One of the largest sand islands in the world, the relaxed bliss of North Stradbroke Island is only an hour’s drive from Brisbane.
The trip from the mainland to the island takes 45 minutes by barge, which also takes your car or 25 minutes by fast water taxi but it’s more of a journey into a different realm where it’s hard to work up the energy to get stressed about anything.
When there’s plenty of beach to roam, friendly folk to chat with, incredible vistas around every corner and comfortable accommodation and food, life seems pretty sweet.
Apart from swimming at any of the beaches, here are my top 10 things to do on Straddie. What are yours? Please leave your Straddie tips in the comments section at the end.
Pick up some supplies
Start your Straddie sojourn at the Island Fruit Barn on the main drag in Dunwich where you can pick up all your holiday supplies. There’s a surprisingly good range of deli items from the essential to the unusual, high-quality fruit and good cake and coffee. Combine a thick slice of apple cake with a fruit frappe and enjoy.
2. Enjoy some art
While you are in Dunwich, check out the local Aboriginal art at Salt Water Murris Quandamooka Art Gallery.
3. Discover the history
North Stradbroke Island Historical Museum, also in Dunwich, is a wonderful browse and a chance to learn something of the island’s history as an asylum.
4. Stop for lunch
Seashells Café and Bar, Ballow Rd, Amity Point offers sample locally caught fresh fish and oysters. Mooch around Amity and find some local seafood to cook later.
Enjoy a sunset drink at The Point Bar, Point Lookout Surf Lifesaving Club, Kennedy Drive, overlooking Main Beach, Point Lookout. Open on Saturday and Sunday afternoons from 3 pm, it is a perfect place to kick back and relax.
Dine at The Whales Way Restaurant and Bar at Pandanus Palms Resort, 21 Cumming Pde, Pt Lookout. The sweeping views of the coastline are outstanding, but there’s plenty of cocktail action to enjoy as well. Owners Matt and Bobbi Wells came to The Whales Way from the BarrelRoom in the heart of the Granite Belt. They source their seafood daily from local suppliers.
7. Stay at Whale Watch Resort, Samarinda Drive, Point Lookout and walk down to the beach for a swim, up to the Point for fish and chips or a drink at the Surf Club anytime.
On Sunday morning, browse the Point Lookout Markets beside the Bowls Club on Dickson Way, Point Lookout and the shops in Mintee Street. Point Lookout Souvenirs and Resort Wear has a huge range of swimwear and knowledgeable and helpful owners to help with fitting and advice.
9. Make sure you do the Point Lookout Gorge Walk which leaves from just opposite the shops where you’ll also find great fish and chips at Col Battersby’s Fishes Café. Eat in or takeaway for a picnic under the she-oaks on the spectacular headland overlooking Frenchman’s Beach.
How to get there:
Stradbroke Ferries (Vehicle Ferry/Water Taxi), Toondah Harbour, Cleveland
Big Red Cat (Vehicle Ferry/Walk On Passengers) Toondah Harbour, Cleveland
Straddie Flyer / Gold Cats (Water Taxi)
Cleveland Auto Hire (Car/Scooter Hire including North Stradbroke Island)
More information: www.stradbrokeisland.com
Disclaimer: Kerry Heaney was the guest of the Straddie Chamber of Commerce.