Beautiful Stradbroke Island in Queensland is actually 2 quite distinct islands, which lie in Moreton Bay about 30 km south east of Brisbane. North Stradbroke Island is by far the larger of the pair and is, in fact, one of the largest sand island on the planet, though its not as big as its better know neighbour, Moreton Island. South Stradbroke Island is very much the smaller sibling and has less of a tourist industry, though still has lots to recommend it.
Interestingly, these 2 islands were once a single land mass until a major storm in 1896 split them, leaving the delightfully named Jumpinpin Channel separating the north and south parts of the previously unified Stradbroke Island. The Pin (as the locals call it) is well known for fishing with flathead, whiting, bream and trevally being pulled from its fast currents during the season.
North Stradbroke Island
Whilst the regular population of Straddie (as it is affectionately know) is a modest 2,000, come holiday time, the island’s charming villages swell with tourists eager to enjoy its pristine environment. With stunning untouched scenery, idyllic blue waters which are great for surfing and fishing as well as swimming and seasonal whale watching, lots of golden sandy beaches and a balmy climate, this is heaven for those who like their beach holidays laid back and at one with nature.
If you are looking for North Stradbroke Island accommodation, the 3 main settlements are Dunwich, Point Lookout (the Point) and Amity Point. Lookout Point is especially popular as it is both a stunning spot and home to the burgeoning surf scene, but wherever you choose to stay you’ll find plenty of options with holiday rentals, backpackers, resorts and campers all catered for. Indeed, Stradbroke Island is one of the best places in the country as far as campsites go as many pitches give you postcard perfect views of long sandy beaches and rolling waves.
South Stradbroke Island
Although much smaller than her big sister, South Stradbroke still has loads going for her and has the advantage of being just a tad closer to the Gold Coast on the mainland and so easy to hop over to for a day trip or overnight stay. The Island’s west coast is a big favourite with families as it is lapped by the tranquil waters of Moreton Bay making it pretty safe for swimming, whilst her east is again a Mecca for surfers keen to try their luck against the crashing breaks.
The Stradbroke Islands, just like Moreton Island and Bribie Island, are only accessible by ferry. The 2 options are a passenger ferry, which is ideal for those who either like to travel light or are only visiting for a short time, or a vehicle ferry, if you wish to bring more stuff or plan to tour around whilst you are there. There are currently 3 companies ferrying people to Straddie – the Stradbroke Flyer, Big Red Cat and Stradbroke Ferries – and they leave from Toondah Harbour in Cleveland, a convenient 50 minutes from Brisbane. Getting to South Stradbroke means heading to Runaway Bay Marina near Surfer’s Paradise and sailing over from there.
We will post more detailed information on getting to Stradbroke Island elsewhere on this website.