Meg Forbes is a mum, freelance writer, and photographer living in the Redlands, South of Brisbane.
Published March 7th 2020
Have you visited this accessible island resort yet?
South Stradbroke Island off the Gold Coast, is less accessible than Minjerribah / North Stradbroke Island ("Straddie"). However, there is a ferry that can take you there if you don't have your own boat, and it lands at an island resort - Couran Cove.
Ferries to Couran Cove leave from the marina at Mariner's Cove on the Gold Coast. From there the ferry travels north along the Broadwater until it reaches the resort. We were fortunate enough to see dolphins on the trip up. Turtles and dugongs are also always present along the Broadwater. More information on Ferry times is available here.
When we visited Couran Cove we weren't sure what to expect and went for a day trip. It was fantastic, and we were pleased to see that they also offer a wide variety of accommodation that we intend to try in the future. More information on the resort's accommodation options can be found at this link
Whether visiting for a day, or staying for longer, Couran Cove has a large range of activities. On our trip there was no extra cost for many of them. We went in early Spring, when it was still cool early in the morning, so started the kids off in the Virtual Reality World Experience gaming room.
We then took a walk along the Alcheringa Trail. South Stradbroke Island used to be an important meeting place for the Komumerri and Noonuccal Tribes. The Alcheringa Trail includes information on Aboriginal spiritual connections to South Stradbroke Island and provided paths, viewing platforms, and boardwalks through a beautiful area of rainforest.
After our walk, everyone was hot and ready for a swim. Although Couran Cove has multiple swimming pools, including shallow ones that are ideal for kids, we chose to head down to the kayaks and stand up paddleboards. Again, this was all included in our day trip ticket, and worth asking about when booking. Our kids particularly loved the trampoline platform in the middle of the lagoon.
If it seems from this article like there's too much to do in a day trip, you are right. We had one more thing we were determined to do, and that was catch one of the little buggy "buses" over to the surf side of the island.
Boardwalk to the surf beach on South Stradbroke Island
Upon leaving Couran Cove to enjoy another trip down along the Broadwater, we resolved to come back and stay for longer. Probably the only thing that really surprised about this island resort so close to Brisbane and the Gold Coast was that there weren't more people, which the facilities could easily have handled. This link has a full list of activities and prices.
Surf Beach at Couran Cove on South Stradbroke Island