North Stradbroke Island, or ‘Straddie’ as the locals affectionately call it, is just a hop, skip and a jump from Brisbane, and a popular holiday spot among people from Queensland. Just a short 40-minute ferry ride from Cleveland, 30km southeast of Brisbane, and you are on the second largest sand island in the world. It’s the perfect getaway for a weekend (or longer!) and we are on a boys weekend in North Stradbroke Island to see what adventures await.
Boys Weekend in North Stradbroke Island
Driving the XV off the ferry and into the arrival town of Dunwich early in the morning, the sun is shining and the ocean sparkling. You can’t help but feel those prickles of excitement when you know that there is fun ahead… Driving the 18km or so north towards the area of Point Lookout where most holidaymakers congregate, we can see the beaches to the right of us and coastal wilderness to our left where freshwater lakes and waterways pepper the landscape.
An easy and spectacular drive later, we arrive at Adder Rock Campground, our home during our weekend in North Stradbroke Island and it’s not long before we have the caravan set up and the barbie sizzling with bacon and eggs. For me (Clint), it is a nostalgic return to this island, the place of my childhood holidays. Keen to get back into the swing of things and show Jesse around, it’s not long before the temptation of getting into the water is too much to resist. After all, one of the best things to do around here is surf on Cylinder Beach. Meeting Murray from North Stradbroke Island Surf School, it’s not long before we are out on those clear aqua waves and having a ball!
The beaches are pristine, white and sandy, and there are spectacular rocky outcrops, which provide a haven for all kinds of sea life, from turtles to dolphins to manta rays. From Cylinder Beach, it is also not uncommon to see humpback whales during the season.
After our surf, we have to experience the North Gorge Walk, a new headland walk at the western end of Point Lookout. This is the very best vantage point to see those whales, and today we are treated to turtles putting on a show for us in the clear, turquoise waters.
There are so many things to do around here. The ‘Straddie Pub’ is an iconic old hotel first opened in 1962 and a great place to while away an afternoon or evening. But we are keen to work hard for our dinner and are heading out with Luke and Mia from Straddie Watersports for some kayak fishing – what’s a better thing to do on a boys weekend in North Stradbroke Island, right?
Kayak fishing might sound like a hard combination of two activities. But there is a little trick to this – a motor in the kayak! It’s not long before we put them to use. It’s a fantastic trip out from Amity Point at low tide. Luke tells us you can catch flathead, whiting, bream, mackerel, snapper, tuna, squid and more out here, but just our luck and nothing is biting!
It doesn’t really matter though, lots of fun was had and there are great seafood trawlers back on land to stock up on what we didn’t catch! It’s the perfect end to the day back at the campsite with fresh prawns on the barbie, as the sun sets over the magnificent cove behind us, and a great reminder of why I loved this island so much as a child.
Have you ever spent a weekend in North Stradbroke Island?