Living in an area for over 20 years, you would imagine that you would have taken some time to see everything the area has to offer. However, all too often we just stick to the area’s that we know and miss out on some amazing places. One such place for me is North Stradbroke Island.
As the crow flies from home, Dunwich, the gateway to North Stradbroke Island is around 14km. While the location is not far away, it is the need to catch a ferry to visit the island which has led me to this point.
Getting To North Stradbroke Island
In reality going to North Stradbroke Island is rather easy. Two ferry services depart from Cleveland and Travel to the township of Dunwich on the western side of North Stradbroke Island.
Stradbroke Flyer – The passenger ferry leaves from the end of Middle Street Cleveland, with hourly services in the morning and afternoon, taking around 25 minutes for the journey. It is best to check their website for exact departure times. The price for an adult is $19 return or $10 one way at the time of writing in August 2016, however, check their website for most up to date information. Website
Stradbroke Ferries – If you are visiting and want to take your car, Stradbroke Ferries is your option. Also departing from the end of Middle Street Cleveland, just follow the signs. The ferry leaves every hour throughout the day, and the journey takes around 50 minutes to Dunwich. It is crucial to remember that bookings are essential (especially at peak times), and can be made via their website. The price does vary depending upon travel times and the day of the week, so it is best to check their website for your travel dates and current special offers. Website
Visiting North Stradbroke Island
It was back in 1988 when I moved to the Redland City area at the age of 4. I have lived in the area ever since and while I have visited all of the mainland area’s of Redland City, the only island I have visited in the area was Coochiemudlo Island. That was until June 2015, when an opportunity to Visit North Stradbroke Island presented itself.
The ferry arrives into Dunwich, which is the largest of three townships on the island, a network of sealed roads connects the three towns. The other two towns being Amity Point & Point Lookout, which are both around a 20-minute drive to the northeast.
It is quite easy to find your way around, and if you have a 4WD, you also do have the option to visit a few other areas such as some different campgrounds along the beach. However, you do require a permit to drive on the beach, and there are some restrictions surrounding this. For more information about taking your 4WD on the beach, you can visit Straddie Camping for details on permits.
Things To Do
When it comes to finding something to do when visiting North Stradbroke Island you are spoiled for choice, there is an abundance of places to visit. Especially if you are like me and enjoy walking, and photography. The first place I would recommend you start is to visit the website for Stradbroke Island Holidays and download a copy of the North Stradbroke Island Visitors Guide, which is available on their Brochures page along with a couple of other relevant brochures.
If you are visiting North Stradbroke Island without a car, there is a bus service which departs from the ferry terminals and visits Amity Point and Point Lookout. You can find out more information on the Stradbroke Island Buses website where there is information on timetables and fares available. Without a car, some of the following spots may not be as easy to get too.
North Gorge Walk
The North Gorge Walk, located near Point Lookout off Mooloomba Road, is a loop walk of about 1.5km that takes you through a spectacular walking track, with ocean views and plenty of wildlife to spot both in and out of the water. Between June and November, there may be the opportunity for a little whale watching from here as well.
A short drive from Dunwich, Brown Lake offers a beautiful spot to stop for a break or even lunch with BBQ and picnic facilities available. The brown colouring of the lake comes from the leaves that get dropped by the nearby Melaleuca trees, and the tannin gets exuded from the leaves which fall into the lake and line the bottom. Swimming at Brown Lake is possible; however, it can be worth considering the time of year. When I visited in June the water was a little cold for swimming; however, there were a couple of English Tourists that felt right at home taking a dip.
There is an abundance of wildlife around both in an out of the water. On my visit to North Stradbroke, one of the highlights was watching as a rather large kangaroo, made it’s way across the pedestrian crossing in Point Lookout around lunchtime. There was plenty of other kangaroo sightings, as well as a couple of Koalas.
When it comes to wildlife in the water, some of this can be dependant on the time of year, such as whale watching season which lasts from June to November. However, there is also an abundance of other marine life, such as Manta Rays, Turtles, Dugongs and Dolphins to be spotted.
Enjoy The Stay
Whether you are looking at taking a day trip or a longer trip, Stradbroke can be an ideal spot to rest, relax and rejuvenate.
If you are looking just to spend the day, I would suggest trying to avoid holiday periods or long weekends. You will find a lot more people around and might find it harder to get to what you want to see. A day trip in non-peak times could afford you the best of seeing the sights without a lot of people.
If you are looking to stay longer, I would highly recommend doing some research and booking in advance. To help ensure that you can get a room or a camping site in peak periods. Just about all the details, you need to start your search can be found in the North Stradbroke Island Visitors Guide which you can download from here.
Have you visited North Stradbroke Island, or are you planning a trip? Why not let me know or ask any questions you might have in the comments below. You can connect with me on social media, pick your favourite social network below.