North Stradbroke Island Travel Guide

Day trips from the Gold Coast

North Stradbroke Island is a sub-tropical island paradise located within Moreton Bay, just 30km southeast of Brisbane. Known for scenic headlands, freshwater lakes, rolling waves and stretches of white sandy beach, North Stradbroke Island makes for an ideal destination for both international travellers and Queensland locals alike.

Getting to North Stradbroke Island

The only way to get to North Stradbroke Island is via water taxi or ferry. All water taxis and ferries to the island depart from Cleveland, located in southeast Brisbane. The trip from Cleveland to North Stradbroke Island takes around 50 minutes.

If driving from Brisbane CBD, the drive to Cleveland takes about 50 minutes.

If driving from Brisbane Airport, the drive to Cleveland takes about 40 minutes.

If driving from the Gold Coast, the drive to Cleveland takes about an hour and 20 minutes.

Public transport options are also available, via train and / or bus.

Perfect amount of time to spend on North Stradbroke Island

If planning a trip to North Stradbroke Island, aim to spend between 3 – 7 days on the island. This is the perfect time to enjoy all the island has to offer, from adventure to relaxation.

Things to do on North Stradbroke Island

There is a large number of things to do on North Stradbroke Island, with something for everyone to enjoy. Some of the things to do on North Stradbroke Island include:

Diving

North Stradbroke Island is home to some of Australia’s best diving spots, with an abundance of sea life to be seen, including manta rays, sharks, turtles, dolphins and hundreds of tropical fish species.

Walking + Blue Lake

North Stradbroke Island Travel Guide

There are a number of gorgeous walking tracks on North Stradbroke Island, in which you’ll spot both stunning scenery and local wildlife. Some of the most popular walks on the island include the North Gorge walk and the Kaboora – Blue Lake walk. Get more information about the walking tracks here.

Brown Lake

North Stradbroke Island Travel Guide

Brown Lake is a beautiful freshwater lake that visitors can drive to (walking in isn’t required, like Blue Lake). This is a great place to enjoy a picnic lunch, go swimming, SUP boarding or kayaking.

Swimming and surfing

North Stradbroke Island Travel Guide

Nothing says island time like a beach day, and North Stradbroke Island has a number to choose from. I suggest visiting all the beaches on Stradbroke Island during your trip, including Main Beach, Flinders Beach, Cylinders and Adder Rock.

North Stradbroke Island is a great surfing destination, however, if you prefer to relax in the water, swimming is also a perfectly viable option.

Bike riding

North Stradbroke Island is home to a variety of diverse landscapes and jumping on a bike and going for a ride is one of the best ways to explore all that the island has to offer.

Four-wheel driving

North Stradbroke Island Travel Guide

For a bit of fun and adventure, four-wheel driving is a great way to see the island. Four-wheel driving is permitted on both Flinders Beach and Main Beach. You will need a permit to go 4WDing.

Stand up paddleboarding

North Stradbroke Island Travel Guide

Stand up paddleboarding is not only a fun way to play on the water but provides a great vantage point of the horizon beyond. For those who like the idea of surfing, but prefer the calmer waters, SUPing is a great option.

Beach yoga

If you’re taking a trip to North Stradbroke Island for some R&R, taking a yoga class is a great idea. Beach yoga on the island is arguably better than your typical class in the studio back home.

Whale watching

If visiting North Stradbroke Island between late May and early November, you cannot miss the chance to search for whales as they migrate from Antarctica to the warmer waters of Australia. North Stradbroke Island is actually the closest place to Brisbane where you can enjoy whale watching from the land.

Wildlife spotting

North Stradbroke Island Travel Guide
North Stradbroke Island Travel Guide
North Stradbroke Island Travel Guide

Stradbroke Island is home to abundant wildlife. Across the island, you will find strong populations of native Australian animals such as kangaroos, koalas and birds. Keep your eyes peeled as you travel across the island. You never know what you will find.

Book a tour to North Stradbroke Island

North Stradbroke Island Accommodation

There are a number of accommodation options when visiting North Stradbroke Island, including hotels, Airbnb’s and camping. You can search for hotels below.

Booking.com

North Stradbroke Island Camping

Camping is a great (and cheaper) way to experience North Stradbroke Island. A number of campsites are available on the island, including:

Adder Rock camping

North Stradbroke Island Travel Guide

Adder Rock camping ground is located on the northern beaches of the Island in the local community of Point Lookout. The campsite has a number of features, such as showers, power, BBQ facilities and Wi-Fi.

Cylinder Beach camping

Cylinder Beach camping ground faces one of the Island’s most iconic surf beaches, however, is both shady and protected from the prevailing winds. Again, this campsite has plenty of features, including showers, power, BBQ facilities and Wi-Fi.

Flinders Beach camping

Flinders Beach camping ground has twelve beachfront camping areas, nestled in the dunes. Keep in mind that the campsites are in natural areas accessible only via bush tracks, and does not have as many features and creature comforts as some of the other campgrounds on the Island. If you have a 4 WD and don’t mind ruffing it, this is the best campsite for you.

Main Beach camping

Main Beach camping ground, like Flinders Beach, is beachside and again is more rugged than campsites such as Adder Rock and Cylinder Beach. Keep in mind that it is a long drive down the beach, approximately 20kms so if you need to leave for supplies it will take you a while.

Budget for North Stradbroke Island

Ferry

The cost of transporting a standard car to North Stradbroke Island on the ferry ranges from $60 to $102 each way.

If travelling without a car, the cost of travelling as a passenger on the ferry is $16 return per adult.

Accommodation

$ – Campsites begin at as little as $20 per night.

$$ – Expect to pay $100 + for basic Airbnb, although $150-$200 is more typical, and upwards from there.

$$$ – Expect to pay $150-$250 + for a hotel or resort, and upwards from there.

Campsite

$ – Beach camping without any additional features can cost as little as $20 per night.

$$ – Expect to pay $30-$70 for an unpowered campsite at a camp ground with facilities or $50-$70 for a campsite with power.

$$$ – Expect to pay $150+ for a cabin at a campsite, and upwards from there.

Other travel tips

  • Don’t forget to pack sunscreen and a hat.
  • If choosing to camp, be sure to bring the essentials, including sleeping bags, flashlight (and extra batteries) and insect repellent. See my camping essentials here.
  • Keep North Stradbroke clean. Take your rubbish home with you and recycle it, where appropriate.
  • Wildlife is abundant, which means snakes are too. When hiking, keep an eye on the ground. You don’t need to be scared but you do need to be aware.

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North Stradbroke Island Travel Guide

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