42 things to do at North Stradbroke Island

North Stradbroke Island is a place to exhale. Spend a day, a week or a month here and you will feel the importance of this cultural paradise. Known as Minjerribah to the traditional owners (the Quandamooka People), Straddie has a natural beauty not often seen and a spiritual connection not often felt.

Just a hop, skip and jump (drive or train and ferry) from Brisbane’s CBD and you’ll feel a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of life. Mobile phone coverage is patchy, the ocean is a twinkling turquoise blue and the waves roll in day in, day out.

Here’s our tips for making the most of your trip to this laid-back paradise.

1. Hang with the local wildlife

A Koala at North Stradbroke Island, Brisbane

Native wildlife are right at home at Straddie and if you know where to look you’ll be spotting them all day. Dolphins come right up to the jetty at Amity Point at both sunrise and sunset (no feeding allowed!) and the kangaroos have their brekky and dinner at the top of the North Gorge walk every day. There are several well-known koalas around the place including one at the Amity Point Camping Ground as well as one at the Little Ship Club at Dunwich.

2. Watch the whales without leaving the shore

Whale watching from holiday house at North Stradbroke Island, Brisbane Region

North Stradbroke is Queensland’s most easterly point, so from June to November you can watch the whale migration from several vantage points on shore. Find a spot along the top of the cliffs anywhere from Cylinder Beach to North Gorge – keep an eye out for several elevated viewing platforms perfect for catching a glimpse of one of these beauties! 

3. Learn about the land’s traditional owners

Join a historical walk along the Goompi trail with a local Aboriginal guide and learn about the Quandamooka people, artefacts, traditional hunting methods, bush tucker, bush medicines and heaps more.

4. Meet the fish, face to face

Leopard Shark, Photograph by David Biddulph of Manta Lodge

Scuba diving at Straddie is a must-do, with average visibility 15-20m, and up to 30m in summer. Head out to Shag Rock or Flat Rock and spot the resident Manta Ray Pod, Leopard sharks, turtles and a myriad of fish. Never dived before? You can get qualified while you’re there at Manta Lodge.

5. Take a stroll along the North Gorge Walk, Straddie’s pride and joy

North Gorge Walk, North Stradbroke Island

This 1.2km walk is one of the best you’ll ever experience. From the rocky outcrops, look out to the turquoise sea and you’ll spot dolphins, manta rays, turtles, fish and even the occasional shark.

6. Slurp while the sun sets

Oceanic Gelati Bar is conveniently located at the entrance of the North Gorge walk, making it the perfect reward for all of those stairs!

7. Swim in a tea-stained lake

Family have fun at Brown Lake

Brown Lake is just 3.5km from Dunwich and is the perfect spot for a swim followed by a barbecue lunch. The tea trees surrounding the lake cause the clear water to take on a brown tinge.

8. Paddle on

Join a kayak tour to Peel Island and see the shipwreck of the Platypus, which sank in 1930. Keep an eye out for dugongs, turtles and dolphins as you paddle. 

9. Watch the ocean glow

Head down to the beach at night to see the bioluminescence of local plankton literally light up the shore line. 

10. Embrace the vibe

Visit during late October and watch the island come alive for Island Vibe, the music, dance, art and culture festival to end all others. 

11. Savour the locals

Couple enjoy a picnic at Amity Point

A bag of prawns, a couple of Moreton Bay bugs and some Spanish mackerel will make for the ultimate island indulgence meal. Try Rufus King Seafoods at Amity Point or local secret, Mal Starkey's Seafood House, for the freshest of the fresh seafood, straight off the trawler. 

12. Sundowners with a view

From 3pm on Saturdays and Sundays, the Point Lookout Surf Lifesaving club opens its doors for the best sunset tipple we know of. 

13. Get some culture

Saltwater Murris Dunwich, North Stradbroke Island, Brisbane

Visit Salt Water Murris' Art Gallery at Dunwich to check out a huge range of local Aboriginal art - better yet, take a piece home to experience the Straddie spirit even when you’re back home. 

14. Take a walk in the woods to Blue Lake

Located in the Naree Budjong Djara National Park, this 5.2km (return) walk will treat you to stunning vistas of Blue Lake. But don’t jump in, the lake is culturally significant area for the Quandamooka people.

15. Hang Ten

Straddie surf is as varied as it is fun, with ideal spots for the experienced surfer and the beginner alike. Hint, if it’s blowing down at Main Beach then head on over to the protected headland at Cylinder for non-stop sets.

16. Learn to surf

Want to hit the waves, but don’t know how? North Stradbroke Island Surf School can get you out there providing everything you need to become the next Stephanie Gilmore or Mick Fanning. 

17. Surf the Sand

Sand surfing at North Stradbroke Island, Brisbane

If the waves are a little too big for your skills, you can hit the sand dunes and surf on the sand. 

18. Hit the beach with your pooch

With a tonne of dog-friendly accommodation, Straddie is the perfect place for a holiday with your best furry friend. Flinders and Home Beach are both on-leash, dog-friendly beaches and perfect for an afternoon stroll. 

19. Lace up and hit the Whale Walk

Stretching from Home Beach in the west all the way to the North Gorge, you'll find a continuous and at times challenging path. With stairs and sand and views like nowhere else, this walk (or run) is the best way to start your day.

20. Get on two wheels

Biking with the family on the beach at North Stradbroke Island, Brisbane Region

With long, winding sealed roads and mountainous terrain as far as the eye can see, Straddie is the perfect place to get on your bike. You can hire on the island or BYOB over on the ferry.

21. Four wheels on the sand

Four-wheel-driving on the beach is a must if you have access to a vehicle, otherwise, join a tour and let experienced drivers do all the hard work for you. Don’t forget to get a permit if you plan on hitting the sand. 

22. Dine on the sand

What better way to finish a high-energy (or lazy) Straddie day than with fish and chips on the sand. Fins and Fries at Meegera Place behind Bob’s Shop is the pick of the bunch, but there’s plenty of worthy competitors. 

23. Swim with the family in tow

Main Beach, North Stradbroke Island

No matter your swimming experience, there’s a beach at Straddie to suit you. Main Beach and Cylinder Beach are patrolled on weekends and during school holidays making them ideal for families looking to have a dip in the crystal clear waters. 

24. Go shopping, island style

Visit the Straddie Markets at the Point Lookout Community Hall on East Coast Road. They’re on every second Sunday 8am - midday and have a huge range of local handicrafts, food and art.

25. Ditch the shoes

Barefoot bowls is on every day at the Point Lookout Bowls Club, with some social competitions on the weekend if you want to up the ante.

26. Perfect your downward dog

Yoga on the beach at North Stradbroke Island, Brisbane Region

Yoga is held at Home Beach most weekends and on school holidays so you can really s t r e t c h out your holiday.

27. Get back to Nature

Camping is the way to stay at Straddie. With grounds at all major townships (the picks being Adder Rock and Amity Point), you can also get away and find your own bit of peaceful paradise by 4WDing out along Main or Flinders Beach (they’re both dog-friendly too!). Make sure you grab a 4WD permit and book ahead. 

28. Get back to nature – in luxury

Flash Camp at Straddie

Glamping is for those who love the whole "nature" thing, but not so much the "sleeping on the ground" thing. If that sounds like you, check out one of Straddie Camping’s Ecoshacks and get your glamp on. During the school holidays they set up extra flash-camping canvas teepees along the beach too.

29. Take a freshwater dip

Head to Myora Springs at Dunwich for a quick dip, and learn more about this sacred gathering place for the Quandomooka people. 

30. Get Spooky

Visit Goompi Cemetery, the second-oldest cemetery in Queensland and learn more about some of the island’s older inhabitants. 

31. Look up

One of the best things about being far from the city is the star visibility. Take some time to look up at night and fall in love with the stars again before you head on home to the bright lights of the city. 

32. Pool with a view

Playing Pool at the pub at North Stradbroke Island, Brisbane Region

Grab a cue from behind the bar and spend the afternoon playing pool at the iconic Straddie hotel. Just try not to get distracted by the amazing view.

33. Plan a romantic holiday date night

For a beautiful meal with the best view in town, check out the Whale’s Way at Pandanus Palms Resort with local seafood being the star of the menu.

34. Get twitching

North Stradbroke’s natural features attract some amazing birdlife providing a great opportunity for those with a good eye to spot up to 253 species on the island.

35. Drop in a line, right off the beach

Fishing off the Amity Jetty at North Stradbroke Island, Brisbane Region

Beach fishing along Home Beach and Main Beach is great, and if you can venture a little further down the beach it’ll feel like you have the whole island to yourself. Charters also run from the island if you want to make a day of it. If you're an amateur angler, share a spot on the Amity or Dunwich jetties and get some tips from a local. 

36. Get some fishing inspiration

Visit the Little Ship Club on a Sunday for a spot of lunch and catch the local fishing competition weigh-in.

37. Fore!

Hit the golf course at Dunwich’s North Stradbroke Golf Club for a quick 9 or a leisurely 18 holes with views to Moreton Bay, Brown Lake and the Glasshouse Mountains.

38. SUP it up

Stand Up Paddle Boarding at North Stradbroke Island, Brisbane

On calm days head down to Flinders Beach (behind the Adder Rock camp ground) and hire a stand-up paddleboard to hit the waves, or get in touch with Straddie Stand Up Paddle and learn to SUP on calmer waters.  

39. Bingo!

Drop into the bowls club during school holidays for a good old-fashioned game of bingo.

40. Treat Yo’self

Massages, body wraps and scrubs are the things dream holidays are made of. The Stradbroke Hotel has stunning spa servcies, or you can always check the notice board at Bob's shop for local massage therapists with an in-home offering.

41. Bring a piece of Straddie home

Point Lookout Bushcare sells native plants that aren’t available on the mainland so you can grow a little piece of Straddie at home. They are open on Sunday Market days and every Thursday from 10am-midday.

42. Get on island time

To really get the Straddie vibe, ditch the car and walk. The island has wide roads and footpaths galore so take advantage of the opportunity and let your feet carry you to the fun.

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