South Stradbroke Island – affectionately known as “South Straddie” – is a beautifully remote island. Visitors come here to get away, to enjoy nature and wildlife, and to take advantage of the 27km of white sandy beaches.
South Stradbroke Island is similar to its northern counterpart geographically (indeed, they were one island until a storm separated them at the turn of the 20th century), but the island is much less developed than North Stradbroke Island.
The island is 21km by 2.5km and is made up of sand dunes, rainforest, and wetlands. The island is known for its hundreds of wild wallabies, including the endemic Golden Wallaby as well as the regional Agile Wallaby.
Similar to North Stradbroke Island, the western shore is sheltered and quiet, whereas the eastern shore is known for its surfing and beaches. The island is covered by bushland and forest.
Activities (Nature and Wildlife Interest)
The western shore is ideal for swimming and water sports, whereas the eastern shore is perfect for surfing. Activities on the island, many of which are offered through Couran Cove Resort, include:
- Bushwalking: there are many walking paths on the island.
- Rock climbing
- Water sports: waterskiing, wakeboarding, parasailing, jet skiing
- Seaplane scenic flights
- Boating: banana boat rides, kayaking, catamaran sailing, cruises, pontoon boats
The island is relatively undeveloped, and because of this there are not many accommodations to choose from.
Couran Cove Resort
This eco-tourist resort is located on the waterfront, and offers a variety of activities typical of a tropical resort. Guests can choose deluxe or suite hotel accommodations, or two-bedroom self-contained lodges or four-bedroom self-contained villas. Guests choose between water views of either the marina, the lagoon, or the broadwater.
Facilities include: restaurant, bar and café, poolside bar and café, 1000 bikes for guest rental and use, gymnasium, lap pool, children’s shaded pool, basketball court, tennis court, volleyball court, putt-putt golf course, softball batting cage, indoor games centre, kids’ club, environment and aboriginal heritage centre, day spa, conference venues
Couran Point Island Beach Resort
Not far from Couran Cove is Couran Point Island Beach on 27 hectares with 32 hotel style rooms nestled among Livistona palms and paperbark trees (Melaleucas). The resort has a large lagoon swimming pool with water slide and waterfall. There is a licensed restaurant catering for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
There are a few houses on the island which can be rented for vacation. One example is Salt Ayre, which has two master bedroom suites each with a private balcony, two additional bedrooms, a granite kitchen, a large timber deck, outdoor BBQ and dining area, and bicycles for guests’ use.
South Stradbroke Island Resort (formerly Tipplers Resort)
Please note that the South Stradbroke Island Resort, which was purchased by the Gold Coast City Council in 2009, is at time of writing is closed for business.
There are numerous campsites on the island, all of which are located by white sand dunes and are surrounded by bushland:
- Bedrooms Campground (northern shore of island; with amenities block for campers)
- Tipplers Campground (western shore; BBQ area; amenities block)
- Currigee Campground (southwest part of the island; BBQ area; amenities area; children’s play area)
- North Currigee Campground (located at an inlet; perfect for boat moorings; amenities block)
South Stradbroke Island is located 40 minutes off the mainland by ferry.
Ferry services run from Runaway Bay Marina, 20 minutes north of Surfers Paradise.
The Couran Cove Resort also operates its own frequent ferry service, from Hope Harbour Marina (John Lund Drive) on Hope Island. Travelers can drive onto Hope Island.
Visitors can also elect to visit the island by seaplane, organizing a charter from Marina Mirage, or by private boat.