The Attractions of Stradbroke Island

Located on Brisbane’s eastern doorstep, North Stradbroke Island (’Straddie’ to the familiar) is another of Australia’s east coast natural treasures -a perfect escape destination. Somehow, the secret has been well kept and it is only recently that Straddie has started to sparkle on the tourist and real-estate radar.

To travel to Straddie through the township of Cleveland takes about fifty minutes using the vehicle ferry. Cleveland is only a 30 minute drive from Brisbane International Airport or Brisbane central, and one hour’s drive from the Gold Coast. The boat ride across Moreton Bay is the first of a series of experiences that make visiting Stradbroke Island such a wonderful destination.

Stradbroke Island covers 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. The beaches are accessible by four-wheel drive, bicycle or on foot, with many good camping sites located all the way down Main Beach, and 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 at 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 reminder of the contrast to the more relaxed lifestyle of Straddie.

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

The waters of Moreton Bay lap against the shores of the island’s western fishing towns. With a 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, surfers and beach-lovers to its wide stretches of beach and rugged granite headlands, and the Island also has a good range of accommodation, restaurants, cafes and holiday attractions. With a wonderful diversity of experiences available and spectacular places 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 forty metres above sea level and recognised as a leading land-based whale watching area 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 year round. Whales, dolphins, turtles and manta rays are regularly spotted 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 being able to purchase fresh seafood available direct from local fishermen. Look for signs at Amity Point and Point Lookout which will direct you to their homes and the freshest catch-of-the-day around. For those who prefer the work be done for them, Straddie’s restaurants and cafes all make use of this perfect 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 the three 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 drop in for a quick 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 focusses on selling surfing equipment 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 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:

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