Couran Cove Island Resort, South Stradbroke Island, Queensland

Couran Cove Island Resort is situated on South Stradbroke Island, Queensland, a 40 minute ferry ride away from the Gold Coast. The resort is set in natural surroundings with white sandy beaches, lush palm rainforest and native Australian wildlife in and around the resort. Developed in 1998, Couran Cove Island Resort is a leader in large-scale Ecotourism with a blend of first-class facilities and nature based activities. South Stradbroke Island is about 22km long with surf beach all along the east coast, and is only 2.4km at its widest. The resort marina and most of the resort complex is on the sheltered mainland side of the island where the island is at its widest.

The island is mostly undeveloped although there is another smaller resort and canal housing development just south of Couran Cove. The only traffic on the island are the utility vehicles for resort and island management and a few private four wheel drives which used by some locals to get to the surf beach on the east of the island.

One of the joys of Couran Cove is getting around without the need for a car. The resort has a network of walking paths that take you all round the resort and from coast to coast across the island to the surf beach. Everything is within an easy stroll. The other popular way of getting around is by bicycle hire. The resort has an astonishing number of bikes – over a thousand altogether including tandems, three wheelers and bikes with carriages. There is also a complimentary shuttle train that runs regularly from the main resort station to the rainforest and the surf beach with five station stops along the way.

Accommodation

Couran Cove Island Resort offers a range of accommodation styles from hotel-style rooms to fully self-contained cabins. The waterfront Marine Resort accommodation is the most expensive with Deluxe, Suites and Lodge accommodation right on the edge of the marina or the resort lagoon.

Forest View four-bedroom villas are set in the coastal wetland forest with glimpses of the Broadwater beyond.

The Nature Cabins are nestled deep in the forest, still within an easy walk of the main resort facilities. A bike is a handy way to get around when your cabin is some way from the central complex. There is a choice of studio, 2 bedroom or two and a half bedroom cabins. The cabins have verandah and are insect screened.

Resort Activities

Couran Cove Island Resort has a huge variety of sport and leisure activities to choose from. Activities include walking, cycling, archery, swimming in the pool or at the surf beach, gym, spa, bowls, archery, rock wall, basketball, sailing, kayaking, and lots more. The Activities and Tours Desk provides information and booking facility to assist in planning your activities.

Couran Cove Island Resort offers many nature based activities. Guides walks introduce you to the native plants and animals that share our beautiful island. The early morning Mangrove kayak tour is a great way to see some of the bird species on the island to date. The guided Rainforest walk takes you through the ancient Cabbage Tree Palm Rainforest. Guided Nocturnal walks take you out looking for bandicoots, echidnas and squirrel gliders.

Couran Cove also offers an Astronomy tour which starts with a slide show, then takes you outdoors to gaze at the night sky through their Dobsonian reflecting telescopes.

Wildlife

Couran Cove has a many types of native bushland including mangrove swamp, rainforest, Melaleuca wetlands, eucalypt woodlands and coastal sand dunes. This supports a diversity of wildlife.

The most commonly seen mammal on South Stradbroke Island is the Agile Wallaby. These are sandy brown wallabies with a whitish belly and pale stripe on thigh, and black ear edges and tail tips. They can be seen around the resort on lawns and nearby bushland. Much less commonly see is the Golden Swamp Wallaby. It is dark brown to black above and reddish orange below. These wallabies are much more elusive than the Agile Wallabies, and forage in areas on dense vegetation. You are most likely to see one at night or very early in the morning. Other mammals on the island include the Northern Brown Bandicoot, Echidnas, Squirrel Gliders and Fawn-Footed Melomys.

Couran Cove Island Resort has a rich diversity of habitats including sand dunes, grasslands, rainforest, woodlands, wetlands and mangroves and is home to over 205 species of birds. There are several birds of prey including the conspicuous Whistling Kite which is the logo of the resort. Other frequently seen birds of prey include Ospreys, Brahminy Kites and White Bellied Sea Eagles. There are numerous water and shore birds including the Rufous Night Heron, Eastern Curlew, Whimbrel, Pied Oyster Catcher, Little Terns and Pelicans. Various species of honeyeaters feed in the Banksias and gum trees. Look out for the brightly coloured Scarlet Honeyeater. Colourful Rainbow Bee-eaters are also found on the island. Rainforest birds such as the Eastern Yellow Robin and the elusive Noisy Pitta are found in the rainforest areas. The resort is home to several nocturnal bird species such as the Tawny Frogmouth, White Throated Nightjar, Southern Boobook Owl and Bush Thick Knee.

South Stradbroke Island and surrounding marine environments has about seventeen species of lizards, fifteen species of snakes and six species of turtles. The largest lizard on the island is the Lace Monitor which is often seen in bushland and up trees. Other large lizards that live throughout the resort site include the Bearded Dragon and the Tommy Round Head. There are five species of skinks known to occur throughout the Couran Cove Island Resort. Potentially dangerous snakes of Couran Cove are the Eastern Brown Snake, Red-bellied Black snake, Death Adder and Small-eyed Snake. Snakes not considered dangerous to humans include the Brown Tree Snake, Common Tree Snake, Bandy Bandy, Carpet Python and Yellow-Faced Whip Snake.

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