A lot of people rag on Brisbane, saying that it is the only Australian city without easy access to a beach. Although this may be technically correct, what these people forget is that Brisbane has something possibly even better – access to a wonderful beach island.
North Stradbroke Island
North Stradbroke Island, or “Straddie” as it is sometimes referred to, is located 30 km south east of Brisbane, and it entirely accessible by public transport. The island is the world’s second largest sand island, making it a great place for a beach weekend and to escape city life in Brisbane. The island is famous for it’s five main beaches are great for swimming, surfing, and also fishing.
How To Get To Stradbroke Island
From the city centre of Brisbane hop on a train on the Cleveland line. Cleveland is the last stop on the line, and is where the ferrys depart. At the train station, you will be met by a ferry transport bus. The bus is free to take, and shuttles train goers to the ferry wharf.
There are two ferrys; the passenger ferry, and the car ferry. However there is bus service on the island, so taking your car isn’t really necessary unless you are going on a prolonged family camping trip and plan to take a long a fair amount of gear. A return ticket on the water taxi costs $17, or $20 if you chose to walk on the vehicle ferry. For more information and ferry timetables, see their website.
Once you arrive on the island, there will be a local bus waiting for you as well. This bus does a circuit around the island, and will take you to most places you want to go.
Where To Sleep On Stradbroke Island
The best way to experience Stradbroke island is to camp. There are plenty of campgrounds all over the island which are run by Stradbroke Island Holidays. Some camp grounds are 4wd access only, so make sure you book yourself at a campground which you can easily access.
For those who prefer a real bed, the camp grounds also rent out cabins, or there is also YHA hostel on the island as well as some more fancy accommodation options.
What To Do On Stradbroke Island
Well, the main reason to go to Stradbroke island is for the beaches! Surfing, fishing, snorkelling, and scuba diving are all popular activities available on Stradbroke Island. Also, during the right season from May – September, whales can be spotted from point lookout.
What To Pack For Stradbroke Island
Things on the island are much more expensive than back in Brisbane, so try to take everything with you that you will need. If you are camping, most camp grounds provide BBQ’s so you can even bring your own dinner and cook it up fresh. However, some things not to forget are:
- Sunscreen! We forgot this, and got horribly burnt in a very short period of time.
- Bug spray
- Swim wear
- a bottle of wine to enjoy with a friend as the sun sets!
One product that we recently tested out is actually pretty great for a beach holiday like Stradbroke Island. The Securit4U towel fasteners secure your towel to your chair so that it doesn’t blow away… not a bad idea actually! At the top the stretchy elastic holds the towel in place, and at the bottom another elastic with gripping tabs at the end keep the bottom of the towel from blowing in the breeze. I may have it upside down in this photo…but it doesn’t matter…my towel stayed put regardless!