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North Stradbroke Island - 10 top things to do

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 hard to work up the energy to get stressed about anything.

When there's plenty of beach to roam, friendly folk to chat with, incredible 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? Please leave your Straddie tips in the comments section at the end.

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.


Enjoy a sunset drink at The Point Bar, Point Lookout Surf Lifesaving Club, Kennedy Drive, overlooking Main Beach, Point Lookout. Open on Saturday and Sunday afternoons from 3 pm, it is a perfect place to kick back and relax.


Dine at The Whales Way Restaurant and Bar 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.  Owners Matt and Bobbi Wells came to The Whales Way from the BarrelRoom in the heart of the Granite Belt.  They source their seafood daily from local suppliers.

7. Stay at Whale Watch Resort, Samarinda Drive, Point Lookout and walk down to the beach for a swim, up to the Point for fish and chips or a drink at the Surf Club anytime.

On Sunday morning, 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.


  1. My favourite Straddie day involves a swim at Cylinder Beach, a gorge walk, and an icecream from the excellent Point Lookout Icecream shop.

  2. Sounds good to me. I'd probably add in a peek through the dress shop near the icecream shop as well. Still thinking about a cute white linen number I saw there...

  3. Interesting. Will try and do a few of these things on the weekend, been a few years since I've been to Straddie.

  4. See if you can get to Brown Lake for a picnic as well. It's a lovely spot.

  5. Swim at Cyliner this morning in the BEST water ever followed by a gelati, fresh prawns for lunch on the balcony at Dunwich and a late afternoon swim in Brown Lake.
    This is what holidays in Paradise are all about!!

  6. Cylinder is a fabulous spot for a swim. There are a few camping spots there right near the beach and I think they are some of the best in Australia.

  7. Great things to do in North Strandbroke Island. I will surely enjoy my stay with my family.

  8. Anonymous12:33 pm

    I recently went to Straddie for the most wonderful week holiday. We hadn't been for many many years and have now rediscovered this great getaway!

    The Island Fruit Barn was a great find and so glad we stopped. The cakes were amazing and the coffee superb. What a gorgeous little shop to stop and get fresh fruit and gourmet supplies from. The salads and other made goodies looking so delicious too. We'll be going back!


  9. Hi Kate, I'm glad you enjoyed Straddie. It is a very special place.

  10. Hi Kerry, is there a larger grocery shop on the island ?

    1. Thanks to a frequent Straddie visitor, I've got the latest info for you. Foodworks at both Dunwich and Lookout are very well stocked. Butcher at Dunwich is great and also carries cheese/dips. The Green Room at Lookout is small but good fruit veg and organic sauces.
      Fresh seafood at Lookout and Amity


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