Last Monday/Tuesday Kels and I decided to head over to North Stradbroke Island (aka Straddie) and do a bit of exploring! It was so beautiful – crystal clear water, blue skies and plenty of Aussie animals! I’m already itching to go back!
Straddie is the second largest sand island in the world, and is only a short 30 minute water taxi ride (or an hour on the vehicle ferry) from mainland Brisbane! Monday morning we woke up bright and early and packed our bags, making sure we had swimmers, food for the trip and loads of sunscreen. We were lucky enough to catch a ride with Reagan to the ferry terminal in Cleveland. However; if you get yourself to the train line and hop on the train heading to Cleveland- there’s a free bus that will take you from the station to the terminal.
We took the Stradbroke Flyer water taxi*, which was only a $19 return ticket. The boat comes approximately every hour, so we caught the 7:55am one so that we could spend maximal time on the island! There’s also a vehicle ferry that can take you to the island that will cost anywhere from $50 to $100, depending on peak times and size/weight of your vehicle.
Once on the island (since we didn’t have a vehicle to take us around), we caught the local bus service to take us from Dunwich to Point Lookout (where all the gorgeous beaches are, and where I recommend staying if you stay overnight). It picked us up just to the right of where the boat dropped us off. The bus was $4.70 each (one way) and just a 30 minute ride to take us to the start of our adventure. **
Once you are all settled on the island (for us that meant dropping off our food/ extra bags off at our Air BnB) – the adventure really begins! There’s so much to see, and I was so excited to see it all! Here’s my top five recommendations for what to do on the island!
1.Walk the Beaches at Low Tide
Put on your swimmers, pack some water and slap on some sunscreen and explore! Kels and I started at Home Beach and managed to wander all the way to Frenchmans Beach. There’s plenty of little rock pools to explore, a massive sand dune to climb and then slide down and unlimited gorgeous views!
2. Take a Dip!
This was our first ocean swim in two years! Kels ran straight into the water; I had to be girly and put my hair in braids first (#justgirlythings). We swam at Cylinder Beach, which is patrolled by lifeguards 365 days of the year. Main beach was also being patrolled when we visited on day two, but it was windier (and chillier) so we opted out of a swim. The water on Straddie is so incredibly crystal clear and beautiful – it’s a sin to not take a dip! It is “winter” here at the moment, so we basically had the beach to ourselves!
3. Walk the North Gorge Walk (and Watch for Whales)
It’s an easy 1.2km boardwalk style walk along the headland of Point Lookout. There’s views of the gorgeous clear blue waters, and plenty of lookouts to watch for whales (if you’ve visiting around June and November). Kels and I were lucky enough to see a couple of them swimming by when we did the walk the first time. (THEY ARE SUCH MAGICAL CREATURES). So grab a seat on the rocks, be patient and keep an eye out on the horizon!
4. Make Your Way to Amity Jetty to Watch the Dolphins
You can drive over to Amity (if you have a car) or you could do what Kels and I did and use the local bus to make your way to Amity. We went around 2pm and managed to see a few jumping around right near the shore (although we didn’t manage to snap any photos)! We were told by a local who was fishing off the jetty that the best time to see them was about 4pm, so that’s when I would plan to go for next time!
5. Watch the Sunrise/Sunset on the Beach
I absolutely LOVE the sun; and I was so excited to see it rise/set over the ocean again. Kels and I experienced some stellar sun action on our last trip to Aus; and this trip to Straddie was our first time on a proper beach to experience the magic again – and it did not disappoint! Grab a blanket, your camera and settle in at least 30 minutes before the sun is supposed to rise/set. We watched the sun set from Home Beach, and rise from Cylinder. However, I’ve read that Amity Jetty, Adder Rock, and Point Lookout itself offer amazing views as well!
Straddie is absolutely incredible, and the fact that it’s so damn close to where Kels and I have decided to call home for the next little bit just makes it even better! I definitely recommend spending the little extra money to find accommodation for at least a night. You won’t regret it. I guarantee if you plan only a day trip you’ll be wishing for more time. I highly recommend booking in at the Air BnB*** we stayed at with Kym, it was a cute little tree house suite with and outside private shower and everything you could need (including a little BBQ)!
I can’t wait to get back to Straddie! Let me know if you have any other suggestions for our next trip back!
* Link to the timetable for the walk on ferry: www.flyer.com.au/
** Link to the Straddie bus website (with timetables etc): www.stradbrokeislandbuses.com.au
***If you haven’t used Air BnB before, sign up by following this link www.airbnb.ca/c/danip40 and then you can get $50 travel credit off your first booking (WIN).