Stradbroke Island Queensland – Travel Guide

Located on Brisbane’s eastern doorstep, North Stradbroke Island (“Straddie” to those familiar) is one of Australia’s natrual treasures -a perfect escape destination. Somehow, the secret has been well kept and it is only in recent years that Stradbroke Island has begun to shine on the tourism and property radar.

Travel to Straddie through the township of Cleveland will take you approx. fifty minutes on the vehicle ferry. Cleveland is a 30 minute drive from Brisbane International Airport and 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 fantastic experience.

Stradbroke Island is 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 many popular camping sites placed all the way down Main Beach, and wonderful views are visible from almost everywhere on Straddie.

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 concrete jungle of the Gold Coast is often clearly visible, being a constant reminder of the contrast to the more relaxed lifestyle of Straddie.

North Stradbroke (or Minjerriba to the indigenous Noonuccal people) was the home of celebrated Aboriginal poet Kath Walker, or Oodgeroo Noonuccal. There is a large amount of Aboriginal and European history surrounding Dunwich where the water taxis and barges land.

The calm waters of Moreton Bay ripple against the shores of the island’s western fishing towns. With a lack of agriculture and the filtering effects of the sand results in unpolluted water that fish, and particularly Stradbroke Rock Oysters thrive upon.

North Stradbroke attracts 4WDers, fishermen, surfers and beach-lovers to its expansive lengths of accessible coast 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 available and spectacular spots to discover, North Stradbroke is a popular holiday destination 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, and only a 30km 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-watch area throughout the colder months, and world-class surfing and fishing throughout the year.

Point Lookout’s unspoilt beaches and headlands are perfect for swimming, surfing and fishing year round. Whales, dolphins, turtles and manta rays can often be viewed from the spectacular North Gorge at the northern part of the island. The island has been listed as one of the world’s most ecologically important wetlands and has several freshwater lakes, waterways and lagoons that are accessible by four-wheel drive or on a guided tour with one of Straddie’s tour operators.

One of the best features on the island is being able to purchase fresh seafood directly from local fishermen. Look for signs at Amity Point and Point Lookout to direct you to their homes and the freshest catch-of-the-day around. For those that would rather the work be done for them, Straddie’s restaurants and cafes all make use of this delicious resource in the menu.

“The Point” offers several alfresco style cafes, a bakery, chemist, post office, newsagent, corner store and supermarket. The island also has a bus service linking all 3 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! Stradbroke boasts what is perhaps the last truly old-school surf shop in the country, that makes it’s business 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 differing 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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