Stradbroke Island is divided into two islands, North and South – both of which make for ideal holiday spots the whole year round.
If you haven’t discovered the jewel in Moreton Bay’s crown, why not take your next adventure to Straddie?
North Stradbroke Island is accessible by ferry from Cleveland on Brisbane’s bayside, and you can bring across your vehicle as long as you book ahead on the Stradbroke Ferries website. There are also passenger services that run across to the island, if you’re just planning to go for the day or stay in a hotel on the island. North Stradbroke has paved roads to connect the communities on the island, so a four-wheel drive isn’t necessary, but if you want to travel on the inland tracks or drive the beach a low-range, high clearance 4WD would be ideal.
To drive on North Stradbroke Island’s beaches, you need a permit from the Department of National Parks for the Minjerribah Recreation Area, which covers Stradbroke Island.
North Stradbroke Island has three small communities in Dunwich, Amity Point and Point Lookout, so there are various shops and services to cater to those residents with general stores, petrol stations, pharmacies and cafés. Nonetheless, items will be dearer than the mainland – so it’s best to stock up on anything that won’t be convenient on the island.
There is fuel on North Stradbroke, but if you find it cheaper in Brisbane or the Gold Coast then, by all means, fill up there. North Stradbroke is only 38km long and 11km at its widest point so unless you’re doing plenty of 4WD’ing or there for a week or more, there shouldn’t be any reason to run down a full tank of fuel.
The inland tracks and four-wheel driving beaches don’t require any special off-roading equipment, but if you’ve never driven on sand, you might think about bringing a tyre pressure gauge and an air compressor to reduce and reinflate your tyre pressure, snatch straps for towing and a shovel and some MaxTrax in case you get really stuck in.
Once you’ve crossed over to Dunwich on North Stradbroke Island, there are paved roads so you can use a regular passenger car or even catch buses to travel around the island. If you want to drive the beach however, you have two choices: you can head north towards Flinders Beach or east to Main Beach, which runs along most of the eastern side of the island.
Before you get onto the beach, remember to deflate your tyres to around 18-20psi, this will help you keep traction when starting up again in soft sand and keep your car from digging into the packed, firm sand on the shoreline.
Speed limits of 40km/h apply on Flinders Beach and 60km/h on Main Beach, and police enforce road rules to issue on the spot fines to anyone not doing the right thing.
Stradbroke Island is quiet (except maybe in peak times like school holidays and long weekends) compared to larger islands like Fraser or purely 4WD drive beaches like North Shore Noosa, but the peaceful setting is exactly what draws holidaymakers.
With several famous headlands, warm, clear waters and a variety of beaches facing different directions, there is always somewhere to catch wave that will pick up the prevailing swell.
Top tip: Cylinder Beach headland makes a perfect spot to learn to surf as the waves bend around the headland.
Anytime from June through to October is when you are likely to start seeing the migration of the whales. As one of the most easterly points in Australia, it is prime viewing from the vantage point that is Point Lookout headland.
Top Tip: Keep an eye out for days with westerly winds, as this flattens the sea and makes whale spotting even easier.
Have your camera ready for stunning postcard views down main beach and of the crystal clear waters / rocks of Point Lookout. Dolphins, manta rays, whales, turtles, eagles, kangaroos, goannas and schools of fish are common sights as you meander out around the edge of Point Lookout. The boardwalk is fenced, well signed and will leave you wanting to do it again.
Top tip: If you have the luxury of a few days, try to go on the calmest day to maximise how much wildlife you can see.
Don’t visit Straddie without a walk around the Gorge at South Straddie.
Straddie is surrounded by sand and rock, making it a beach fishing paradise. From surf fishing on either Flinders or Main Beach for dart, tailor, bream and whiting, to rock fishing off Point Lookout, there are endless opportunities for the keen angler. Pipi’s can also be found on the eastern beach.
Looking for a freshwater escape, don’t miss Blue or Brown Lakes. Brown Lake is a short drive from Dunwich on the Causeway road, and has toilets, play area & bbq facilities. As the name suggests, the lake is brown (tea tree stained) though the water is great for a cool dip on a late afternoon as it shades over quite well.
Blue Lake is a 30-35 minute walk from the causeway road (closer to the Ocean side) along a flat yet sandy path. Imagine a stunning crystal clear / blue lake in the middle of a forest.
Top Tip: Go late or early in the day to avoid the heat. Take water. There are no toilets.
Remember, the expert team at Motorama 4x4xMore can help you find the perfect vehicle for your next off-road adventure, and give helpful tips and tricks on how to make the most of your four-wheel drive.