Meg Forbes is a mum, freelance writer, and photographer living in the Redlands, South of Brisbane.
Published February 10th 2021
Treat yourself to a day out in paradise
Queensland Day Tours offer one of the most straightforward and enjoyable ways to explore the diverse areas of natural beauty that extend from Noosa down to Byron Bay. One of their popular day tours from Brisbane takes locals and tourists to explore the wonders of Minjerribah / North Stradbroke Island.
Explore beautiful North Stradbroke Island in a day with Queensland Day Tours!
While some people find that the logistics of navigating ferries and buses, together with bulky cameras and swimming gear, prevent them from visiting this stunning island as often as they would like, Queensland Day Tours make it easy with their luxury, air-conditioned bus that drives their clients on and off the vehicle barge, and takes them to many of the island's best spots in a single day!
Visit the island's best destinations in comfort and style with QLD Day Tours' airconditioned vehicles
Leaving Brisbane at 7:45am (5:30pm return), Shane and his friendly team provide commentary with a wealth of information as they drive clients in comfort from one attraction to the next. Some of the stunning locations include:
Brown Lake, or Bummiera in the Jandai language of the Quandamooka People, is a natural perched lake. Filled with rainwater that has filtered through the sands of the island, the water is tinged with the tannins of the melaleuca trees that fringe it.
Visit tranquil Bummiera / Brown Lake to swim or look for wildlife
This tranquil spot is a favourite amongst swimmers seeking to escape the beach crowds. Wildlife that call the lake and surrounds home includes large goannas, a wide variety of birds such as willy wagtails and rainbow bee eaters, wallabies, and koalas.
Rainbow bee eaters are just one of the many species that can be seen around the lake
Dunwich, or Goompi, is the closest town to Brown Lake, and also the entrance point for all ferries and vehicle barges to the island. As well as having a variety of shops and eateries, Dunwich is home to a wealth of Aboriginal and settler heritage. The local cemetery dates from 1847 and has an estimated 10000 graves, of which approximately 8500 are unmarked - a legacy of the benevolent asylum. Look up when exploring the cemetery, as it is one of the best koala-spotting locations on the island.
Visitors to Dunwich have an excellent opportunity to see one of the many resident, wild koalas
Amity Point, or Pulan, is another of the island's charming villages, and at one point was a pilot station for European ships attempting to reach Brisbane through the "south passage" between North Stradbroke and Moreton Islands. Here the Quandamooka people teamed up with dolphins for thousands of years when fishing - with both people and dolphins benefitting from the catch. Today Amity Point is still recognised as one of the best places on the island to view dolphins close-up, as they continue to frequently approach fishermen on the jetty. Amity Point is also well known for its koala population, and the large osprey nest that sits atop a huge dead tree right in the centre of town.
Wildlife such as dolphins and ospreys are some of Amity Point's attractions
Point Lookout, or Mulumba, is often thought of as the jewel in the crown of North Stradbroke Island. While there are two surf beaches patrolled by lifeguards and surf lifesavers here, Cylinder Beach was voted Queensland's best beach in 2017.
Swim in the pristine waters at either of Point Lookout's patrolled beaches
The 1.1Km Gorge Walk is another attraction, with well-maintained boardwalks, lookouts, and steps throughout. While pods of dolphins can be seen playing, fishing, and surfing beneath the cliffs here all year round, from June to October humpback whales and their calves pass in what has become known as a "whale highway" on their annual migration. Other marine wildlife that are frequently spotted here include manta rays, eagle rays, and leopard sharks, while raptors such as white bellied sea eagles, ospreys, and brahminy kites are frequently seen overhead. Point Lookout is also the location of this tour's lunch stop, at the Stradbroke Island Beach Hotel.
Watch from above as dolphins surf and play beneath the gorge
With more than 22 000 years of history, the island is infused with sites of cultural and spiritual significance to the Quandamooka people. Many of these sites are open to tourists, and one that Shane took us to was Myora Springs / Capembah. Here yabbies can be spotted moving about in the little spring-fed creek, while kookaburras laugh from above. The creek flows out through the mangroves to the Bay and at high tide, many people use the well-maintained boardwalk as an access point to swim here.
Visit Myora Springs, or Capembah, one of the many culturally significant sites open for tourists to visit
Although locals to the Brisbane region, visiting North Stradbroke Island with Queensland Day Tours gave us the convenience of comfortable transport coupled with opportunities to learn from our guide's extensive knowledge of the island. The only disappointment was when the day ended!
The hardest thing about this trip to North Stradbroke Island is leaving!