Also known as “Straddie”, North Stradbroke Island is one of the world’s largest sand islands and is home to the sprawling Blue Lake National Park plus some great beaches and tons of marine life. Point Lookout, at the northeast corner of the island, is the main hub of accommodation and dining and is surrounded by postcard-perfect beaches perfect for snorkelling. Most travellers come here to learn to dive or to dive the famous spots in front of Cylinder Beach, including a spectacular Manta Ray cleaning station. The surf is great and uncrowded at Main Beach just off Point Lookout. If you fancy a walk instead, the Gorge pathway around Point Lookout is a gorgeous half hour seaside stroll.
You can camp and four-wheel-drive along many of the beaches here, but you’ll need to get a permit from the Stradbroke Visitors Centre before boarding the ferry in Cleveland. Access to the entire southern half of the island is prohibited due to mining.
Frequent ferries run to North Stradbroke Island from Cleveland, 30km southeast of Brisbane city centre, which is reached by frequent trains on the Citytrain network.
Sea Stradbroke Ferries (tel (07) 3488 9777) charge $10 return or $122 return for a car with passengers. Their ferries depart from Redland Bay.
Stradbroke Ferries (tel (07) 3286 2666) charge $17 return or $122 for a car with passengers. Stradbroke Ferries depart from Toondah Harbour, Middle Street, Cleveland. They have a courtesy bus that picks up from Cleveland train station and Cleveland Mall.
The Stradbroke Flyer (tel (07) 3286 1964) is a fast ferry that charges $17 return. Their ferries depart from Cleveland and they also have a courtesy bus that picks up from Cleveland train station.
North Stradbroke Island Bus Services (tel (07) 3415 2417) is a reasonable local bus service on the island that meets all ferries. Buses run between Dunwich and Point Lookout with some services also going to Amity. The one-way fare from the ferry terminal to Point Lookout is $5 and a one-day pass costs $15.40.
1 East Coast Road, Point Lookout, North Stradbroke Island
Tel (07) 3409 8888
There are a couple of shops in Point Lookout where you can buy supplies for cooking meals. Otherwise there are some nice cafés and restaurants but they can be pricey. The Point Lookout petrol station next to the Manta Lodge has a convenience store and café where you can get cheap sandwiches and snacks. A great dinner spot is the Bowls Club, just a bit further down the main road, where locals go for inexpensive quality meals. Fishes (15 Mooloomba Road, Point Lookout) is also a popular spot for lunch. For those on a strict budget, it is a good idea to stock up on food at a supermarket on the mainland before coming here.