North Stradbroke. Beauty on the Doorstep.
It constantly amazes me how blessed we are to live in South East Queensland. So many of us plan overseas adventures when there is so much to do on your own doorstep. Just a 45 minutes ferry trip from Brisbane is the island paradise of North Stradbroke Island, usually referred to as Straddie by the locals. Yes, that’s right Australian’s shorten everything (Afternoon = arvo, Avocado = Avo, biscuit = bikkie, North Stradbroke = Straddie, or North Straddie). Whether you’ve a daytripper or taking the family camping, there’s always plenty to see and do.
Let’s take a closer look at what you can get up to when visiting North Straddie.
Between May and November, North Straddie is a great place to whale watch, and the best thing about it is all you need is a pair of binoculars. There’s no need to pay a couple hundred dollars for a whale watching cruise. Point Lookout Headland is one of the best places for viewing. You may also see dolphins, manta rays and sea turtles.
With golden beaches that stretch out for kilometres and 4-wheel drive tracks, there’s lots of options for those who are easily bored sun worshipping. You can take your own vehicle but you’ll need a Vehicle Access Permit (available at camping grounds or online) or you can hire 4WDs on the island itself
Explore The Blue Lake
Soak up the natural beauty of the Blue Lake. The lake is only accessible by foot and you’ll need a medium level of fitness that will take you approximately 30-35 minutes each way. If you enjoy seeing native wildlife in their own habitat, there’s plenty of birds, lizards and other reptiles to see. With the sweltering temperatures during summer, be sure to slip, slop, slap (slip on a t-shirt, slop on some sunscreen and slap on a hat) and keep well hydrated. The Aboriginal’s call it Kaboora, which translates to silent pool. It’s regarded as a sacred spot, so visitors are requested to respect this.
Swim in the Brown Lake
The name comes from the colour of the water! And while you might have second thoughts plunging into the water, the brown tinge is due to the teatrees that surround the lake. It’s a great picnic and swimming spot.
Picnic at the beach
There are some beautiful spots to picnic and there is nothing like the views at North Straddie to spread out a picnic rug, while enjoying a quiet glass of sparkling wine, cheese and crackers. Afterwards you can stroll for miles, jump the waves or make sand angels.
If you’re on a budget, all you need is a steep sand dune and a cardboard box and you can have hours of fun zooming down the slopes, but there are sand boards you can hire. The tour company will take you out to a monster slope. There are two sessions a day and it is a lot of fun! Think of it as snowboarding, Queensland style. Of course, you’ll need plenty of sunscreen, take a water bottle and a sense of humour.
There are quite a few campgrounds around if you want to stay for longer than a day. There’s family campgrounds that are a great way to get to know new people while your kids are out socialising, or for those of you who are used to a little more comfortable you can level up your camping experience by glamping.
No matter whether you’re after an adventure or a little rest and relaxation, North Stradbroke Island has something for everyone.