Every time we receive new visitors in Brisbane, I want to plan a trip to North Stradbroke Island. Straddie, as the locals call it, is easy to access from Brisbane and has a lot to offer. It is the perfect escape when our time is limited. The things to do on Stradbroke Island are perfect Australian cliches to serve International visitors, and the great climate and space will seduce the domestic visitors. In summary, everybody will love Stradbroke Island.
Things to do on Stradbroke Island
Stradbroke Island has a lot of Australian must-do concentrated in a tiny area. These are the reasons why I always want to take our visitors to Stradbroke Island:
1. To Spot Wild Koalas
From the moment you arrive on the island, keep your eyes opened and pointed towards the trees. There are many wild koalas on Stradbroke Island and your chance to spot one is high. Every time I saw one, it was resting in a tree just near the road on the way to the North of the island, less than 5 minutes after leaving the ferry. There a few hanging around the cemetery.
2. To Spot Wild Kangaroos
The best place to spot wild kangaroos is at Point Lookout, while doing the beautiful coastal walk. Keep your eyes opened and don’t always look at the sea: kangaroos are often relaxing or eating on the other side of the path.
You can also spot them just before starting the walk, on the grass patch in front of the ice cream shop (perfect, isn’t it?), with a beautiful view of Frenchman’s Bay behind them.
3. To Spot Turtles and Other Marine Animals from the Shore
The view from the magnificent cliffs of the Point Lookout Walk is breathtaking. Not only is it beautiful, but it is also a perfect place to spot turtles and many other marine animals depending on the season: manta rays, dolphins, whales, sharks…
4. To Enjoy an Australian Beach Escape Experience
Going to the beach is the most obvious activity among the things to do on Stradbroke Island. For foreigners, Australia’s never-ending empty white sand beaches are impressive. Stradbroke Island is perfect for experiencing the beach escape: there are 4WD accesses to the beach where you can set up your camp to spend the night.
If you don’t have a 4WD, there are kilometres of unspoilt beach that you’ll have just for yourself if you’re lucky or to share with very few people if you are visiting during a peak period.
Beach views on Straddy are breathtaking. The Point Lookout Walk is a must do. Don’t miss the view of Frenchmans Bay when you start the walk. Cylinders Beach is beautiful – and the restaurant at the top offers a very nice view.
5. To See Dolphins from Very Close for an Unforgettable Sunset
A pod of three dolphins visit almost every day Amity Point jetty at the end of the afternoon. They are wild dolphins but very used to interact with humans, so you’ll have a chance to get very close to them from the jetty. Signs say it’s forbidden to feed them. I always think feeding wild animals isn’t a good thing, so I don’t mind this decision.
The story I was told is that locals from Straddie had been feeding them for years, but the interdiction was decided when the resort on the nearby Moreton Island started to monetise it for tourism purposes. It is their way to limit the number of dolphins being fed so doing that on Stradbroke is now forbidden.
6. To Dive or Snorkel with Manta Rays or Leopard Sharks
A lit of things to do on Stradbroke Island wouldn’t be complete without mentioning scuba diving as it’s one of the best scuba diving sites on Australia’s east coast. When the weather is good, you can also inquire if a boat is going out for snorkelling.
Diving with the huge Manta Rays is a sensational experience. I wrote a full article about it. If you missed the season, it’s still a great diving spot. You might be lucky to be there when the beautiful Leopard Sharks are around. There are many other types of rays to see (Guitar Sharks, Eagle Rays…), as well as turtles, wobbegongs, clownfish, porcupinefish, octopuses, shrimps and many other colourful marine life!
What about you? What are your favourite things to do on Stradbroke Island?
If you don’t want to organise anything, you can book online a day tour from Brisbane*.
I like staying overnight and spend a full weekend on Staddie. I usually choose to camp: it’s fun and cheap.
If you don’t like camping, I recommend staying near Point Lookout. There are many accommodation options available. I once rented an apartment for three couples at Whale Watch Resort* and we had a lovely stay.
For budget accommodation, check out Manta Lodge*. It’s super close to the beach and they also host the dive shop.
Where is Stradbroke Island?
Stradbroke Island is only 45min from Cleveland, a suburb in the South of Brisbane where a boat can take you to Stradbroke in 45min. From Brisbane CBD, you need to allow about 2 hours to reach Stradbroke Island.
You can board with a car or go as a walk-in passenger. There are buses on Stradbroke that are conveniently connected to the ferry timetable. The island is quite big, so a car is the best option if you lack time. If you go there for diving, the Manta Lodge* will organise transport for you.
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Eloise lives in Brisbane (Australia), but you won’t find her often in the city. When she is not disconnected underwater or in a national park, she loves sharing her travel tips and inspiring her readers to take care of our beautiful planet. She considers every weekend as a two-day holiday break. Her approach: you don’t always need to go far to travel. Still, she also enjoys exploring the world and discovering new cultures. Eloise is originally from France and, before moving to Brisbane, she lived in Sydney, Istanbul and England.