The Attractions of Stradbroke Island

Situated on Brisbane’s eastern coast, North Stradbroke Island (“Straddie” to those familiar) is one of Australia’s natrual treasures -a perfect escape destination. Something of a secret, it is only in recent years that Straddie has begun to shine on the tourist and real-estate radar.

To travel to Stradbroke Island via the township of Cleveland takes approx. fifty minutes on the vehicle ferry. Cleveland is only a 30 minute drive from Brisbane International Airport and the centre of Brisbane, and one hour’s drive from the Gold Coast. The ferry ride across Moreton Bay is the first step that makes Stradbroke Island such a great trip.

Stradbroke Island is 27,530 hectares, which means it 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 great camping sites placed down Main Beach, and fabulous views appear visible from almost everywhere on the island.

The 35 kilometres of white sandy beaches fringing the island’s eastern side runs from Point Lookout in the north to Jumpin Pin in the south. From the Point lookout headland, the concrete jungle of the Gold Coast can be clearly visible, being a constant reminder of the contrast to the more relaxed lifestyle of Straddie.

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

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

North Stradbroke attracts four-wheel drivers, fishers, surfies and beach-lovers to the expansive stretches of accessible coast and rugged granite headlands, and the Island offers a range of accommodation, restaurants, cafes and holiday attractions. With a wonderful diversity of experiences on offer and beautiful areas to discover, North Stradbroke is a great 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 the main destination, only a 30km drive on a sealed road from Dunwich. The North Gorge Headland is forty metres above sea level and recognised as a leading land-based whale-watch area throughout from May-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 with several freshwater lakes, waterways and lagoons that are accessible by four-wheel drive or on a guided tour with one of Straddie’s friendly tour operators.

One of the great features of the island is the fresh seafood available direct from local fishermen. Look for the signs at Amity Point and Point Lookout which will 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 fabulous resource on the 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 which links all 3 towns to 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! Stradbroke also boasts what is perhaps the last truly old-school surf shop in the country, that makes it’s business selling surf gear rather than fashion.

The jewels in the Straddie’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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