North Stradbroke Island is a beautiful sand island in Moreton Bay, home to 3,000 welcoming residents.
Locals endearingly call the island – one of the world’s largest sand islands – “Straddie.”
Before 1896 North Stradbroke Island was part of Stradbroke Island but in that year a massive storm separated the two islands and created a waterway – the Jumpinpin Channel.
The island’s aboriginal name is Minjerribah. The first European settlers to stay on the island were three shipwrecked sailors; the local aboriginal community supplied them with food, shelter, and a canoe to help with their onward journey.
An archeological site on the island – Wallen Wallen Creek near Dunwich – provides evidence of human activity on the island going back over 21,000 years.
The island is 38km by 11km, and was formed – as was Moreton Bay – after the last Ice Age when the sea levels rose. The eastern ocean-facing shore has kilometers of sandy beaches, fishing opportunities, and great waves for surfing. Meanwhile, the sheltered western shore is well-suited for quiet rest and relaxation. Inland, the island has freshwater lakes, lagoons, and rivers. For example, Blue Lake is a beautiful place to spend the day. The island also has a globally important wetland system.
Activities (Nature and Wildlife Interest)
Walking is a very popular activity among tourists, as is surfing.
- Walking: The North Gorge Walk is very popular among tourists. The gorge, located at Point Lookout, is full of marine life and seabirds (and a good vantage point for whale watching, between June and November). Alternatively, hikers can walk inland around one of the beautiful freshwater lakes and see abundant wildlife – especially when hiking in the early morning or late afternoon.
- Swimming, diving, snorkeling
- Surfing: Point Lookout (or “the point”) is a famous surfing location on the island and a popular destination. Twenty-Two Mile Beach (south of Point Lookout) is an excellent surf beach.
- Fishing: Amity Point is a popular fishing spot on the island
- Wildlife sighting: Whales (southern right, blue, and humpback whales), manta rays, turtles, and dolphins can be seen from the northern tip of the island, at North Gorge
- Four-wheel driving: Allowable along the beaches with a permit, which can be purchased on the island. Much of the island is only accessible by 4WD. Visitors can bring their own 4WD or arrange a tour.
Most accommodation options are located at Amity Point and Point Lookout.
- Stradbroke Island Beach Hotel (“Straddie Hotel”): Located on a hilltop bluff with views of white sand beaches, offering both hotel suites and three- and four-bedroom apartments
- Straddie Views B&B: Suites with private courtyard, at a B&B located next to a bushland reserve, with a large deck that is used for meals
- The Islander: Self-contained studios, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom suites, that are serviced weekly. The resort has a tennis court and swimming pool.
- Pandanus Palms Holiday Apartments: Hillside two- and three-bedroom apartments, many with beautiful views of the coast.
- Anchorage Beachfront Island Resort: Self-contained studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom beachfront apartments with private balcony. Facility containts: salt-water pool, boardwalk to the beach, restaurant and bar, sauna
- Straddie Bungalows: One- and two-bedroom self-contained bungalows with thatched roofs, built on two acres of waterfront property
- Stradbroke Island Holiday Beach Houses: Offers there- and four-bedroom houses in a unique beachfront location at the intersection of Cylinder and Home beaches.
The island has some well-renowned camping sites that are located on the beach. The island has eight campground options.
North Stradbroke Island is 30km southeast of Brisbane. The only way to reach the island is by ferry – passenger or vehicular – both of which run from Cleveland to Dunwich, on the island’s western coast.