North Stradbroke Island in a Day
It is surprisingly inexpensive to take a day trip to North Stradbroke Island when you leave your car in the ferry parking lot and take a passenger ferry or water taxi. It is quite easy to get around Straddie on foot and via the bus. Here is a suggested itinerary:
Catch a ferry from Cleveland Marina in Middle St, where there are a number of companies to choose from depending on the time you are ready to depart. The trip to Straddie costs about $20 return.
The North Stradbroke Island Bus service meets most of the ferries. Check the bus timetable before boarding the ferry. Catch the bus up to Point Lookout. A daily bus ticket is about $9.
Once at Point Lookout, grab a bite to eat from the bakery or fish-and-chip shop at the Point Lookout cafe strip, or pre-pack a picnic lunch to take with you. There are a number of tables and grassy areas around Point Lookout to take in the stunning view while you have lunch.
Head across the road to the North Gorge Headland Walk. From here you can spot whales frolicking in the ocean just off the coast (from June to November); turtles and manta rays can be seen in the clear water of the gorges.
After the gorge walk, head towards Cylinder Beach. On the way, look for the bushwalks that trail off the main road. For example, the Whale Trail is a peaceful and shaded walk that takes you out of the sun and has raised platforms and vantage points to spot whales. The walk is 950m and ends at Deadman’s Beach.
Keep following the beaches until you reach picture-perfect Cylinder Beach. The waves at this patrolled surf beach are usually quite calm, making it an ideal place for a swim. There are also barbecue, playground and camping facilities here.
Make sure you plan your day around the bus schedule. To fill in time if you have to wait, and if you have had enough beach time, continue your walk down East Coast Road, to the Stradbroke Hotel. Marvel at the blue and green colours of the ocean while relaxing with an ice-cold beverage.
When the time comes, catch the bus at the stop conveniently placed across the road from the hotel.