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North Stradbroke Island (Minjerribah) is affectionately often known as Straddie to locals, reflecting the relaxed vibe of island life that’s so totally different from the close by, a lot busier Gold Coast.
Regardless of being situated in Moreton Bay, solely 30km southeast of Brisbane, it flies below the radar for a lot of guests to Queensland. It’s nicely value visiting, although, even on a day journey, or ideally for a number of days for a calming break.
A lot of the island is undeveloped so a visit right here is all about nature—lazing on the golden seashores, strolling the North Gorge coastal path, browsing and swimming and even scuba diving within the ocean, and recognizing kangaroos (we noticed so many!), whales, and dolphins.
Right here I share our picks for the very best issues to do on North Stradbroke Island. I additionally embrace methods to get there, the place to remain, and a helpful map with all the things talked about.
A Few Issues to Know About Straddie
- North Stradbroke Island is the second largest sand island on the planet. (Fraser Island is the most important).
- The standard house owners of Minjerribah are the Quandamooka individuals.
- The three small communities on the island are Dunwich (the place the ferry arrives), Level Lookout (which has the very best seashores and cafes), and Amity Level (quieter with sundown views).
- Initially there was just one Stradbroke Island, however in 1896 it break up into North Stradbroke Island and South Stradbroke Island, separated by Jumpinpin Channel. On South Stradbroke there aren’t any vehicles and just one resort.
- Cell phone sign is proscribed on Straddie. Telstra has the very best protection.
Finest Issues to Do on North Stradbroke Island
1) Expertise the Beautiful North Gorge Stroll
North Gorge Stroll is the most well-liked attraction on North Stradbroke Island and for good motive.
This brief coastal path in Level Lookout is beautiful with views of sandy seashores, rocky coves, and crashing waves.
You’ll be able to spot loads of wildlife together with kangaroos, dolphins, whales (in winter), and even manta rays if the ocean is calm sufficient.
The 1.2km one-way stroll begins reverse Oceanic Gelati and is a mixture of gravel path and boardwalk. There are many steps but it surely’s not too troublesome. It took us half-hour together with a lot of stops.
Close to the beginning you’ll see Frenchman’s Seashore down under and it ends above Most important Seashore, the place you may watch the surfers.
On the finish, comply with the trail again alongside the street for a number of hundred metres to the place to begin, head again on the path if it’s not too busy (as I did on my morning run) or proceed all the way down to South Gorge Seashore and Most important Seashore.
North Gorge Stroll is greatest early within the morning when it’s quieter and you’ve got a greater likelihood of seeing kangaroos.
2) Breakfast at Blue Room Cafe
Whereas there aren’t a ton of eating places on North Stradbroke Island, there are sufficient that you simply don’t must self-cater.
Blue Room Cafe in Level Lookout is without doubt one of the hottest locations to eat on Straddie. Situated near the North Gorge Stroll with ocean views from the terrace, it’s the perfect spot for breakfast after your early morning stroll.
The menu is generally cupboard meals (salad wraps, sandwiches, yoghurts, baked items) with a number of specials. We ordered waffles and avocado toast and each had been good.
It does get busy, so go early for an outdoor desk, or get your meals to remove.
3) Swim at Cylinder Seashore
There are many North Stradbroke Island seashores to get pleasure from (most of them in Level Lookout), however Cylinder Seashore is normally the very best for swimming.
It’s protected by a sandbar so it’s normally calmer than the opposite extra surfable spots. There’s a patrolled space so swim between the flags.
Cylinder Seashore is definitely accessible from the automobile park with a espresso cart (Espresso in Cylinder’s) and there are bogs and showers. It’s ideally suited for a seashore day and standard with households.
Regardless of its recognition, there’s loads of house to unfold out, and for additional tranquillity, you could possibly head proper over the rocky headland to Deadman’s Seashore (try the rock swimming pools at low tide) or left to the lengthy, empty House Seashore.
Stradbroke Island Seashore Lodge is simply above the seashore and the pub has ocean views from the deck. We don’t suggest the meals until you haven’t any different possibility—it’s common pub grub.
4) Admire Frenchman’s Seashore
Frenchman’s Seashore is one other beautiful Level Lookout seashore. You’ll be able to see it from above close to the beginning of the North Gorge Stroll, however for a more in-depth look, stroll north alongside the coastal pathway (simply 5 minutes from Oceanic Gelati).
They’re at the moment engaged on extending the Minjerribah Panorama Coastal Stroll, so sadly the steep steps all the way down to Frenchman’s are closed till mid-2023.
You’ll be able to nonetheless see it from above on a number of the lookout platforms (additionally nice for whale watching in winter). The five hundred-metre stretch of golden sand is backed by steep forested bluffs and has a distant really feel.
You’ll be able to at the moment entry Frenchman’s Seashore by strolling over the headland from Deadman’s Seashore.
5) Take pleasure in a Gelato
Reverse the beginning of the North Gorge Stroll are two gelato locations. Whereas neither is Italy-level, they’re each tasty and ideally suited for a day deal with.
This space is an consuming hub on the island. Blue Room Cafe is shut by and Fishes on the Level is a well-liked fish and chips spot with outdoors tables.
The grassy garden in the beginning of North Gorge is the right place to picnic or get pleasure from your ice cream with an ocean view.
6) See the Sundown at Amity Level
Amity Level is a quieter neighborhood within the northwest of Straddie, a 15-minute drive from Level Lookout.
The seashore is much less spectacular right here however the water is far calmer.
Amity Level’s jetty is the very best place on the island to see the sundown. In addition to the colorful sky, we additionally noticed large pelicans and a dolphin swimming very near the jetty.
There are picnic tables and public BBQs, so this is able to be a terrific spot to deliver your individual dinner. Loads of individuals had been having fun with a glass of wine because the solar went down.
7) Dinner at Sealevel 21
After sundown, we had dinner at Sealevel 21, a five-minute stroll from Amity Level jetty.
The meals is extra inventive than most locations on the island with good vegetarian choices. We loved the lentil and chickpea burger and the Mediterranean vegetable stack.
Seating is all outdoors so deliver a sweater within the cooler months. It’s value reserving a desk as there isn’t a lot else round right here when you can’t get in.
8) Spot Kangaroos
One among our favorite issues about North Stradbroke Island was seeing so many kangaroos—we noticed about 20 throughout our two days on the island!
It was enjoyable to see them grazing and much more thrilling seeing them hop.
The perfect place to identify them is on the North Gorge Stroll early within the morning (presumably additionally at nightfall). I noticed them each mornings very near the path and even noticed a joey in a pouch.
We additionally noticed them each nights grazing in individuals’s entrance lawns in Level Lookout.
9) Search for Dolphins and Whales
Straddie can be a superb place to see dolphins and humpback whales.
We noticed dolphins from up on the cliffs in the beginning of North Gorge (on the grassy picnic spot one afternoon) and far nearer at Amity Level jetty at sundown.
We didn’t see whales on our Might go to because the season doesn’t begin till June (and runs till October). The North Gorge Stroll is without doubt one of the greatest land-based whale-watching spots in Australia.
Some individuals additionally see manta rays and turtles swimming within the ocean on the stroll, but it surely was too tough on our go to.
10) Disguise Away at Tiny South Gorge Seashore
On the finish of the North Gorge Stroll you move above South Gorge Seashore however don’t get a great take a look at it. After the stroll, head down Kennedy Drive to entry this picturesque little cove.
This seashore is unpatrolled and the surf will be tough, so it’s not the very best place to swim, however it’s a fairly place to hang around.
11) Surf or Stroll at Most important Seashore
On the opposite facet of the headland from South Gorge is the large Most important Seashore, which stretches for 38km from Level Lookout to the south of the island.
This can be a standard surf spot, but it surely’s a bit tough for swimming (though there’s a patrolled space). It’s improbable for an extended stroll subsequent to the dunes, although, and it’s simple to discover a quiet spot to your self.
When you have a 4WD and allow, you may drive on the distant southern finish of the seashore and camp on the sand.
12) Take pleasure in a Drink with a View on the Surf Life Saving Membership
Level Lookout Surf Life Saving Membership is on a headland above Most important Seashore. It’s a no-frills bar with a easy meals menu, however the elevated deck is a improbable spot for a drink with views of Most important Seashore.
You’ll be able to’t see the solar go down on this japanese facet of the island, however seeing the surf lit up at golden hour was pretty. It could be even higher throughout the whale migration.
The Level Bar is open from Friday to Sunday and on public and college holidays.
13) Swim in Brown Lake
Brown Lake (or Lake Bummiera) is a perched freshwater lake in bushland within the inside of the island.
A perched lake is also referred to as a coastal dune lake as they handle to type on the sands of a dune system (keep in mind, Minjerribah is a sand island). The lake ground of a perched lake is above the water desk.
Brown Lake will get its identify because the water is tinged by tannins from surrounding tea bushes.
I assumed the water color could be off-putting, however the yellow-brown water seemed so fairly with the reflections of the bushes, and I might have swum on a hotter day.
We took a stroll down the sandy 4WD monitor alongside the lake seeking koalas however no luck.
Though it feels distant, Brown Lake is simply a 10-minute drive from the Dunwich ferry terminal so go to as your first or final cease on the island.
There are picnic tables and a bathroom.
Extra North Stradbroke Island Actions
These are on our listing for our subsequent go to to Straddie.
- Eat at Oasis Mexican Cantina – Though it says it’s open 7 days per week, it was sadly closed after we visited on a public vacation. This seems like the best choice for dinner in Level Lookout.
- Play barefoot garden bowls at Level Lookout Bowls Membership (subsequent to Oasis)
- Study to surf with North Stradbroke Island Surf College – We noticed their classes happening at Cylinder Seashore.
- Kayak with Straddie Adventures – This two-hour kayak tour by the mangroves is a good way to study indigenous tradition and hopefully see marine life.
- Store on the Level Lookout Market – The Bowls Membership hosts a market of native distributors on choose Sunday mornings (examine their Instagram for the schedule).
- Hike by Naree Budjong Djara Nationwide Park – Past Brown Lake, you may attain Blue Lake (Kaboora) on a 5.2km return stroll from the automobile park. This can be a place of great cultural worth to the Quandamooka individuals and no swimming is allowed.
The place to Keep on North Stradbroke Island
Level Lookout within the northeast of the island is the very best place to remain if you wish to be inside strolling distance of seashores, cafes, and the North Gorge Stroll.
You can even handle and not using a automobile right here, though it’s a reasonably lengthy stroll from one finish to the opposite.
There aren’t any massive resorts on Straddie. Lodging is extra centered on self-catering flats and tenting.
We stayed at Samarinda Jewel By the Sea in Level Lookout. The situation was good just some minutes stroll from the North Gorge, Most important Seashore, and cafes.
Every condominium (one to 3 bedrooms) is individually owned and embellished. They aren’t fancy however are snug and well-equipped (we appreciated the washer) and all have ocean views from their balconies.
There’s additionally a small pool.
Amity Level can be value contemplating for a quieter keep. There’s a campsite by the jetty or Sea Shanties has cabins proper on the water. Friends report seeing koalas, turtles and dolphins.
How one can Get to North Stradbroke Island
Attending to North Stradbroke Island is straightforward. Ferries to the island depart from Cleveland, a 40-minute drive (or practice experience) from Brisbane.
SeaLink runs automobile and passenger ferries round as soon as an hour. Advance bookings are extremely really useful for the automobile ferry because it’s the one technique to get your automobile on the island.
It’s a 45-minute journey to Dunwich on North Stradbroke. There’s a restaurant and indoor and outside seating.
From Dunwich, it’s a straightforward 20-minute drive by bushland to Level Lookout.
When you have a 4WD (and allow) you’ve the choice to discover distant elements of the island and drive on Most important Seashore.
With a daily automobile, there’s nonetheless lots to get pleasure from together with all of the North Stradbroke Island points of interest talked about above.
Whereas I do suggest bringing a automobile to Straddie for probably the most flexibility, in case you are solely visiting on a day journey, it would make sense to go away the automobile behind.
SeaLink and Stradbroke Flyer run passenger ferries that take 25 minutes from Cleveland to Dunwich. They’re much cheaper than the automobile ferries.
When you arrive in Dunwich you will get round by bus, however companies aren’t that frequent.
A extra handy possibility could be to hire a scooter from Scooters on Straddie who will meet you on the ferry.
North Stradbroke Island Map
Is North Stradbroke Island Value Visiting?
We completely beloved our keep on Straddie. North Stradbroke Island is nicely value visiting as a day journey from Brisbane, but it surely’s even higher to remain for a number of nights (or longer) to benefit from the relaxed tempo, lovely seashores, and wildlife.
Do you’ve every other options of what to do on North Stradbroke Island? Go away a remark under.