Looking to switch off and relax in Paradise without needing to travel too far? North Stradbroke Island is the perfect place to unwind. Within an hours drive from Brisbane and the Gold Coast, you can jump on a short ferry ride from the Redlands Coast and make your way to 'North Straddie' - the local name for North Stradbroke. Here you can find yourself relaxing amongst clear blue beaches and discovering plenty of local wildlife.
Getting to and around North Stradbroke Island:
Book a Sealink Ferry departing from Cleveland to get to North Stradbroke Island. The ferries operate daily on a regular schedule between 6 am to 7 pm. You can take either a passenger ferry with the option to rent a scooter once you arrive. We recommend taking the car ferry as destinations on the island are quite spread out and it's useful to be able to drive. The roads are well paved, making any car suitable for the island, however, if you do have a 4x4, the island is great for a beach drive!
For the closes access to the Main Beach, the North Gorge walk, restaurants, and the best areas for 4G, we recommend staying close in Point Lookout.
Top things to see and do on a weekend in North Stradbroke:
1. Walk 1.2km North Gorge Trail:
Follow the stunning 1.2km looped boardwalk trail along the coastline of North Stradbroke Island for oceanfront views looking back toward Point Lookout and toward North Stradbroke Main Beach. The highlight of the walk is stopping at the Gorge as the waves epically crash through the narrow gorge inlet.
2. Have Breakfast at Blue Room Cafe
We loved the outdoor beach shack style of the Blue Room Cafe, be sure to get a seat with a view to enjoy our coffee and healthy locally made breakfast. Don't miss stopping in next door to the colourful Green Room grocery store if you want to stock up on picnic snacks or the Prawn shop for some freshly caught seafood.
3. Have Gelato and a picnic at Point Lookout
After a long day at the beach, stop and relax with ice cream. There are two Gelato options in Point Lookout Village, the Oceanic Gelati Bar and Bella Bealen Gelateria. Once you've ordered, take a seat on the grass and relax with a few.
4. Head to point lookout at Sunset when the Kangaroos come out to feed
If you've timed your ice cream stop with sunset from Point Lookout, expect to see some Kangaroos sneaking up out of the bush. They are a very common sight at this time of the day.
5. Enjoy a local fish and chips dinner at Fishes at the Point
Also located along Point Lookout Village is Fishes and the Point fish and chip shop, it's another great option to get a takeaway to enjoy with a view. We loved sharing their Fishermans basked option.
6. Look out for Dolphins of Deadman's and Frenchman's Beach
Located right near Point Lookout Village is Frenchman's and Deadman's beach, offering beautiful swimming areas. As you make your way down the boardwalks to these beaches keep an eye out for dolphins riding the waves in the distance.
You can access Frenchman's Beach via a walking track along East Coast Road in Point Lookout. Access to Deadman's Beach is by walking track from the car park on top of Cylinder Beach headland, with parking is located on Snapper Street and East Coast Road.
7. Swim in the calm water of Cylinder Beach
Right between Frenchman's and Deadman's beach is Cylinder beach. This was our favourite place to swim on the island, offering a secluded, clear and calm water bay to relax and enjoy the water.
8. Find the Rockpools at Cylinder Beach
From the end of Cylinder beach, at the rocky headland heading toward Deadman's beach is a series of rock pools you can wander through and find your next perfect location to swim.
9. Head to Amity Pier at sunset to see the Dolphins up close
Dolphins are a common sight at the Amity pier jetty in the afternoons. Decades ago, lights were added to the jetty by locals to help with evening fishing, as more fish arrived, so too did the dolphins. When fishermen would catch fish that were too small to keep, the dolphins learnt that they were the perfect easy feed once they were thrown back into the water. Over time, they even allowed the fisherman to hand feed them!
10. Spot Wobbygong sharks at Amity Point
Similar to dolphins, Wobbygong sharks are also a common sight around the Amity Point area during the day. Keep your eyes peeled for them as they swim up and down the coastline.
11. Enjoy a freshwater swim in the Brown or Blue lake
Once you're finished with your beach swims, head out to the Brown Lake or Blue Lake for a freshwater dip. We opted for the Brown Lake as it was accessible by car with parking right by the lake. The Blue lake does require a walk to get to the nearest parking spot.
12. Have a classic Aussie dinner and enjoy barefoot bowls at the bowls club
For a casual dinner and afternoon for barefoot bowls, we recommend heading to the Bowls club. Located just a short drive from Point Lookout Village.
13. Have afternoon drinks at the Little Ship Club
The Little Ship Club is located on the waterfront at One Mile in Dunwich. It's a great spot for an afternoon drink on the lawn overlooking the calm waters of Moreton Bay. If you enjoy history, there's also some great shipping artefacts in the area and the island cemetery nearby, home to graves from the Typhoid pandemic when the island was used as a quarantine station.
We hope you enjoyed our guide to North Stradbroke Island in Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia. To see more of our other Australian destination guides click here.
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