Stradbroke Island Queensland – Travel Guide

Located on Brisbane’s eastern doorstep, North Stradbroke Island (’Straddie’ to the initiated) is another of Australia’s natrual treasures -a perfect escape destination. Something of a secret, it is only recently that Straddie has started to shine on the tourism and property radar.

Travel to Straddie by way of the township of Cleveland will take you about 50 minutes using the vehicle ferry. Cleveland is a half-hour drive from Brisbane International Airport or the centre of Brisbane, and one hour’s drive from the Gold Coast. The boat ride across Moreton Bay is the first step that makes visiting Stradbroke Island such a great trip.

Stradbroke Island covers 27,530 hectares, and therefore is 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 accessible by four-wheel drive, bicycle or tramping, with numerous popular camping sites dotted down Main Beach, and wonderful views appear visible from almost everywhere on the island.

Thirty-five kilometres of white sandy beaches fringe the island’s eastern side, from Point Lookout at the north to Jumpin Pin in the south. From the Point lookout headland, the towering jungle of the Gold Coast can be clearly visible, and is a constant reminder of the contrast to the slower pace of Straddie.

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

The calm waters of Moreton Bay lap against the shores of the island’s western fishing towns. The lack of agriculture and the filtering effects of the sand results in unpolluted water which sea-life, and particularly Stradbroke Rock Oysters thrive upon.

North Stradbroke attracts 4WDers, fishermen, surfies 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 an incredible diversity of attractions available and beautiful areas to explore, North Stradbroke is a popular holiday location 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 the main tourist hub, and 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 site in between May and November, and world-class surfing and fishing throughout the year.

Point Lookout’s beautiful beaches and headlands are perfect for swimming, surfing and fishing all year round. Whales, dolphins, turtles and manta rays can often be seen 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 with 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 great experiences of the island is the fresh seafood directly from local fishermen. Just look for the signs at Amity Point and Point Lookout to direct you to their homes and the freshest catch-of-the-day around. For those who would rather the work be done for them, Straddie’s restaurants and cafes all make use of this amazing island resource on their menu.

“The Point” offers several alfresco style cafes, a bakery, chemist, post office, newsagent, corner store and supermarket. The island also has its own 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 you can drop in for a 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 surf 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 different 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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