Wanting to get away from the hustle and bustle along the coastline?
With the Gold Coast’s population expected to rocket during the Commonwealth Games, it may be hard to believe that there is a tranquil island a short distance away.
Also known as ‘Straddie’ by the locals, North Stradbroke Island is a treasure trove of natural beauty.
Being the second largest sand dune island in the world, the Naree Budjong Djara National Park covers over 50% of the island.
Wildlife is the main appeal to the island, so come and see some kangaroos, or look up in to the trees to spot a koala whilst doing the North Gorge Walk around Point Lookout, the most easterly point in Queensland.
But if marine life is more what interests you, Straddie is home to 6 of the 7 world’s species of marine turtles.
Senior Lifeguard at North Stradbroke Island, Mr Michael Bates, believes the biggest appeal around the Point Look Out region is that visitors know they will have some encounter with marine life.
As the gradient off Point Lookout is so steep, the water is deep enough for marine life to be in close proximity to the land.
This has made Straddie a popular snorkelling destination as people feel safer being closer to the shore.
“It’s the biggest draw card”, Mr Bates said.
“We get clear water close to 330 days of the year, so the water clarity is pretty good most of the time”.
“Visitors know they will get some great encounters with marine life, that be turtles, whales, or dolphins”.
If you are interested in visiting the island, catch a ferry from Toondah Harbour in Cleveland.
The port is about 30 km east of Brisbane so is in driving distance from the Gold Coast.
It is also accessible by public transport by catching a train from Brisbane’s CBD station to Cleveland and then a 5 minute bus ride to the port.
Check out the pedestrian and car ferry timetable here.