I am an Organiser of the Group Hiking South East Qld and More on Meetup. Visit the website at https://www.meetup.com/HikingInSEQLDandMore/ is free to join all the activities posted on the hiking group.
Published August 29th 2021
Hiking Blue Lake Lookout, Keyhole Lagoons & North Gorge
Stradbroke Island is a fantastic place to explore by walking and hiking. Stradbroke Island, called familiarly Straddie, is located 30 km southwest of Brisbane easily reachable by ferry. It is a remarkable island in many ways, with fantastic flora, fauna, Aboriginal history and many activities to do.
Catch the passenger ferry at 12 Emmett Drive Cleveland, the trip takes about 25 minutes and the ferry connects with the local bus on the island. For more information about the ferry, please follow the link: www.sealinkseq.com.au/transport-options/water-taxi
Otherwise to cover more distances and freely reach different places, take your car to the barge. For all the information about the booking, timetable and price for the barge please follow the link: www.sealinkseq.com.au/transport/search
North Stradbroke Island is easily accessible by SeaLink passenger or vehicle ferry, with regular services operating from Cleveland. SeaLink North Stradbroke Island is located at 12 Emmett Drive, Cleveland (Toondah Harbour). Travelling by car allows you to access different places on the island and not having to wait for the bus. Photo by Author.
Book an early ferry, so you can spend more time on this beautiful island. Once disembarked the ferry, drive to the start of the walk. From Dunwich, drive to the Blue Lake Carpark on the Alfred Martin Way. Park your car and wear your boots and socks protectors to avoid your boots filling up with sand.
Kaboora Track to Blue Lake Lookout
Follow the trail Kaboora Track to Blue Lake Lookout, then retrace your steps for about 100 metres and at the intersection turn left. Follow the trail on the hill which reconnects with the carpark.
When you return to the carpark, you can have some morning tea, sitting under the shade of the trees.
Keyhole Lagoons and Beach Walk
After morning tea, exit the carpark and turn right onto Alfred Martin Way. Drive for about five minutes, 3.7 km to the start of the next walk.
Park your car and start to walk on the dirt sandy track along the ponds. The water comes from the Keyhole Lagoons, a beautiful series of freshwater lakes on North Stradbroke Island. The Keyhole Lagoons are perfect for kayaking, stand up paddleboarding and swimming.
Continue walking till you arrive at the area with benches and tables.
Return to the carpark, turning right onto the sandy Alfred Martin Way back to your car.
Straddie Bakery at Dunwich
By lunchtime, you can head to Dunwich to the local Bakery and Fish & Chip Shop in 11 Ballow Rd, Dunwich QLD 4183.
The Straddie Island Bakery offers a selection of pies, bakery treats, freshly made salad rolls, sandwiches, great value fish & chips and coffee.
I ordered the family deal with three crumbed fish, seven calamari and large chips for about $30. The fish & chips came wrap in three large food wrapping papers like the good old days. The chips were a generous size and the fish fillet were tender and tasty. The calamari was soft and delicious. Then I ordered a milkshake and they made for me a coffee milkshake with real coffee.
Overall, it was a great experience and the food was very good value money wise. The personnel was friendly and professional to enrich the experience. The bakery offers a variety of fresh bread, fresh pies and sweet pastries with gluten-free options.
The turquoise sea has an abundance of marine life. In particular, it is possible to spot big turtles, dolphins and manta rays. Ospreys can be seen flying over the sea hunting for fish or resting on branches of the trees.
Via stairs, there are many outcrops with fantastic views over the ocean and endless beaches.
North Gorge is a strategic point on the island to spot whales in their migration to warmer waters in their annual passage from June to November. It is easy to spot the spray of the whales when they resurface for breathing at a distance.
On Gorge Walk, it is easy to spot the mob of kangaroos of Stradbroke Island. Depending on the time of the day, the kangaroos can be seen laying under the shade of trees or just minding their business and munching away the grass.
After Gorge Walk, you can have a drink or an ice cream in one of the shops at Point Lookout. Oceanic Gelati & Coffee Bar is at 19 Mooloomba Rd, Point Lookout QLD 4183
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Hiking gear: a hiking medium backpack, long trousers and shirt with long sleeve, light raincoat, hiking shoes or hiking boots; first aid kit, insect repellent (give preference to cream or roll-on that are more environmentally friendly than the spray); sunscreen, gloves, hat, walking poles if you like to use them; socks protectors or gaiters.
Consider packing some extra clothes and leave them in the car. Pack some clean footwear and socks.
For this hike consider carrying a map or download a good app on your smartphone that can help you to navigate in the bush.
Bring a medium day backpack with lots of water, especially if it's a hot day, 3.0 litres of water and snacks. During summer you can bring electrolytes to dissolve in water to compensate for the loss through perspiration.
You may consider packing sandwiches, fresh fruit, dry fruit, energy bars and small meals.
Walk with family, friends or in a group. Never alone!