North Stradbroke Island

The Jewel Of The Redlands Coast

Then of course you have the nearby expansive island of North Stradbroke, traditionally known as Minjerribah. With so many options to live, explore, or holiday, that’s definitely something to get out and enjoy. 

Nestled in the pristine waters of Moreton Bay, it is just off the coast of Cleveland. It has become the Redlands’s most popular tourist destination and is affectionately known as “Straddie” by locals. This stunning island is a fantastic destination for nature lovers, beach enthusiasts, and those seeking a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

How Big Is North Stradbroke Island?

With an approximate land area of 275km², North Stradbroke Island is the second-largest sand island in the world and is currently home to around 2200 permanent residents. It has a well serviced tourism trade, with services and

The 3 main towns on the island are Dunwich, Amity Point and Point Lookout. They are approximately 20kms apart and connected by well-maintained sealed roads and good facilities.

Approx 50% of the island is preserved as a national park known as Naree Budjong Djara National Park. The name means ‘My Mother Earth’ to the local Quandamooka Aboriginal people. 

Natural Attractions of Straddie

Straddie’s natural beauty is, without a doubt, one of the island’s most significant drawcards, with the custodians of the island emphasising their commitment to sustainable tourism. The island features diverse ecosystems, including pristine beaches, crystal-clear lakes, and lush forests.

Because of this, Straddie has become known as a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts, with opportunities to spot dolphins, sea turtles, and an array of bird species. Point Lookout, located at the island’s northern tip, offers breathtaking panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, making it a popular spot for whale watching during migration seasons.

Southern Moreton Bay Islands QLD

Things To Do On North Stradbroke Island

For those looking for something relaxing, Straddie offers a vibrant café and dining scene, art galleries, day spas, yoga retreats, a museum, regular markets and festivals such as the Island Vibe Music Festival in October, the Straddie Oyster Festival in November, and the Stradbroke Chamber Music Festival in July.

North Stradbroke Beaches

North Stradbroke Island boasts some of the most stunning beaches in Queensland.

The 33km long Main Beach along  with picturesque Cylinder Beach, and also east facing Frenchman’s Beach are popular choices for swimming, surfing, and relaxing in the sun. The more protected waters of Amity Point and Flinders Beach also provide a haven for families with small children.

Cultural Tours On Straddie

Beyond its natural beauty, North Stradbroke Island holds cultural significance for the Quandamooka Aboriginal people, the traditional owners of the land. Visitors can explore the island’s rich indigenous heritage via a choice of  guided cultural tours, or indigenous cultural workshops,art exhibitions, and cultural events that showcase the deep connection between the Quandamooka people and the land and its surrounding waters.

Hiking Trails and Walks On North Stradbroke

Aside from lounging on pristine sand, Straddie offers plenty of other activities for visitors of all interests.  For the outdoorsy types, there are hiking trails and coastal walks, including the now well-known Gorge Walk. This circular walk is simply stunning, with well-constructed walkways and wooden steps with informational boards throughout the walk. 

There are also benches and viewing platforms providing great vantage points for observing the amazing wildlife. This includes whales, dolphins, kangaroos and wallabies, white bellied eagles and heaps of smaller birds.

Beach Adventure Activities on Straddie

Adventure seekers can also explore the numerous snorkelling and diving sites around the island. You can take a tour with Manta Lodge and Scuba Centre or hire a snorkel and mask from Kingfisher Tours. There are numerous other activities available including kayaking, sand boarding, 4WD eco tours, and whale watching in season (between May and November). You can also take on a spot of on-shore, or off-shore fishing from the plentiful waters around the Island.

North Stradbroke Café and Restaurants

Yes, the pace is definitely slower over on the Island. But don’t worry, you can still find a decent coffee hit or a Café bite to eat. Island days always start off better when you hit up a scrumptious breakfast. Visit one of the Island’s many bakeries, bistros, and sports clubs to keep that hungry wolf from the door! Here is a great North Stradbroke eat & drink listing to help you find some nearby places to enjoy.

Alternatively, across the Island there are plenty of cafes and restaurants to cater for all tastes and budgets. Take a look at Trip Advisors reviews to check out the variations and pick something that will suit what you fancy.

Straddie Brewing Company

Straddie even has their own craft beer brewing company! The premises are situated in Dunwich and offer “Brewery fresh beer, Island fresh food, brewery tours, B&B and ocean views. Cheers to that!” Definitely worth a visit, have a drink, grab something to eat and you can even stay the night! Trading hours: Thu – Mon 11am to 9pm Kitchen open: 11.30am to 3pm & 5.30pm to 8pm

North Stradbroke Ferry

Getting to North Stradbroke Island

North Stradbroke Island is only accessible by boat, with the Gold Cats Stradbroke Flyer running passenger ferries, and Sealink offering a vehicle ferry and passenger ferry service.

Until recently, ALL services departed from Cleveland’s Toondah Harbour precinct and land in the township of Dunwich. The passenger ferries only take around 25 minutes to cross Moreton Bay. 

Whereas the vehicle ferry takes approximately 45 minutes to an hour depending on weather conditions. The vehicle ferry also caters for caravans, camper trailers etc.

If you don’t want to take your vehicle over, all boats are met by a convenient bus service that services the whole island.

New Passenger Ferry from Manly to Dunwich

 Boat tour agency River to Bay will be launching a new ferry service on 1st March from the William Gunn Jetty in Manly to Dunwich on North Stradbroke Island. The trip on the new ‘Straddie Shuttle’ will take half an hour and will cost $33 one way and $44 return, or $15 and $22 respectively for children.

North Stradbroke Island Bus Service

How To Get Around Straddie

There is a regular bus service that meets each water taxi arrival at One Mile Jetty, Dunwich and services Point Lookout and Amity Point 7 days a week. It connects all the main beaches, tourist destinations and most resorts and bus info is available at **Please note: CASH is required for the bus service** 

Taxi services are catered for by Stradbroke Cab Service, call 0408 193 685. “Strad easy” also offers transport services around the island and charters are also available for groups, call 0488 029 718.

Taking bikes over on the ferry is also a very popular activity as riding around the island is a fabulous way to see the whole island. All roads are bike friendly and the lay of the land is mainly flat!

North Stradbroke Island Accomodation

If you’re looking to make a holiday out of your next trip to Straddie (and who wouldn’t?!) there are plenty of accommodation options to suit most budgets. From resorts to hotels, private houses and units, all the way through to cabins, glamping or just good old-fashioned beach camping.

These are some links which you will find useful:

Main Beach Camping at North Stradbroke Island

Camping on North Stradbroke Island

Camping on Straddie has become very popular as it offers a fantastic island beach experience and only a short distance from the mainland. Both off grid camping sites and campgrounds with full facilities are available.

There is no free camping permitted on the island and all camp sites have fees and permits associated with them. Permits are issued by Minjerribah Camping

North Stradbroke Island Beaches

Flinders Beach and Main Beach both offer truly off grid, beach foreshore camping. These are designated sites, nestled in the dunes and do not have with any facilities.

The sites are only accessible by 4WD and dogs are permitted but must be on a leash at all times. All 4WD vehicles also need a permit and must keep to the regulated beach access rules and routes. 

Local tip – beach 4wd-ing is a fantastic way to make the most out of your stay, but make sure you PURCHASE YOUR PERMIT. 

Other campgrounds are located at Amity Point, Point Lookout and Dunwich and offer powered and unpowered sites as well as several cabins and glamping tents. All the campgrounds have facilities and amenities including toilets and showers, BBQs and camp kitchens. They are 2WD accessible and dogs are not permitted.

North Stradbroke Island Lifestyle

Anyone who has been to Straddie will tell you the lifestyle is one thing that is very hard to leave behind. Where else can you still find a beachside location that is so close to urban suburbia, but still feels like the sleepy seaside towns of years gone by? Despite becoming more popular each year, Straddie still manages to keep its genuine feel of being on “island time”. 

Whether you’re a local to the area or are just visiting as a tourist, Straddie is bound to be a location that will win your heart.

North Stradbroke Island stands as a testament to the harmonious coexistence of nature, culture, and conservation. Whether you’re drawn to its pristine beaches and untouched landscapes, intrigued to learn more about its rich Indigenous heritage, or just looking for an amazing family beach holiday, Straddie is one of those destinations that has something for everyone.

With the eco-tourism industry now presenting the island’s main source of industry, watch this space – we have a feeling the best is still yet to come!

Minjerribah snapshot

Quandamooka are the ''people of the bay’'

They know North Stradbroke Island as Minjerribah –  the name encapsulates the Quandamooka people’s deep spiritual and historical connection. Their special relationship with the island dates back many thousands of years, playing a significant role in traditional culture. Archaeological records display evidence of Quandamooka peoples enjoying the island’s surrounding waters for food, work and recreation. Their bond with land, sea and country is a long enduring and present one. Come and visit a slice of paradise just off the coast of SE Queensland. Experience a treasure trove of natural beauty, with pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and lush forests that make it an idyllic retreat.

Read more about Minjerribah and the origins of the Quandamooka people. ‘