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Published July 4th 2012
Stradbroke Island is only a hop skip and a boat ride away from the coast of Brisbane's outer suburbs. Given its close proximity, it's hard to believe the little amount of people that get over to the island each year. The island is well equipped with suitable roads, public transport, great diving opportunities, beautiful beaches, a great pub, and the best 'bara' burger I have ever eaten. The best part of Stradbroke Island (in comparison to neighbouring islands) is the flexibility it offers. Drive your car over for a day trip, stay for a week, or take your bike on the ferry and tour around like we did.
After the 45 minute ferry ride from Cleveland to Dunwich, we jumped on our bikes and pedalled the 20 kilometres over to Point Lookout. We loaded our bikes up with our tents and a fresh change of clothes for the night and enjoyed the physical workout, along with the marvellous sights. The best thing about being on a bike is that you really get to experience the places you are riding through.
The ride over to Point Lookout has moderate hills. I do believe a degree of fitness is required. There are no places to stop and fill up your water bottles on the journey so make sure you are well equipped with the necessities before you leave Dunwich. Once you are over at Point Lookout, there are many options for accommodation. We chose to camp at Cylinder Beach making it a cheap weekend away.
Cylinder Beach is a real sight. The beach is stunning- beautiful white sand and crystal waters. From Point Lookout you can see the southern end of Morten Island and if you are lucky enough- you may even see a whale taking place in its annual migration north for the winter.
The only problem with eating out is making the decision with where to go as there are so many options around the area. The Point Lookout pub is definitely worth a look for a beverage - the view is easy on the eyes and the beer is a nice accompaniment. 'Fins N Fries Seafood' should be on your to-do list for lunch or dinner. The 'bara' burger there is unlike anything I have eaten before.
The ride back the next day was definitely easier. After the slow climb up the hill out of Point Lookout, the majority of the rest of the ride was an easy pedal. The bike ride took us an hour to complete each way. If you have always dreamed of cycling across an island here is your chance to do so on one of Australia's largest islands – Stradbroke.
Wide-tyred mountain bikes, (or a hybrid), can get away from the traffic and off the bitumen on the many fire-trails on the island. Turn left onto one about 2/3 of the way from Dunwich to the Amity/Pt Lookout fork. This one will get you to just out of Amity village. There's another from the north-east end of Amity all the way along the north coast of Straddie which joins back with the bitumen behind Rocky Point. They're marked on some maps. Much more fun than the main roads.