Meg Forbes is a mum, freelance writer, and photographer living in the Redlands, South of Brisbane.
Published May 14th 2020
Island paradise revisited
The Queensland Government has announced that Minjerribah / North Stradbroke Island on Redlands Coast near Brisbane is opening for day trips from 16 May 2020. This is fantastic news for residents around South East Queensland looking for an outdoor day trip within the current 150Km day trip restriction.
One of the beautiful, patrolled swimming beaches, Main Beach, on North Stradbroke Island
North Stradbroke Island is easy to access, with ferries run by Stradbroke Ferries (their timetable is available here) and Gold Cats (their timetable is available here) leaving from Cleveland. Both of these ferry timetables are coordinated to arrive at Dunwich at the correct time for the island bus which transports visitors to Amity Point and Point Lookout. There are also taxis available to take visitors to National Park areas such as Brown Lake, or visitors can bring their own vehicles on the vehicular barge. Finally, StradEasy is a minibus service that takes visitors from the ferry terminals to their chosen destination on Straddie.
View from Dunwich across Moreton Bay towards Brisbane
Dunwich itself is a lovely town on the western side of North Stradbroke Island, and has a variety of shops and restaurants. There is an historic graveyard here, and a safe, netted swimming enclosure for high tide swimming. Visitors to the island can also book an Aboriginal cultural Goompi Walk tour through Minerribah Camping.
The ferries cross Moreton Bay from Cleveland to historic Dunwich
Point Lookout is the furthest stop on the bus, and offers visitors two patrolled swimming beaches (Cylinder Beach which is sheltered when the wind is coming from the South, and Main Beach which is sheltered when the wind is coming from the North), a variety of shops including a fish restaurant, bakery, and Gelato Shop, and the iconic Gorge Walk. This walk is a 1.3Km loop, much of which is set upon well maintained boardwalks around the Gorge. There are steps down to two rocky headlands, each of which offer superb marine wildlife viewing. It is not unusual to see dolphins and turtles coming and going throughout the day, as well as eagle rays, manta rays, and sharks.
Watching an eagle ray pass beneath the cliffs on the Gorge Walk
The reopening of North Stradbroke Island coincides with the start of the whale watching season (which runs from the end of May to the beginning of November), and these headlands are an excellent place for land-based whale watching as well.
A humpback whale and her calf swimming past one of the headlands at Point Lookout
Amity Point is a smaller village in a beautiful location towards the northern tip of North Stradbroke Island. The jetty here is popular with fishermen, and dolphins often come in towards the jetty in the afternoon. Although delightful to watch, feeding of the dolphins is prohibited for their own health, and rangers do monitor this.
Dolphins frequent the waters around Amity Point's jetty and swimming enclosure
A lovely way to end a day trip to "Straddie" is with a visit to the the Little Ship Club. This is a beautiful location to have final glimpses of the wildlife around Straddie as the sun sets across Moreton Bay before heading back home on one of the ferries.
Enjoy a final chance to watch the marine wildlife around Straddie from the Little Ship Club before heading home from Dunwich