The Best Things To Do On North Stradbroke Island With Kids
A subtropical paradise situated on Brisbane’s doorstep; North Stradbroke Island (Minjerribah) is a vastly popular destination among both locals and travellers.
The island is the second largest sand island in the world, offering crystal lakes, towering lookouts, cliff-side journeys, secluded beaches, fascinating wildlife, a captivating cultural side, and a friendly community.
There’s undeniably a little something for the whole family to enjoy. Make your way over to the island’s social hub, Point Lookout, to enjoy relaxing spas, delicious eateries, beautiful views, and pristine beaches. Otherwise, head down past Dunwich to explore lush bushland and fresh lakes.
Whether you’re seeking a relaxing getaway or an adventure fuelled trip, North Stradbroke Island can deliver.
Thinking about heading over to North Stradbroke Island with the kids? Here’s everything you need to know before visiting.
How To Get To North Stradbroke Island From Brisbane
Located approximately 30 km southeast of Brisbane, North Stradbroke Island is effortless to reach. Water ferries depart from Cleveland 7 days a week, all year round, making the island very accessible for vehicle and pedestrian traffic. Booking offices are located on Emmett Drive. The ferries depart between 5:30 am and 5 pm from Monday to Sunday, with additional trips available from Friday to Sunday. The trip itself takes from 45 to 50 minutes, with air-conditioning and cafes on board. See the full timetable on the Stradbroke Island website.
Alternatively, leave the car in Cleveland and take the water taxi for a quicker crossing.
Once you’ve made it over to the island, getting around will be just as easy, especially if you have your own car. Sealed roads offer access to the three towns of North Stradbroke Island: Amity Point, Dunwich, and Point Lookout. With no traffic lights, the journey is as quick and easy as ever. Alternatively, 4WD tracks are on offer for those looking to get off the beaten track. Permits are required.
Public Transport On North Stradbroke Island
The main mode of public transport throughout North Stradbroke Island is the bus system, operating between Dunwich and Point Lookout, with a stop at Amity Point. The buses operate daily, with a total of 11 services each day. Adult single fares vary between $2.30 and $4.90. Concession prices are also available. Buses depart each hour from Dunwich and Point Lookout. For a full bus timetable, visit the Stradbroke Island Buses website.
On the other hand, the Stradbroke Cab Service is also available to transport passengers. This option can be slightly more expensive than the bus, although the journey will be much quicker. Bookings can be made over the phone.
Accommodation On North Stradbroke Island
North Stradbroke Island’s accommodation comes in all shapes and sizes, making it easy to find a spot to suit the whole family. Most of the island’s accommodation is situated throughout Point Lookout, particularly due to the range of attractions and facilities located in the area, making the day to day aspects of a holiday very convenient.
The accommodation comes in various forms, including resorts, holiday homes, apartments, and heaps more. The best option will largely depend on how many people are staying, your budget, and the experience you’re looking to gain from the trip. Consider these factors before booking.
Alternatively, if you’re looking to swap Point Lookout for a much more concealed option, Amity Point may be an ideal solution. Although there are far fewer options for accommodation, there are a few lovely holiday homes and bungalows on offer.
Looking for some accommodation suggestions? Here are a few picks
Stradbroke Island Beach Hotel, Point Lookout
This option is perfect for those looking for some regular beach-time. The hotel is located across from Cylinder Beach, and only 2 km away from the Gorge Walk. Not to mention, various stores and cafes are located nearby.
Pandanus Palms Resort, Point Lookout
The Pandanus Palms Resort offers picture-perfect views over North Stradbroke Island’s northern coast. The hotel is only a 15-minute walk from Cylinder beach, and 1.6 km from Point Lookout. Not to mention, the hotel also has a pool and a tennis court.
Point Lookout Beach Resort
The resort is located in the heart of Point Lookout, making it effortless to move throughout the hub. Cylinder Beach is only a 6-minute drive away, Frenchman’s Beach is a 14-minute walk, and the Gorge Walk is a 12-minute walk. To top it off, the hotel also includes a pool.
Whalewatch Ocean Beach Resort, Point Lookout
Whalewatch Ocean Beach Resort, Point Lookout The Whalewatch Ocean Beach Resort is a much more secluded option of Point Lookout. The hotel is only 1.8 km from Cylinder Beach and is also 13 minutes away from the Gorge Walk. Plus, cafes and grocery stores are also located nearby.
Find your ideal North Stradbroke accommodation with the BEST prices – click here
Camping On North Stradbroke Island
Another popular attraction of North Stradbroke Island is the abundance of beachside camping experiences on offer. Visitors can step out from their tent and effortlessly embrace the clean, sweeping beaches that Stradbroke is acclaimed for.
Some popular spots to pitch a tent near Point Lookout include the Flinders Beach Campsite, Cylinder Beach Camping Ground, Adder Rock Camping Ground, and the Homes Beach Camping Ground.
Those interested in staying toward Amity Point can take a look at the Amity Point Camp Ground, Flinders Beach Camp 7, and Flinders Beach Camp 8.
Finally, if you’re interested in spending most of your time towards Dunwich, Bradbury Beach Camping Ground, Adams Beach Camping Ground, and the Minjerribah Camping Ground may be suitable options.
It’s important to remember that while you’re camping on North Stradbroke Island, you should be respecting the surrounding environment. The island is home to a range of beautiful creatures and plant life, and by leaving behind rubbish or removing aspects of the ecosystem, you can be severely damaging the environment.
During your stay, be sure to take all your rubbish with you and to leave the campsite as you found it. Secondly, avoid removing any plants or animals from the environment as a ’souvenir’. You may be unaware of the role that these species play. Just by following these simple rules, you can help keep North Stradbroke Island a pristine, subtropical paradise.
The 10 Best Things To Do On North Stradbroke Island With Kids
With a diverse range of vibrant landscapes to explore, Stradbroke Island truly is a natural playground for the entire family. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful beach to lounge upon, cliff-top views to marvel, or exciting hikes among lush bushland, there’s surely a little something for everyone to enjoy.
So, if you’re looking for things to fill your Stradbroke Island Itinerary, here are the 9 best things to do with kids.
A brown-tinted body of water, made of pure rainwater, Brown Lake is a must-visit destination of North Stradbroke Island. As Stradbroke Island is a large sand island, Brown Lake retains its water due to many leaves lining the floor of the lake. The water has a brown colour due to the native tea trees surrounding the lake. The secluded destination is located only 10 minutes from Dunwich, and delivers perfect swimming conditions, along with picnic and BBQ areas. Alternatively, rent a paddle-board and explore the vast lake from above. If you’re visiting in spring, you’ll be treated to the view of countless wildflowers surrounding the entire lake.
One of North Stradbroke Island’s most recognised beaches, Cylinder Beach is the perfect spot for a swim or a fish. Visitors can enjoy the cool water, or head up to an adjacent, rocky hill to admire ever stretching views of the beach, lush bushland looming in the distance, and the clear water. To top it off, the area hosts shady campgrounds and is conveniently located near fishing spots, general stores, markets, and much more.
The Gorge Walk
The Gorge Walk of Point Lookout is highly acclaimed among North Stradbroke Island visitors. The hike guides travellers along the edge of a towering cliff and above powerful waves. If you continue the journey, you’ll be lead to the other side of the gorge, past the unique rock formations and the ‘Blow Hole’, finishing conveniently close to the initial starting point. Overall, the entire hike is very easy to follow, with the majority of the journey extending over a boardwalk. The Gorge is also the perfect place to keep an eye out for pods of dolphins, sea turtles, and whales. As for land-dwelling creatures, you may be lucky enough to cross paths with a kangaroo. Prepare for the hike by packing a hat, sunscreen, and plenty of water.
If you’re looking for beachfront camping grounds to accompany your stay in North Stradbroke Island, Flinders Beach can deliver. The campgrounds are situated in natural settings and can only be accessed via bush tracks, or from the beach outside of high tide times. The area is dog-friendly, offers fishing locations, bushwalking opportunities, and is the perfect spot for whale watching,
A peaceful social hub of Stradbroke Island, Point Lookout has everything you’ll need. The area is home to various eateries, accommodation options, spas, beaches, markets, grocery stores, camping facilities, and much more. Not to mention, Point Lookout also offers cliff-top views to admire, and the famous Gorge Walk. While you’re exploring North Stradbroke Island, you’ll likely find yourself visiting Point Lookout time and time again due to its convenient location, sheer beauty, and abundance of facilities.
Terra Bulla Leumeah Conservation Area
Stretching across 1.5 hectares of bushland, the Terra Bulla Leumeah Conservation Area is the perfect spot to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of Stradbroke Island’s cultural side. The area has a link back to the past of the local Aboriginal people, as it was once the old Myora Mission site. Aboriginal elders often tell stories of their grandparents living on this land, using it as a gathering place. The park is home to bush tucker and a garden trail. Not to mention, it also houses cultural exchange programs, including talks and dance performances.
While standing above Point Lookout, you’ll notice a peaceful, secluded beach below: Frenchman’s Beach. The 500m sandy stretch faces east and sits between two towering cliffs, and below a dense field of vegetation. To access the beach, simply follow the stairway down from the main road, through the vegetation. When you reach the bottom, you’re welcome to relax upon the sand, explore the nearby rock pools, and admire the surrounding cliffs from below. However, swimming at Frenchman’s Beach is not recommended as the beach is not patrolled, averages large waves, and is home to permanent rips (against the dune rocks). That being said, it’s the perfect spot to lounge upon the sand and embrace the serenity.
Located within the Naree Budjong Djara National Park, Blue Lake is a treasure of North Stradbroke Island. The lake holds a cultural significance among the Quandamooka people, who refer to the lake as the ‘deep silent pool’. Compared to Brown Lake, Blue Lake is much more secluded. To reach the lake, hike through dense bushland for 5.2 km (return), among towering eucalyptus trees and vibrant shrubbery. Once you reach the lake, relax in the shade and admire the clear water. Out of respect for the Quandamooka people, guests are asked not to swim in the lake. As the track is quite sandy, good walking shoes are recommended, along with plenty of water, a hat, and sunscreen.
Those looking for some impressive views overlooking Blue Lake can venture over to the Neembeeba Lookout. The track is approximately 6 km (return), winding among lush, colourful vegetation, with slight glimpses of the ocean peeking through the trees. Once the lookout is reached, appreciate the stretching views over the Pacific Ocean and the Gold Coast. As the walk itself involves a gradual climb, taking approximately 1.5 to 2.5 hours to complete, good fitness level, quality walking shoes, a hat, sunscreen, and plenty of water is recommended, especially in Summer.
The Quandamooka Festival is held from June to August each year, giving visitors to Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island) the opportunity to become immersed in one of the oldest living cultures on earth. The festival celebrates the living history, knowledge, stories, arts and culture of the Nughi, Nunukul and Gorenpul clans, known collectively as the Quandamooka People of South East Queensland.
Experience the continuing culture of the Nughi, Nunukul and Gorenpul clans of Quandamooka People first-hand with a packed program of events including concerts, dance, markets, traditional ceremonies, storytelling and cultural tours. It’s a perfect winter day trip. Find out more here.
Day Trips to North Stradbroke Island
Content supplied by Nicholas Hastie, Creative Director at www.creatir.net
*This editorial appears in our print issue 34; June/July 2019.