Stradbroke Island Queensland – Travel Guide

Situated on Brisbane’s eastern doorstep, North Stradbroke Island (’Straddie’ to the initiated) is one of Australia’s east coast natural treasures -a perfect escape destination. Something of a secret, it is only in recent years that Stradbroke Island has started to sparkle on the tourist and property radar.

Travel to Stradbroke Island by way of the bayside village of Cleveland takes approx. fifty minutes using the vehicle ferry. Cleveland is a 30 minute drive from Brisbane International Airport or the centre of Brisbane, and an drive from the Gold Coast. The ferry ride across Moreton Bay is the first step that makes Stradbroke Island such a wonderful destination.

Stradbroke Island covers 27,530 hectares, making it the world’s second largest sand island. The elongated sand island shields much of the southern part of Moreton Bay and the smaller islands from the ocean swells. It’s beaches are able to be accessed by four-wheel drive, bicycle or on foot, with numerous good camp sites situated all the way down Main Beach, and fabulous views are visible from almost everywhere on the island.

The 35 kilometres of white sandy beaches fringing the island’s eastern side runs from Point Lookout at the north to Jumpin Pin in the south. From the Point lookout headland, the buildings of the Gold Coast is often clearly visible, being a reminder of the contrast to the slower pace of Straddie.

North Stradbroke (Minjerriba to the indigenous Noonuccal people) was home to renowned Aboriginal poet Kath Walker, or Oodgeroo Noonuccal. There is a great deal of Aboriginal and European history in the area of Dunwich where water taxis and vehicular barges berth.

The calm waters of Moreton Bay ripple against the shores of the island’s western fishing towns. The lack of agriculture and the filtering effects of the sand provides clean water that sea-life, and particularly Stradbroke Rock Oysters thrive upon.

North Stradbroke attracts 4WDers, fishers, surfies and beach-lovers to the wide lengths of beach and rugged granite headlands, and the Island also offers a good range of accommodation, restaurants, cafes and holiday infrastructure. With a wonderful diversity of attractions on offer and spectacular areas to discover, North Stradbroke is a popular holiday place for families, couples and adventure-seekers alike. The ideal way to see the Island is by Four Wheel Drive, but there are many stunning coastal walks and a mountain bike and whale watching map are an easier and more environmentally sound alternative.

Point Lookout is a popular destination, only a thirty kilometre drive on a sealed road from Dunwich. The North Gorge Headland is 40 metres above sea level and known as a leading land-based whale watching area during between May and November, and world-class surfing and fishing throughout the year.

Point Lookout’s beautiful beaches and headlands are safe for swimming, surfing and fishing all year round. Whales, dolphins, turtles and manta rays can often be viewed from the spectacular North Gorge at the northern tip of the island. The island is listed as one of the world’s most ecologically important wetlands and has several freshwater lakes, waterways and lagoons that are accessible by 4WD or on a guided tour with one of Straddie’s friendly tour operators.

One of the greatest experiences of the island is the fresh seafood directly from local fishermen. Look for the signs at Amity Point and Point Lookout which direct you to their homes and the freshest, most delicious catch-of-the-day around. For those that prefer the work be done for them, Straddie’s restaurants and cafes all make use of this delicious island resource on the menus.

“The Point” offers a number of alfresco style cafes, a bakery, chemist, post office, newsagent, corner store and supermarket. The island also has a bus service which links all three towns to the ferries and water taxis.

North Stradbroke Island is the ultimate paradise for the many enthusiasts who visit each year. On a good day it’s possible to surf right past the pub, along the evocatively named Cylinders Beach, on waves that peel dreamily for hundreds of metres. Stick ten bucks in the back pocket of your boardies and drop in for a quick beer on your way back around -you may even bump into world ranked surfer and local Bede Durbidge! Straddie boasts what is perhaps the last truly old-school surf shop in the country, that focusses on selling surfing equipment rather than fashion.

The jewels in Stradbroke’s crown is Point Lookout and the natural wonder of the North Gorge Walk, along with the surf, the choice of beaches, all sheltered in various winds, the whale watching, and the spectacular coastal walk around the gorges. If you are looking for Stradbroke Island Accommodation, make sure you visit: http://www.discoverstradbroke.com.au/


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