Destination: Stradbroke Island
One of the largest sand islands in the world, Stradbroke Island is one of Australia’s national treasures and the perfect place for an island getaway. The island is popular among locals who know of the kilometres of white, sandy beaches and crystal clear waters while only a one hour drive and a ferry away from Brisbane.
It’s a subtropical area with sunshine almost all year round and temperatures ranging from 20C in winter and 28C in summer.
The island is split into two; North and South Stradbroke, with the north island the more developed of the two. North Stradbroke is 38km long and 11km wide with three small townships offering vacation rentals, shops and a range of dining opportunities.
While less developed with no sealed roads South Stradbroke, 22km long and 2km wide, has a number of anchorages, campsites and tourist resorts making it more of an adventure holiday location than its northern twin. With such a diversity of experiences on offer and beautiful spots to explore, both islands are popular destinations for families, couple’s holidays and adventure seekers.
Things to do on Stradbroke
Before anything else, Stradbroke Island is known for its unspoilt beaches and headlands, perfect for swimming, surfing and fishing regardless of the season. Whale watching from the headlands is popular during the migration season, and dolphins, turtles and manta rays can often be seen from the spectacular North Gorge on the northern tip of the island. The island has been listed as one of the world's most ecologically important wetlands and has several freshwater lakes, waterways and lagoons.
Four wheel driving enthusiasts know the island to be an off-road driving adventure park, with freshwater lakes, waterways and plenty of sandy roads and dunes. There is a permit cost, though it is a low annual fee and the revenue raised goes into beach regeneration work.
Camping is possible all year round and there are a number of campsites to choose from. You can choose to what extent you intend to ‘rough it’ with some sites offering amenities blocks and even equipment hire. Check the locations out prior to leaving though as some do not have drinking water or power.
There are a number of diving centres offering both scuba and snorkelling off Stradbroke Island. The only way to describe diving here is exhilarating; the water around Stradbroke is an aquatic playground for Australian marine life.
There is a great deal of Aboriginal and European history on the islands. The Stradbroke Island tourism office can provide maps for you to take yourself on a self-guided tourism walk.
Dining & Nightlife
There are plenty of cafes and restaurants to choose from on the north island, offering everything from the quick and easy take away of Fins & Fries to Delia's Quarterdeck Restaurant located at Point Lookout and giving diners beautiful views.
For many of these restaurants local seafood is the main fare and they’ve located themselves for stunning beach and coastal views.
Though most of the resorts on South Stradbroke Island have closed down there are still a number of small cafes and diners on offer, now with a more personal atmosphere.
There are a number of souvenir stores scattered over the islands, particularly at Point Lookout. You won’t find a bustling shopping centre here but most of the shops on the north island are located in Dunwich, providing supermarkets and some trendy little boutique beach fashion stores.
The south island has some small convenience stores but if you’re camping try to ensure you have what you need before you get there. This is a small, sleepy little community after all.
Every year Stradbroke Island hosts the Chamber Music Festival, comprising of six concerts at intimate venues across North Stradbroke. Come and be inspired by the beautiful music and tranquil surrounds.
Taste of Straddie is a week-long festival with loads of free activities including a treasure hunt, guided tours, heritage walks, markets, golf, bare foot bowls, local food, wine tasting and much more giving you a taste of what Stradbroke Island has to offer.
Weddings & Functions
If you have ever dreamt of a beautiful beach wedding then Stradbroke Island Events can help you. Specialising in weddings but also coordinating sporting and corporate events, Stradbroke Island Events offers you a memorable experience in this spectacular location. Catering to all wedding themes this family business knows the island and how to shape it around what you are looking for.
Getting to Stradbroke Island
Vehicle ferries run 365 days a year from Cleveland in Brisbane to Dunwich on the North Stradbroke Island and also offers a water taxi service. Visit the Stradbroke Ferries website to find out more about getting to Stradbroke.