June 2014 marks 50 years of service to North Stradbroke Island!
Stradbroke Ferries Pty Ltd has been providing vehicle and passenger services to North Stradbroke Island since June 1964, when the Company’s founding Directors identified the need for a regular vehicle transport service to the island, and in particular to service the mining industry.
The company originally operated one vehicle ferry, the Myora from Redland Bay to Dunwich on Stradbroke Island, however in 1972 the operations moved to Cleveland after the company completed extensive work on the present facilities at Toondah Harbour.
In 1987 Stradbroke Ferries commenced their vehicle ferry operations to the Southern Moreton Bay Islands, which serviced the islands of Russell, Macleay, Karragarra and Lamb.
Tourism on Straddie first started to advance in the 1980s and the company identified the need to review its vessel configuration to ensure that it also catered for the growing tourism market. Just to name a few, this included the introduction of the Stradbroke Venture in 1987 along with the company’s first water taxi, the Spirit of Stradbroke. The Quandamooka commenced operations in 1994 and was upgraded in 1998 to provide on board café facilities for customers. In 2004 the Minjerribah joined the Cleveland fleet and this provided the company with the two largest vessels to operate in Moreton Bay.
In December 2011, Stradbroke Ferries was purchased by Transit Systems, a family owned Australian company. The company developed a single brand for the entire fleet operating to North Stradbroke Island, including the Big Red Cat and water taxi.
In November 2015, Stradbroke Ferries was purchased by SeaLink Travel Group, which is the largest marine tourism and transport company in Australia. The Moggill Ferry service, BITS (Bay Islands Transit) and Gladstone Ferries marine operation was also included in the acquisition of the Transit Systems marine business.
Today the company operates eight vehicle ferries and a 130 seat water taxi seven days a week, 365 days a year within Moreton Bay; this incorporates the five islands of North Stradbroke, Russell, Lamb, Macleay and Karragarra.