Tuesday, November 20, 2012

North Stradbroke Island - a fantastic getaway!

North Stradbroke Island is a great place to get away to for a day, a week, or more.

'Straddie', as it more commonly known to locals (and a few others), is situated in Moreton Bay 30km (18 miles) off the coast of Brisbane. There is also a South Stradbroke Island and, together, the two make up the second largest sand island in the world (they are separated by 'the Pin' - Jumpinpin bar/channel).

Both islands, with a combined length of around 60km (37 miles), act as part of the barrier for Moreton Bay (along with Moreton Island). As a result, the east coast of Straddie is one long surf beach, whereas the waves that reach the bayside areas of Brisbane rarely get above a ripple.

I have discovered that this post runs slowly if viewed on Internet Explorer. It's best viewed on Google Chrome or Firefox (not as fast as Chrome).

Main Beach at Point Lookout on the east coast of Straddie. The surf you see here doesn't reach the bayside areas of Brisbane.

The photos in this post were taken in 2009 but Straddie doesn't change too much, so I decided to put them to good use in a post rather than leave them hidden away on an external hard-drive.

Straddie is a regular getaway for many Brisbane-ites and others from southeast Queensland. While many travel to the island, there is a permanent population of around 2,500 who call Straddie home, living in the three main townships of DunwichAmity Point and Point Lookout. As a result, there is the sort of infrastructure you'd expect to see in rural Australia - sealed roads, shops, restaurants, pubs, hotels, camping grounds etc (think country town). There's even a bus service that runs between the townships.

The infrastructure is minimal and Straddie is primarily still a wilderness, with vast tracts of bush (forest), beaches, lakes and walking tracks. There are also three sand mining sites and mine trucks often use the two-lane road (one in each direction) between Dunwich and Point Lookout, so care needs to be taken.

Straddie can only be reached by water and this entails using a car ferry or water taxi, all of which leave from Cleveland on the mainland and Dunwich on Straddie. The two car ferry services are Stradbroke Ferries and the Big Red Cat, both of which cost the same. Stradbroke Ferries also offer a water taxi service and car ferry services to other islands in Moreton Bay.

This post is image-driven, so we'll let the photos and captions do most of the explaining...

Stradbroke Ferries car ferry.
Big Red Cat car ferry.
Water taxi.
One of the three sand mines.
Lots of wilderness and walking tracks.
Brown Lake - not an inviting name but fine for swimming and big enough for a little sailboat.
Its name comes from the fact that the leaves covering the bottom of the lake have stained the water a rich brown colour, much like tea.
Blue Lake - more inviting name!
Straddie has beaches galore - Cylinder Beach.
Rock fisherman on the point at Cylinder Beach.
Deadman's Beach.
Flinder's Beach.
4WDs on Flinder's Beach.
Fisherman's Beach.
A surf lifesaver on duty on Main Beach.
The Point Lookout Surf Life Saving Club overlooking Main Beach.
Beach fisherman on Main Beach.
A surfer in action at Main Beach.
South Gorge.
Rock fisherman on the point at South Gorge.
North Gorge - more a washing machine than a beach!
People watch the ocean pound the headland between South and North Gorge.
If the red flag is out, swimming is off the agenda...
...especially if it's like this.
Whereas on the west side of Straddie, facing the mainland, there is no surf - the beach at Amity Point.
A pelican rests in the relative shelter of Amity Point.
Fishing trawlers moored off Amity Point.

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If you like the photography in my blogs, it's because I am a professional photographer. My photos don't merely show something, they tell a story. And visual stories i.e. photos, are more interesting than pictures that merely show something. 

If you'd like to know how to turn your images into visual stories, I've published a book that takes a whole new slant on photography and 'translates' the art of taking photos into a language we all understand.

To read more about my book and see some of its 100+ visual examples, please click HERE.

***I use all the tips and hints from my book in every photo I take, including those in Travel With Giulio.

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Fishing of a different kind - Amity Point.
Or, if you prefer, there is the jetty at Amity Point off which you can go fishing. 
Looking back at Amity Point from the jetty.

Elsewhere around Straddie...
It's an island - there's lots of seagulls.
The Stradbroke Island Beach Hotel, otherwise known as the Straddie pub, at Point Lookout.
Now that's a view!
The Straddie pub (with their outdoor pool table, right).
The view from the Straddie pub works best while having one of these or something similar!
Accommodation at the Straddie pub - the view is pretty much the same as the previous photo.
kookaburra waits for the early worm.
Dunwich looking across to the mainland.
If golf is your thing...
...or lawn bowls.
Part of the road through the middle of Straddie.
Some driving is only suited to 4WDs.
A Straddie local admires the view.

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I hope you enjoyed this post and it has been of some help. I'd love to hear any feedback or questions you might have - TravelWithGiulio@gmail.com

Until next time!


See my 'eat, sleep and see' page for more suggestions of things to do in Brisbane and SE Qld.

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All photos, video and text by Giulio Saggin (unless otherwise stated)
© Use of photos/video/text must be via written permission

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