#3 Straddie Island
First week end off, so let’s go out of the city and visit Stradbroke island, called Straddie up here. Straddie’s proximity to Brisbane makes it an easy getaway to a beautiful island for a weekend or longer stay, so it would have been a pity not to explore it. And did you know that it is actually the second biggest sand island in the world? (after Fraser Island, where we’ll go later on). This lovely island is well known of the Queenslanders and especially those living in Brisbane. We highly recommend it to the international travelers who want to escape from the busy city life of Brisbane. Spend at least one night because once there… I’m afraid you don’t want to come back!
The train leaves and nearly one hour later, we arrive to Cleveland, where Anji is waiting for us. Anji is the Marketing & Sales director at Straddie Camping, the company runs 5 camping sites located all over the island. Let’s go onto the vehicle ferry now, “the Big red cat”. After a 45 minute-cruise, looking at people kayaking, fishing and enjoying the sea, we arrive on Straddie. From this moment, we get immediately immersed in the relaxed atmosphere. People are more laid back and happy to welcome you. They like chatting with you. Coming from Paris, where it’s actually often the opposite, we are agreeably surprised..! Starving, we head to Fins’n Fries, the best place to have some delicious fish & ships, it’s smells so gooooood! And eating them on the beach makes you feel even better. Indeed, beautiful view at Cylinder Beach: all the Aussie clichés: surfers, pristine clear ocean, blue sky, love it!
Anji planned us a surprised afternoon activity, the only clue: we’ll surely come back with our pockets full of sand…hihi, we got it: we’re gonna go sandboarding, yeah! And for this, we go with Dave, The specialist in the island, he customizes his tours according to his customers’wishes, all he wants is making sure you have fun!
Easy to find him, indeed, he is famous on the island and in the mainland as “Barefoot Dave”, haha cause he never wears shoes, even for business meetings or official ceremony! Funny We get in his 4/4 and direction the sand dune, such a nice ride to get there, we even cross a wallaby jumping around, so cool! Have you ever tried sandboarding? As for us, coming from the French mountains (Jura and Alps nearby), we can’t wait to try! The scenery is spectacular, the ocean for background, the huge sand dune in front and a beautiful sunshine. Not too bad! Walking in the sand is curious as it does some noise when you piss it!! Funny! Ready to go, I want to impress and stand up on the board but it’s pretty scary like that haha, better seated!
Good fun, we are having a blast! It feels like you are going so fast, and if you fall over the board, you can taste the sand, umh crunchy! The only thing to take in account is that there is no button lift in the dune…good to stay fit.
The nice walk around the North George Gorge is a perfect after activity, spotting whales and dolphins…how exciting!
The view from Point Lookout is just breathtaking: 32 km of sandy beaches, no building, just nature, whaouhh it looks like paradise! And how cool is meeting 2 WAllabies on the way back? But this is not it, looking at the sunset, we are lucky enough to see a baby dugong in the bay, just a few meters from our cabin. Do you know what a Dugong is? It’s a kind of fat sea lion with a dolphin tail…Hihi weird animal! Google it. But what is missing?!? A koala of course! But we just spot one at the top of the tree, really cool, I understand now why we often say that Australia is like a big zoo without fences.
After all this emotion, we head to a nice casual restaurant for a comfy dinner seated by the fireplace, at the Seashells Café Amity. Such a yummy pumpkin spinach risotto
To finish our short stay, we go with Terry, the camping ranger, on a morning tour to patrol the beaches and camping sites. Nice 4 Wheel Drive, looks easy but it’s not, and in fact many people get the car buried…the view is spectacular, the main beach is just stunning, I love the fact that there is no building at all, just nature…Ow!Ow! I’m afraid we don’t actually want to go back to the mainland..!
Take the train to Cleveland
(1h - $10)
From the train station: Free shuttle bus to Toondah Habour to go on the ferry (5min)
Different options :
- Watertaxi/passenger ferries
(25 min - $19 from 5am to 7.30pm)
- Big red cat or Stradbroke ferries/ vehicle ferries
(45 min - $146 from 6am to 7pm)
Be careful, you have to pre book online:
Excellent Fish & Chips!
Burgers, Snacks, Fresh fish.
Not in the touristical area, so cheaper and better ;-)
Next to the post office at Point Lookout.
3409 8080 - Tue-Sun: 11am-7.30pm
Island Fruit Barn & Café
Homemade cooking, salads, healthy and fresh food, perfect for vegetarian.
Also a grocery store, we had bought all the shop if possible! The apple cinnamon cake was fabulous...
Close from the Ferry:
16 Bingle Road - Dunwich - 3409 9125
Seashells Café Amity
Everyone will find something there, in addition, it’s good and not expensive.
Close to Camping Amity:
21 Ballow Street - Amity Point - 3409 7886
Wen-Sat: 9am-9pm / Sun-Mon: 9am-4pm
Go to one of the 5 camping grounds from Straddie Camping : from the beach camping to the ensuite cabin.
Diving, snorkeling, 4WDrive adventure, sandboarding, kayaking, surfing etc…contact the expert from the island, “Barefoot Dave” at Straddie Kingfisher Tours, he will be pleased to help you organizing your activities and tours.
Permanent inhabitants and many more for Christmas time and Easter holidays!
Species of marine turtle live in the waters of Moreton Bay, whose Straddie is part of.
Migratory shorebirds visit Stradbroke island annually, some of them flying from far away