North Stradbroke Island is the second largest sand island in the world and located just one hour from Brisbane. It is the perfect destination for a getaway and more than suitable for a self drive tour.
Unlike other sand islands, Straddie – as it is affectionately known by the locals – is easily accessible with a conventional vehicle as the townships are networked with bitumen roads. The island is renowned for its natural beauty and there are a diversity of beautiful spots, pristine Beaches and National Parks. Furthermore, it offers different activities suitable for young and old.
Stradbroke Ferries has been servicing North Stradbroke Island for over 50 years. Between the two main vessels, Minjerribah and the Big Red Cat, services leave Cleveland hourly, offering a convenient way of getting to and from the island. The departure terminal is located at Middle Street Cleveland. There is a café at the ferry terminal as well as on the Big Red Cat vessel for you to enjoy a coffee, cold drink or something to eat. A leisurely 45 minutes across picturesque Moreton Bay on the vehicle ferry and your adventure may begin.
On arrival at Dunwich, the first excursion into nature is only a five minute drive away. Brown Lake is located 4 kms east on the Trans-Island Road. Around the edge of the lake are walking trails from which different types of native wildlife in the surrounding bush land can be spotted. It is also suitable for swimming and has amenities such as picnic tables, BBQ, a playground and a composting toilet so why not have morning tea or lunch close to nature?
Alternatively, there are several eateries in Dunwich. Dunwich Bakery offers freshly baked cakes and pies and just out of town on Ballow Road is the Island Fruit Barn which offers great coffee and homemade cakes.
When visiting Dunwich you should not miss the opportunity to visit the North Stradbroke Island Historical Museum which is located in Welsby Street. They are opened from 10 am to 2 pm Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and have a magnificent display and knowledge of history. Salt Water Murris’ have a shop located just up from the bakery and are open Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday and have an impressive selection of local traditional art.
The Little Ship Club located in Yabby Street at the “One Mile” offers fantastic views across Moreton Bay while you can enjoy a cold drink or maybe lunch.
From Dunwich it is only 5 kilometers along East Coast Road to Myora Springs, which is located on the left hand side of the road. These springs have been a source of fresh water for thousands of years and still have an abundance of wildlife in the surrounding forest.
If you are a nature lover and feeling a little more adventurous you shouldn’t miss Blue Lake.
Blue Lake is located 8.5kms from Dunwich but the lake itself is only accessible by foot or 4WD. A 5.2 km return walk from the car park will take you to the lake. Keep an eye out for wildlife and don’t forget to bring your swimmers. Just make sure you are carrying enough water with you as there are no facilities at the lake or car park.
Amity Point, which is 8.5km from Dunwich, is a quaint little fishing village. It is popular with families, fishermen and anyone looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the mainland. There is a variety of accommodation options for future visits to the island. Seashells at Amity or Amity Point Community Club are both ideal for stopover.
After continuing back to the main road it is another 6.5kms to Point Lookout, the holiday destination of the island. The “Point” is only 4kms in distance with East Coast Road being the link between all the accommodation, attractions and beaches. From Dunwich, it is 18km to Point Lookout.
The North Gorge headland walk is a must do at Point Lookout. The walking track offers spectacular views across the South Pacific Ocean and is the perfect spot for viewing abundance of marine life that frolic in the waters off the headland. Turtles, dolphins and manta rays can be seen all year round, with the Humpback Whales making an appearance from June to November.
There are several beaches at Point Lookout, however the two that are patrolled are Cylinder Beach and Main Beach and both are popular with surfers, swimmers, sunbathers and fishermen.
There are a number of eateries to choose from. Just near North Gorge is Fishes Café where you can get a fish n Chip lunch and why not have a Gelati from the Oceanic Gelati Shop while enjoying the views. Just around the corner is Look Café which also offers great views and good food.
There are a number of quaint shops that offer a variety of gifts, souvenirs and clothing so why not drop into one of the several shops located at Point Lookout and take home something special for yourself or a friend?
A trip to North Stradbroke Island would not be complete without a visit to the famous Straddie Pub now known as the Stradbroke Island Beach Hotel Spa Resort. This is the perfect way to finish the perfect day trip to Straddie.
With the ferry services operating as late as 6pm on weekends and 7.45pm on a Sunday you can really take the opportunity to make the most of what the island has to offer. When you decide to return next time and spend a few days contact our Holidays team for a great accommodation deal or to book your ferry.