How to get to and around North Stradbroke Island
North Stradbroke Island is a beach and nature lover’s paradise and, with some prior planning, really easy to get to and around. The island is accessed via ferry at Toondah Harbour at Cleveland, in Brisbane’s East. Cleveland is about 40 minutes’ drive from the CBD and is also serviced by trains and local buses.
Getting to Cleveland
Drive: Toondah Harbour is 30km or a 40 minute drive from the CBD. If you drive, you can leave your car at the harbour and take a passenger ferry, or take your car with you on the car ferry.
Train: A train from the CBD will take about an hour and is a 6 Zone journey. Check out train pricing here.
Once you arrive at the Cleveland Train station, a bus can take you from here to the ferry terminal, which is about 5 minutes away.
You can plan your whole journey using Translink here.
Getting to the Island
The island can be accessed by water taxi or vehicle ferry. You don’t need a 4WD to get on the car ferry and if you’re staying for a few days it’s a great idea to take your car for ease of movement around the island.
Water Taxi: Two companies operate water taxi’s from Toondah Harbour to North Stradbroke Island and the journey will take around 25 minutes. You’re likely to be able to find a time convenient for you with services running run hourly between 4.55am and 7.25pm (with a daily break from 1.55pm to 3.25pm).
Leaves Toondah Harbour and docks at Dunwich main terminal.
Leaves Toondah Harbour and docks at One Mile Jetty, Dunwich.
Car Ferry (Barge):
Stradbroke Ferries provide the vehicle ferry service to North Stradbroke Island and the trip is around 50 minutes. There are two boats operating the Big Red Cat and the Minjerribah. Services are hourly with extras being added at peak times like long weekends and school holidays. It’s definitely best to book ahead and often cheaper as well. Ask your accommodation provider if they can book the ferry for you as this will often also come at a reduced rate.
Leaves Toondah Harbour (past the water taxis) and docls at Dunwich main terminal.
Getting around the island
If you brought your car over with you on the vehicle ferry, the world is your oyster. Most roads are sealed and easily accessible and it should take you around 15 Minutes from Dunwich to Amity Point and around 20 minutes to Point Lookout.
If you brought a 4WD along, be sure to check information on beach driving and that you have an appropriate permit. Fines are routinely given to drivers without correct and current permits.
Stradbroke Island buses provide a service that neatly corresponds with water taxi times so that you can jump off the ferry and almost straight onto a bus. The bus doesn’t run at night though, so make sure you check the timetable to make sure you aren’t stranded when you get there. Make sure you have cash with you to pay the fare.
There is one taxi operating on the island. The distance from Dunwich to Point Lookout makes the service a little on the expensive side (nearly $100 from Dunwich to Point Lookout) but definitely useful if you arrive late at night or in emergencies.
Call: +614 08 193 685 to book.
When booking a tour make sure you inquire as to the pick-up and drop-off options and the operator will often include this in their price if you are looking to go to a popular location. One-day tours usually include the pick-up and drop-off to the water taxi as part of their price so just remember to tell the operator which taxi company you are travelling with so they know where to pick you up.
A couple of Tour highly rated operators include:
- Straddie Kingfisher
- Straddie Adventures
Recommended for experienced cyclists is the 20km long sweeping road from Dunwich to both Amity Point and Point Lookout. The road is sealed but is also the only road in and out for cars and trucks with a speed limit of 100km per hour in places.
Alternatively, hiring a bike and cruising the street of Amity or Point Lookout is recommended for beginners and experienced riders alike. There’s nothing like ditching the car for two wheels to really feel like you’re on a beach holiday.
Hire is available at
Depending on where you’re staying or playing you might find that a courtesy bus or car might be in operation. It’s always worth asking when you book your accommodation whether there are any transport services available. Some providers that we are aware of that provide some transport are:
If you’re visiting Brisbane and hiring a car, make sure you check in with the hire company to make sure you are allowed to travel via ferry to the island. Often this will incur an additional insurance fee, or be not allowed.
There is a small car hire business on the island should you wish to hire a car for the duration of your stay. You can contact Rob from Stradbroke Island Car Rentals on +614 18 734 456 for more information.
For the ultimate Straddie experience we recommend your own two feet. The island is made for walking and with many of the walking paths providing amazing seascapes and abundant wildlife, you’ll want to take the time and find places that are otherwise inaccessible.