Separated from South Stradbroke Island by the Jumpinpin Channel, North Stradbroke Island is the place where summer never ends. Known Australia wide as Straddie, it takes pride in being one of the world's largest sand islands. Assessable only by vehicle or passenger ferry leaving from Cleveland, Brisbane, North Stradbroke is the place to get away from it all.
Rugged coastal landscapes, tranquil inland lakes, white sandy beaches and an endless aqua ocean are just some of the natural features of the island. The numerous freshwater lakes, Ibis Lagoon, Black snake Lagoon, Welsby Lagoon, Lake Kounpee, Brown Lake and the beautiful Blue Lake situated in Blue Lake National Park are not to be missed. the lakes are a surprise for visitors not expecting an oasis in the middle of miles of golden sand. There are also a number of man made water spots including the Key Hole Lakes, Yarraman Lake, Herring Lagoon and Palm Lagoon. In some areas there are extensive swamplands such as the long Eighteen Mile Swamp and another behind Flinders Beach. Other notable features of the island include Adder Rock between Amity and Point Lookout and on the southern tip of the island is Swan Bay an area of very large sand dunes.
What nature misses out on, the three main villages Dunwich , Point Lookout and Amity Point provide. The small resident population maintains a friendly village atmosphere with excellent accommodation choices, and a variety of cafés and restaurants.
The largest town and your first port of call on arrival is Dunwich. Although this is the major settlement there aren’t many places to stay except for two camping grounds. The town is home to the North Stradbroke Island Golf Club, a collection of Aboriginal shell middens tucked into the sand dunes along the main beach and the local museum. Dunwich also features “TERRA-BULLA-LEAUMEAH” reserve with informative signs, historical references, and native plants.
Point Lookout boasts the local bowls club, the islands only public hotel and a collection of impressive cafes and restaurants. Reputed to be the best land based whale watching site in Queensland, Point Lookout makes a great place to stay as there is a wide array of accommodation that caters to every budget and taste.
Amity Point, known for its seaside fishing and relaxed village atmosphere boasts an enclosed swimming area and a boat ramp providing easy access for those wishing to pursue ocean activities. Amity features low key accommodation including camping, cabins and bungalows.
There are numerous ways to enjoy all that the island has to offer including bicycle tours,
whale watching, 4WD tours, fishing charters, sea kayaking, snorkeling, sandboarding or surfing lessons.
Come for a week and stay for a month, it’s a familiar story on North Stradbroke Island.
South Stradbroke Island
Although geographically very close to it all, South Stradbroke Island is an adventure far away from the glitter of the Gold Coast. Even though the southern end of it fronts the Broadwater, and the tip marks the Gold Coast Seaway, the island is for the most part an oasis. S eparated from North Stradbroke by the Jumpinpin channel, the island is accessible from the Gold Coast by boats departing from Runaway Bay Marina near Southport, water taxis from the Marina Mirage or seaplane access from Paradise Waters.
If you’re after peace and quiet avoid the eastern beaches, known as a mini Surfers Paradise and head to the western side. Perpetually calm and tranquil, the western beaches are naturally protected from strong currents and ocean waves. Lagoon-like waters are perfect for swimming, fishing, boating, or making use of the many water sport attractions available. If you’re interested in hiking or exploring, take the ten minute walk through tropical bush land to the eastern beaches. The eastern side is popular with surfers and also where the Humpback whales migrate each year.
Other activities include Aboriginal cultural performances, sea kayaking or resort activities (lawn bowls, tennis, cycling, putting, a sprint track, rock climbing, canoeing, windsurfing, sailing, parasailing or surf fishing).
If your after a true Australian sporting battle, then head to South Stradbroke Island on New Years Day. The much loved and fiercely challenged annual Currigee Cup has been held on the island since 1965.
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