We have just spent six beautiful days on Stradbroke Island. I think I could live here permanently. The ferry leaves from Cleveland and arrives on the island in under an hour. The caravan park at Home Beach was quiet and right on the water. A short walk along Home Beach to the west is Flinders Beach, and to the east Cylinder beach which is patrolled and great for boogie boarding. Half way to Cylinder Beach is a Hotel with fabulous beach views, which makes a lovely evening walk. In one particular spot along Home Beach there are a lot of dead trees on the sand, not sure why.
For fresh, local seafood there are two fishermen with shops at their homes. Rufus King is at Amity Point and Mal Starkeys Seafood House is at Point Lookout. They catch their own or buy off the local trawler, so all the seafood is local, fresh and tastes amazing. Every night we had seafood, sand crabs, Morton Bay bugs, prawns and spanner crabs. And lots of fresh fruit, red pawpaw and passionfruit from my brother-in-laws back yard, YUM! Pineapple came from the Island Fruit Barn on the main road near Dunwich, not much to look at from the road, but its much more than a fruit barn. An eclectic mix of chairs and tables set under the shade in the nursery area, wonderful home made cakes, salads, smoothies, coffee, local specialty breads, and much more, its well worth a visit.
Having family and friends come and join us on the island made the experience extra fun and memorable. After our swim my brother asked a life saver for directions to a particular fish and chip shop, a two minute walk around a rocky out crop and onto the next beach. It ended up being a 1 hour walk around several rocky out crops, along three different beaches, up a sand dune, through some bush and then a very long flight of stairs to meet Tim and my sister who had driven there. We had all turned into jelly blobs of sweat, but it was fun.
There are a number of special places we visited on the island. One was Point Lookout. After our ‘5 minute walk to the fish and chip shop’ we crossed the road to a board walk which passes a gorge with lots of turtles in it. Tim and I went back a second day to follow the board walk further, unfortunately it was closed not far down as they are doing some major works on it. The ocean was a lot rougher the second day and we couldn’t see any turtles.
Myora Springs is beautiful too. We visited during low tide then again at high tide.
Brown Lake is the most beautiful amber colour that glistens in the sun. Its sandy shore line makes it quite unique as its a fesh water lake.
Blue Lake is a 5km walk from the car park, but well worth it. So beautiful.
Amity Point is another beautiful place. There is a jetty to fish off, a boat ramp, a netted swimming area which is quite deep at the back during high tide, the water is calm, no surf, and is crystal clear, fabulous to swim in. The locals told us to come back at sunset to watch the dolphins swim past, as they do every evening. They come with in 10 meters of the shore as occasionally some one throws them a fish. When we arrived people had started gathering and just after the sun disappeared a shout went up that the dolphins were on their way. It was so exciting to be part of this daily ritual. No one fed them but a number swam past very close to the shore. And the sunset was amazing, a magical way to end our visit to Stradbroke Island.
We will definitely be back again, perhaps next time we will stay for a few months. Just one thing to note, the tides vary up to 90 minutes around the island. Something to keep in mind if you are beach camping. BOM gives Brisbane Bar time only. Willy Weather gives the adjustments. http://tides.willyweather.com.au/qld/brisbane/north-stradbroke-island.html