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Once we boarded the vehicular ferry at Cleveland, located on Moreton Bay east of Brisbane, North Stradbroke Island (North Straddie) emerged in the distance. I immediately slipped into relax mode, although there had been a lapse of almost twenty years since visiting this island paradise, I remembered what a superb place North Straddie is!
North Straddie is located only an hour’s drive from the Gold Coast plus a 45 minute ferry ride across Moreton Bay to this large sand island. Once you hit the disembarkation point at Dunwich you have several options for either camping, caravanning, resort style accommodation or holiday units/homes on the island.
We had been reminiscing with our son and his girlfriend about camping holidays of old and North Straddie came up in the conversation as being one of our most memorable holiday spots. We decided spontaneously to put aside a weekend to re-visit this unique camping playground on the shores of Flinders Beach on the oceanside of the island.
What followed was a rummage through our old camping gear to see what we needed for a weekend roughing it on a beach, with the only facilities being a bush toilet and some protection in the sand dunes vegetated with paper bark gums and casuarinas. After several days and many trips to the camping store we were ready for a weekend escape!
The great thing about North Straddie is that most of the island is accessible by car, so a four-wheel drive is not mandatory. However, if like us, you like to get off the beaten track and experience true bush-style camping and driving on the long white sandy stretches of beaches on the island, then I recommend a four-wheel drive vehicle.
We headed for Flinders Beach which is located on the oceanside of the island at the north tip between Point Lookout and Amity Point. There are two 4WD access points: one from Adder Rock near Point Lookout or the other from the road into Amity Point. Depending on the tides the road from Amity Point is probably the safer option as the other access point can get swamped at high tide.
After finding a suitable campsite, erecting our tents and setting up tables, chairs, bedding, etc, we set off in our four wheel drive along the sandy beach to the town of Point Lookout. Along the way we saw several kangaroos grazing by the roadside. We propped ourselves atop the headland at the Point Lookout Surf Club and watched surfers catching the last waves of the day.
On our way back to the campsite we decided to have a quick beer at Point Lookout Hotel which has magnificent views out to the ocean. We sat peacefully watching the sun dip across the land to the west and transform the sky into an orange haze.
That evening we fell asleep listening to the waves pounding on the shores nearby and awoke eight hours later to the cacophony of birds announcing dawn. A walk over to the beach revealed that it was going to be a sensational day with brilliant winter sunshine sparkling off the ocean. It was time to jump in our 4WDs and explore the island!
The resort township of Point Lookout, situated on the northern tip of the island, is made up of a series of beaches and headlands that have some of the best vantage points. There are two patrolled beaches – Cylinder and Main Beach – both offering superb swimming and surfing.
For four wheel drive enthusiasts you can access the 32 Km long stretch of Main Beach and drive along the wide sandy beach with the surf rolling in along the shoreline. Set up a sunshade and enjoy your own private beach or throw a line into one of the naturally forming gutters on the shores.
In Point Lookout there is an impressive selection of restaurants, cafes and eateries to choose from. The famous Point Lookout Hotel is idyllically located near Cylinder Beach and has the most divine views from the outdoor beer garden. A great place to have a counter lunch or a late afternoon beer and watch the sunset to the west.
Located between Dunwich and Point Lookout, this pretty fishing village is extremely popular with families and fishermen. The large jetty protruding out into Moreton Bay and adjoining boat ramp means it is fishing heaven. You may even be able to buy fresh seafood direct from the fishing trawler from a number of fishermen who sell direct to the public.
Amity, although only a small village does have a restaurant, community club and general store. There is a fabulous caravan park right by the seaside and a public park with picnic tables and BBQs.
North Straddie is blessed with white sandy beaches, magnificent inland lakes, hidden waterways and scenic walks. Take a look at some of Straddie’s best natural attractions:
You are spoilt for choice on North Straddie. If you want nature-based camping right on the beach – it’s got it; if you want luxury resort accommodation – it’s got it; if you want a place to holiday with plenty of activities – it’s got it; if you want somewhere that isn’t too far from the mainland of South East Queensland and Brisbane – it also ticks that box! Once you have been here you will want to return again and again – just like I have!
Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
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