North Stradbroke Island, affectionately known as Straddie, is a home away from home for those who want to get away from the city and explore the island. With plenty of 4WD treks, camping, resorts, and restaurants – there are no shortage of adventures to take when you visit Straddie.
Quick Links To Everything You Need To Know About 4wd on Straddie
- Important 4wd driving tips on Straddie
- 4. Tide Times
- 5. Permits
Here Goes Each One Of The Highlights In Details:
Getting over to Straddie is a quick and simple task. All you need to do is book a ferry time through Stradbroke Ferries, as these run on an hourly basis (between 5:30 am to 6:00 pm). These ferries leave from Emmett Drive, Cleveland at the Dunwich main harbor terminal. You can drive your 4WD or your hired 4wd right onto the ferry – making it an easy trip over to the island.
The standard cost to take your 4WD over to Stradbroke ranges from $55- $95 each way. This price includes passengers. If, however, you are looking to bring over a group, you can contact Stradbroke Ferries, to request a group rate. Detailed information on schedule and costs is available on their website – providing both exact times and the range of prices. We are providing a quick rate chart below to get approximate cost figures.
Once you get onto the vehicle ferry, you will be onboard for approximately a 45 minute trip across the waters to the island. This journey can be passed by getting out of your vehicle to enjoy the scenery or to sit down at the ferry’s café to grab a snack, lunch or drink.
Unlike other nearby islands, Stradbroke is not a 4WD only domain. This means you don’t need to worry about figuring out how to drive on sand the moment you get off the ferry as you would on other islands, such as Moreton Island. Instead you can drive on sealed roads and embark on the unsealed 4WD tracks when it best suits you.
This map shows all the important attractions,all accommodation places, recreational areas, petrol stations and much more. Please visit the link here for detailed information or here for another map from redlands council.
There are a range of sand tracks that weave their way through the Old Pine Forest and bushland near Brown Lake, Main Beach and Flinders Beach. These treks are mostly easy in level but can become difficult to impassible depending on the weather. We have created a quick point-by-point guide you can follow to get in some 4WD action and see some of the sights around Straddie:
- Start out at Dunwich and follow the East Coast Road north to Behive Road. Once you reach the intersection after that, a left turn takes you to Amity Point.
- If you don’t want to go check out Amity Point, you can take a right to the beach access point at Flinders Beach (be sure to check tide time before you drive out onto the sand).
- Driving on Flinders Beach is an easy trek, however, make sure to decrease your tyre pressure for sand driving. This beach is popular for families so watch for people walking about and enjoying the beach when you drive.
- If you exit the beach at Adder Rock, you can head towards Point Lookout by following the signs that will direct you to the access point on Main Beach. Once you get to Point Lookout, you can take the trek 35 kilometers to Jumpinpin Channel – The Pin – which is well known for its great fishing.
- Once you stop off here, you can then head back up the beach to Tazi Road. From this point there is a short stretch of gravel before the route becomes sealed again. If you do not re-inflate your tyres, make sure not to surpass the speed of 50 kilometers for the safety of you and your vehicle.
- After this you can stop off at Blue Lake. No vehicles are permitted in this national park so you will need to park and take in the scenic views by foot.
- The trek will continue on to Brown Lake. The track around this lake can have deep bog holes and parts can be closed after heavy rain so it is good to be aware of the weather conditions before driving on this trek.
- From Brown Lake you can either head over to the Old Pine Forest for more 4WD treks, or take a drive of 3.5 kilometers back to Dunwich.
Our hire vehicles come with many optional extras like shovels, tyre pressure compressors and MaxTrax (a vehicle recovery device) to ensure you have a safe trip. In case you run into any problems along the way, our vehicles also come with UHF Radio 80 Channel so that you can rest assured help will only ever be minutes away.
- Beach access points can be quite soft and powdery – be sure to decrease tyre pressure and engage a low gear before entry.
- The access points at Amity Point face a lot of erosion from tides and therefore are often closed. This is one reason we recommend the best access point to be from Flinders Beach.
- We also recommend the Brown Lake trek for high clearance 4WD vehicles only as the bog holes can be quite deep.
- For more useful information, check out our Guide to Safe Beach Driving.
It has been a standard practice by 4wd enthusiasts to reduce tyre pressure while beach driving. The reason for this is it increases the size of the footprint of the tyres on the sand resulting in the weight of the vehicle spreading across a larger area. By spreading the weight, the tyres are more likely to drive over the top of the sand rather than digging down into it and causing the vehicle to get bogged. The increased footprint will also increase traction. According to an article by RACQ and specifications by Cooper Tyres tyre pressure for sand driving can be between 18-26 psi.
Please note: there are risks associated with lowering the tyre pressure and often the reduced tyre pressures for varying terrain are below the vehicle manufactures recommendations. The lowering of pressures below the vehicle manufactures recommendations is at your own risk and in some instances can cause insurance claims to be void. To minimise the risks while driving with reduced tyre pressures it is advisable to reduce speed, drive slowly over obstacles and do not make any harsh turns which could result in the tyres coming off the rims. Always re-inflate to proper levels when the vehicle is back on a hard surface.
Here are a few useful items to keep in mind for recovery of your 4WD vehicle while on the island:
- Rated shackles
- Tyre Pressure Gauge
At FleetCrew we have recovery packages available for hire with your 4×4 hire. The recovery package includes a Tyre Pressure Compressor (used to change tyre pressures up and down), a set of MaxTrax (a handy recovery devise) and a shovel.
It is not permitted to drive on beaches 1 hour and 15 minutes on either side of high tide time. The reasons for this are both for your safety as well as environmental reasons. To check tide times for different beach and lookout points of North Stradbroke Island please click here.
Permits are required for driving on designated beach and bush areas. You can purchase a permit at a cost of $42. 30 ( as of apr, 2016) and the revenue is then used to maintain the island’s natural areas. Once a permit is purchased it is valid for 12 months. You can purchase your permit online or from the following locations once you reach the island:
- Straddie Camping Reservations Office
- Adder Rock Camping Ground
- Amity Point Camping Ground
- Cylinder Beach Camping Ground
For more information on Permits, 4wd driving information, tides times and more, please click here.
Once you pick up your permit, the sticker must be displayed on the bottom left side of the windscreen at all times.
- Beach driving is permitted on Main Beach and Flinders Beach.
- Access to Main Beach can be attained from George Nothling Drive, Point Lookout or the Causeway entry off Tazi Road.
- Access to Flinders Beach is through Point Lookout or Amity Point.
- Driving on sand dunes is not permitted.
- Main Beach and Flinders beach are two areas with beach campsites. As they are accessible by 4WD only, be sure you have purchased your permit.
- Campsites must also be booked in advance and require a camping permit.
- To book your campsite, you will need to do so prior to arrival. For bookings visit Straddie’s online camping site or give them a call at (07) 3409 9668.
- Peak times include Christmas, New Year, Easter and school holidays so be sure to do all your booking in advance.
Straddie’s reefs are overflowing with a wide range of marine life especially during the months of November to April. From manta rays, to coral and a variety of tropical fish, there will be no shortage of underwater sightseeing to do no matter what time of year you head to the island.
If you are not an experienced diver, don’t worry! There is still a way you can see the underwater beauty. Many commercial tour companies offer snorkeling sessions for both individuals and groups that will give you the opportunity to see a large portion of the marine life playground.
Catching the humpback whales during their migration is a popular choice for many people visiting the island. These magnificent creatures can be seen splashing about in the waves between June to November. Point Lookout is approximately 35 meters above sea level, making it one of many vantage points to sight the whales. If you want to make a day out of it and stop for a picnic or to hang out on the grass, our optional shade awning is a great addition for your all day adventures.
North Stradbroke Island Surf School is a good option for those who are just learning to surf. If you have more experience, most surfers tend to head to the northern tip which is located further along the beach. Pick up one of our optional roof racks if you want an easy way to bring along your board.
This is a great place to go fishing at low tide. It is surrounded by picturesque views and is a perfect place to relax and take in your surroundings while you fish.
For a more detailed look into what we suggest for your Stradbroke adventure, check out our Top 10 Things to Do on Stradbroke Island.
There is plenty of options for spending a night at straddie from budget to luxury. You can find more about the accommodation types available here.
There are 6 beachfront camping sites available as well as campgrounds at Dunwich, Amity Point and Point Lookout. All of these campsites must be booked in advance and as we mentioned, special consideration should be given to peak times to ensure you get the spot you’re after!
- Generators are only permitted in the beach camping area of Flinders Beach and Main Beach between 7 am and 9 pm.
- There are no facilities on the beaches except composting toilets at Flinders – tracks 3, 5, and 7.
- Fires are only permitted on the foreshore camping areas and are permitted for cooking purposes only.
If you want to do camping with a touch of luxury, there are “glamping” spots available on the island which include the addition of fridges, fans and beds. To have a full look at the camping and glamping options take a look here.
There is a range of resorts available to choose from on the island. These include stays like the Pandanus Palms, Sea Shanties and the Islander Holiday Resort. If you want the feeling of a true vacation getaway, a resort stay overlooking the clear blue waters surrounding the island will be sure to give you this feeling.
For a more detailed list of the resorts on the island and what they have to offer click here.
The Indigenous name of the island is Minjerribah.
The Minjerribah Recreation Area has been declared on North Stradbroke Island and covers township, camp grounds and beach areas.
The Minjerribah areas are managed by Straddie Camping under a framework operated by the Quandamooka People.
In recreation areas, enjoyment of nature is encouraged but carefully planned in order to manage their protection.
Regulatory signs are placed within the special Minjerribah areas to provide information on what you can and cannot do.
In case you are coming to the island with any pets – dogs are permitted at Flinders Beach and Main Beach.
You are not permitted to take a vehicle onto the beach without a permit.
Rangers are not permitted to assist with bogged vehicles for insurance purposes.
To get help with your vehicle you can call RACQ or Towing & Breakdowns on 0428 288 128.
- There are a variety of shops, cafes and grocery stores across the span of the island. Many refer to Straddie as a home away from home as it has much of what you could need to make your stay comfortable.
- Point Lookout has a number of gift shops, clothing stores and souvenir shops. If you have forgotten any of the essentials like your bathers, towels or a hat – this is the place to go.
- If you are looking for additional equipment and supplies for fishing you’ll have good luck finding these items at the shops in Dunwich or Point Lookout.
- Both Amity Point and Dunwhich also have a variety of cafes and clubs that provide an array of meal options.
- Whether you are looking to pick up some fresh baking, sit at a café or dine out for a special meal – all these options are there to pick from on Straddie. Point Lookout, however, does offer the widest selection of food and goods.
Sand pegs, extra poles, ropes and torches – if you plan on camping don’t forget these extras.
Insect repellent – depending on the time of year sandflies and mosquitoes can be particularly noticeable.
Extras and spares – extra fuel, water, tyres, tyre gauge and pressure pump, towrope and first-aid kit are all useful extras for your 4WD trip.
Whether you’re a new 4WD enthusiast, a seasoned driver or looking for a holiday escape, Moreton Island provides a range of exciting possibilities! If you do not own a 4WD, it can be easy to hire a 4WD for your Stradbroke Island vacation.
FleetCrew is Queensland’s premier 4WD hire specialists. We have it all: the best tyres, large and specialised Toyota 4WDs, recovery gear and more! Along with unlimited kilometer allowances and numerous benefits, our vehicles have RACQ 24 hour breakdown assistance, so that you are never too remote- even in the most remote places. Feel free to check our 4wd hire FAQ page to know more about our services.
FleetCrew Office at Enoggera is just over 45 minutes from the Stradbroke Ferries. If you’re looking for an adventurous holiday and would like us to handle all the hassles of getting a 4WD ready for your trip, then let us know! We have a large fleet for hire at an exceptional value. Prep yourself and get yourself ready for an awesome trip to Straddie.
If you have any questions or concerns about hiring a 4WD vehicle or you’re wondering what to prepare before going off road, don’t hesitate to contact us!