school students, along with residents commute daily to school and work on the mainland.