Located on Brisbane’s doorstep in Moreton Bay, Stradbroke Island or “Straddie” as it’s called by locals, is one of Australia’s natural treasures. The island is a favourite destination and easily accessible by ferry. As the second largest sand island in the world and surrounded by the azure, crystal clear waters of the South Pacific, it offers some of the country’s most spectacular scenery. It is a true paradise for outdoor adventure lovers.
Sealed roads link its three towns, but if you want to experience the best the island has to offer, hiring a four-wheel drive will allow you full access. With so much to see and do, it is hard to know where to begin. We have compiled a list of the top 10 Stradbroke Island activities to ensure that you experience as much of the Island as possible.
Quick Links To The Top Things to Do on Stradbroke Island and Hiring a 4wd
- Driving on the beach
- Fishing ‘The Pin.’
- Picture-perfect Views
- Underwater Adventures
- Sailing and Boating
- Whale Watching
- Bird Watching
- Bush walking
- The Bottom Line
Here Goes Each One Of The Attractions In Details:
1. Driving on the beach
Driving on sand is different to driving on traditional roads, which means you’ll need a four-wheel-drive to enjoy this unforgettable adventure. If you’re new to the activity, Flinders Beach is ideal. Driving on this 4.6km beach is allowed, and it also offers some easy access points, including Amity Point, Flinders Township, Adder Rock and Point Lookout, which are all well-marked. If you want to spend the night outdoors, the camping area is nestled in the dunes. Our quality hire vehicles have optional extras like a shovel and ‘Maxtrax’ – a special vehicle extraction and recovery device, allows you to enjoy peace of mind while treading upon any of the island’s gorgeous beaches. Should you run into any challenges, all of our vehicles come equipped with UHF Radio 80 Channel, to ensure help is just minutes away.
2. Fishing ‘The Pin’
Jumpinpin Channel, referred to as “The Pin”, was formed when a storm in the late 19th century divided the island in half, separating north and south. It has a rapidly flowing current and is a renowned fishing spot for trevally and whiting as well as legendary large catches of bream. The Pin is a must-do for fishing enthusiasts at low tide. If you’d like to take your kids to learn about the joys of fishing, we offer child restraint seats as an optional extra so little ones enjoy a safe ride.
3. Picture-perfect Views
The island is full of flawless views, much to a photographer’s delight. Head to the southern tip of Main Beach – a 32km stretch of sand that extends from Point Lookout to Jumpinpin. You can view the beautiful peaks of the Border Ranges, South Stradbroke Island and the high rises along the coastline. Point Lookout is renowned not only for its breathtaking surf beaches but some of the most glorious sunrises and sunsets, providing the opportunity for stunning images. Amity, on the island’s north-western end, also boasts rather impressive sunsets over Mt. Glorious, the McDonald Ranges and the Glass House Mountains.
Take advantage of the opportunity to capture photos of the incredible abundance of wildlife that thrives here too, including pods of dolphins and the popular koala colony. Stradbroke also offers a diverse range of animals, including wallabies, kangaroos and bandicoot.
While you’re taking in those gorgeous views, you may want to have a picnic. Our ‘Shade Awning’ is one of the additional extras to help you get some shade to make your lunch break even more enjoyable.
Whether you’re an experienced surfer, or you’ve never been up on a board, Stradbroke Island is a fantastic place for surfing. North Stradbroke Island Surf School at Point Lookout is home to numerous dolphins and whales. Surf School is a good option for newbies. Head to Main beach just below the headland at Point Lookout to ride punchy beach breaks. As most surfers tend to hit the northern tip, by heading further along the beach, you’ll find heaps of good waves – and often you’ll have them all to yourself. Our optional roof racks can be used to bring your surfboards without hassle.
5. Underwater Adventures
This pristine island paradise is ideal for underwater adventures. You’ll have your pick of fantastic swimming locations in both freshwater lakes and springs, the calm waters of the bay, and the rolling surf on a multitude of beaches. Of course, accessing many of those beaches is best accomplished in a four-wheel drive vehicle, which makes getting their fun too.
Enjoy out-of-this-world snorkelling along the rock wall at Amity, either on your own or via a guided tour in the sheltered waters just offshore. Divers shouldn’t miss the natural and artificial reefs that surround Straddie, offering an incredible adventure for both the novice and the experienced. Head to popular sites like South Gorge, Shag Rock Manta Bommie, Boat Rock and South Gorge. You’ll enjoy waters with visibility that averages 15 to 20 metres year round, and up to 30 metres in the summer. Diving is possible all year long with water temperatures that average 19 to 22 degrees in winter and 25 to 27 degrees during the summertime.
Manta Lodge and Stradbroke Island Scuba Centre, a full-service 5 Star PADI dive centre, is located right on the beach at Point Lookout and offers both daily snorkel and scuba dive trips.
If you want to take a break from being on land for an extended period, getting out on the glistening waters by powerboat or sailboat is yet another option. You’ll find boat ramp locations at Dunwich, One Mile Jetty and Amity Point, with overnight anchorage available at the Little Ship Club.
If you don’t have a boat, there are some options for tours throughout the island, including yacht and powerboat tours as well as learn-to-sail opportunities. The beautiful waters throughout this region are ideal for both sailing novices and enthusiasts.
Kayaking offers another great way to get active out on the pristine waters and explore the magnificent coastline. Hire a four-wheel drive to get you out to the beach along with a kayak or two, which will allow you to explore both the land and the water. Be sure to look for whales and dolphins – in fact, humpback whales pass right by the island on their way to breeding grounds further north.
8. Whale Watching
If you arrive between June and November and want to see whales from dry land, that’s possible too! The annual migration of humpbacks takes place during this time of the year. One of the best places to view the magnificent animals is from the headland at Point Lookout. Just be sure to bring a pair of binoculars and a camera. For more information about whale watching visit North Stradbroke Island’s website.
Getting out and exploring areas of the island that aren’t accessible by a standard vehicle means that you can enjoy some of the best bird watching on earth. The vast and diverse landscape of Stradbroke that includes bushland, wetlands and freshwater lakes, makes it a haven for a variety of wildlife, particularly birds. To date, there have been recorded sightings of over 253 species, including residents and migrating breeds.
Some birds you might spot include Sandpipers, Tattlers, Australasian gannets, Koels and Short-tailed Shearwaters. There are also migratory waders like the eastern curlew and the whimbrel. The Mangrove heron, brown heron and the mangrove kingfisher are usually found in mangroves or adjacent areas.
Bush walking is another good way to get an in-depth look at the island. Experience two of the largest freshwater lake systems, including Brown Lake and Blue Lake. A 2.6km walk to Blue Lake in Blue Lake NP will allow you to enjoy an incredible array of flora and fauna along the way. The Keyholes, a series of clear, freshwater lakes located at the northern end of the 18 Mile Swamp, can be reached via a 15 to 20-minute walk over the dunes from Main Beach. Alternatively, experienced four-wheel drivers can ride across the remnants of a 4WD track to get there.
The North Gorge Headland walk starts from the information board at Point Lookout. North Gorge offers gorgeous views from the rocky outcrops that overlook the Pacific and travels across picturesque white sandy beaches. Look forward to spectacular views over the gorge.
11. The Bottom Line
Hiring a 4WD vehicle is the best way to enhance your time on Stradbroke Island. They are so easy to rent! We hire to licensed individuals (+21 yrs). You’ll be able to use our high-quality recreational hire vehicles for off-roading (conditions apply). So that it will give you the ultimate freedom to explore more areas of the island. Our outstanding 4WD hire vehicles come with additional extras that allow you to customise the vehicle for your recreational enjoyment.
We wish you a safe, enjoyable and unforgettable vacation to Straddie!