Affectionately known as “Straddie” to Queenslanders, North Stradbroke Island is a place where many of my friends spent their childhood holidays. For me, it has been a discovery only in the past two years, which I am enjoying 🙂 Why do you want to go to Straddie and when?
- July- for the WHALES! They swim directly past the North George Headland, otherwise known as the “Whale Highway”, which is 35 m above sea level. You can also see them from the beach, from your apartment and from the lookout. You can’t go on an official whale watching tour from straddie, but you can see them at their best, in nature. If you go at the end of the season August- September they swim back with their babies. PRICELESS.
- Summer- for the ultra relaxed pace of life. You have to catch a ferry to get to Straddie, and it seems like half of Brisbane is going with you, but I promise, as soon as you hit land, it is as if the world disappears in different directions. Some head to camp at Amity Point, others head to Point Lookout, but I can promise you it is not crowded like Noosa. There’s no pretension either.
- Seafood! Delish- but straight from the trawler at Amity point, or if like me you prefer to stay closer to the action, then I recommend Mal Starkey’s seafood house. They sell direct to the public from the downstairs shop in their house. You can pay by credit card.
- Dolphins! You’re officially not allowed to feed them, but try telling the dolphins this. They hang out at Amity Point just before sunset, on the pier.
- The gelatto!
- The pub with a view- the Straddie Hotel. There’s no bogan here – just great food and a stunning view of the ocean. I can’t rave enough about this after they re-opened their restaurant to help me out one afternoon after taking my friend Steph to Straddie. Steph is wheelchair bound after a double brain stem stroke which left her with locked in syndrome, and after showing her the whales and the long process of getting her and her chair safely out of the car, up the ramp, and tucked into the table ready to order, we found that the restaurant had closed 10 minutes before! I was almost in tears, and explained my predicament to the chef, who kindly offered to cook for us, if we were happy with the options he had available. We were very grateful and thoroughly enjoyed our meal.
- The ferry across is not wheel chair friendly- you will need to stay in your car, as unfortunately on both the small and big red cat options both have stairs to access the views and dining areas.
- There are suitable public toilets at Point Lookout.
How to get there:
By Ferry- either the Big Red Cat or the slower ferry. You can take your car across or go as a passenger and take advantage of the bus, which is run in conjunction with the ferry. Both leave from Cleeveland and take you across to Dunwich. You need to book in advance, especially in peak holiday periods. Make sure you book your return journey at the same time.
Where to stay:
I’ve stayed at the following places
Whale Watch Resort– fantastic main beach location. Perfect for long beach walks, and if you don’t want to get the car out for the rest of your stay.
Pandanus Palms Resort – family friendly, close to the patrolled beach.
On my wish list of places to stay