One of the largest sand islands in the world, the relaxed bliss of North Stradbroke Island is only an hour's drive from Brisbane.
The trip from the mainland to the island takes 45 minutes by barge, which also takes your car, or 25 minutes by fast water taxi but it's more of a journey into a different realm where it's really hard to work up the energy to get stressed about anything.
When there's plenty of beach to roam, friendly folk to chat with, amazing vistas around every corner and comfortable accommodation and food, life seems pretty sweet.
Apart from swimming at any of the beaches, here are my top 10 things to do on Straddie. What are yours?
1. Start your Straddie sojourn at the Island Fruit Barn on the main drag in Dunwich where you can pick up all your holiday supplies. There's a surprisingly good range of deli items from the essential to the unusual, high quality fruit and good cake and coffee. Combine a thick slice of apple cake with a fruit frappe and enjoy.
2. While you are in Dunwich check out the local Aboriginal art at Salt Water Murris Quandamooka Art Gallery.
3. North Stradbroke Island Historical Museum, also in Dunwich, is a wonderful browse and a chance to learn something of the island's history as an asylum.
4. Stop for lunch at Seashells Café and Bar, Ballow Rd, Amity Point and sample the locally caught fresh fish and oysters. Mooch around Amity and find some local seafood to cook later.
5. Enjoy a sunset drink at the Surf Club Bar, Point Lookout Surf Lifesaving Club, Kennedy Drive, overlooking Main Beach, Pt Lookout. A great place to kick back and relax.
6. Dine at The Whales Way Tapas Bar and Restaurant at Pandanus Palms Resort, 21 Cumming Pde, Pt Lookout. The sweeping views of the coastline are outstanding but there's plenty of cocktail action to enjoy as well. I'm still dreaming of the bacon wrapped scallops on the mixed tapas platter. So, so good. We almost didn't order dessert but the second stomach checked in and we were so glad that we did. It's simple food done well, perfect for a relaxed holiday location.
8. Browse the Point Lookout Markets beside the Bowls Club on Dickson Way, Point Lookout and the shops in Mintee Street. Point Lookout Souvenirs and Resort Wear has a huge range of swimwear and knowledgeable and helpful owners to help with fitting and advice.
9 Make sure you do the Point Lookout Gorge Walk which leaves from just opposite the shops where you'll also find great fish and chips at Col Battersby's Fishes Café. Eat in or takeaway for a picnic under the she-oaks on the spectacular headland overlooking Frenchman’s Beach.
10 Before you jump back on the barge, check out The Most Amazing Shop at Dunwich. I have never seen such an eceltic selection of goods for sale, all displayed with more than a dash of humor.
How to get there _
Stradbroke Ferries (Vehicle Ferry/Water Taxi), Toondah Harbour, Cleveland
Big Red Cat (Vehicle Ferry/Walk On Passengers) Toondah Harbour, Cleveland
Straddie Flyer / Gold Cats (Water Taxi)
Cleveland Auto Hire (Car/Scooter Hire including North Stradbroke Island)
Disclaimer: Kerry Heaney was the guest of the Straddie Chamber of Commerce.