North Stradbroke Island
North Stradbroke is known among Brisbane wildlife- and beach-lovers as a great place to get away for a weekend or even just a day. You can get there by vehicular ferry from Cleveland, and enjoy beaches such as the 32-kilometre Main Beach and the family-friendly Cylinder Beach. Spy whales from June to November on the 30-minute North Gorge Headland Walk, walk the 2 kilometres through Blue Lake National Park to Blue Lake or visit any of the spring-fed lake areas on the island. Stradbroke Island Holidays can organise everything from bike hire to the ferry trip and lunch.
Alternatively, you can go for a three-hour combined kayaking and snorkelling tour with Straddie Adventures. They also hire out kayaks, surfboards and snorkelling gear and run 4WD tours to places such as the Aboriginal middens at Myora Springs, the lakes and the Keyholes.
You can be picked up from your accommodation in Brisbane for a sixhour 4WD tour of the island with Straddie Kingfisher Tours. Run on biodiesel, the tour includes a barbecue on the beach (‘the best restaurant in the world’) and opportunities to see dolphins, turtles, manta rays, koalas and kangaroos. Straddie Guides also runs half- and full-day 4WD tours, including the option for longer bushwalks.
If you want to know the best snorkelling or diving spots, check in at the Manta Lodge and Scuba Centre. They can direct you towards manta rays and leopard sharks during summer, endangered grey nurse sharks during winter, plus rays, guitar sharks, turtles, dolphins, octopus, corals, nudibranchs and hundreds of tropical fish.
Manta Lodge and Scuba Centre: (07) 3409 8888
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