North Stradbroke Island
Traditionally known as Minjerribah, North Stradbroke Island is the second largest sand island in the world. It offers a wide range of experiences including the best land-based whale-watching in Australia. Right on Brisbane’s doorstep, 'Straddie' is perfect for day trips, short stays or week-long getaways.
There are kilometres of golden beaches, freshwater lakes and ocean waters teeming with marine life including dolphins, manta rays, turtles and humpback whales. For those who like a bit of adventure and fun there are 4WD tours, sandboarding, surfing lessons, diving, snorkelling, golf and a vast spectrum of aquatic activities.
For others who want a more relaxing day out, 'Straddie' offers bowls, bird-watching, picnic spots, scenic walks and perfect beach fishing, as well as secluded hideaways in the calm waters of Moreton Bay.
North Stradbroke Island has an extensive range of holiday accommodation including architecturally designed holiday houses with their own whale-watching towers, beach-front and foreshore camping, family holiday resorts with self-contained accommodation as well as a backpacker hostel.
Passenger and vehicle ferries
Passenger and vehicle ferries regularly depart Toondah Harbour (Emmett Drive, Cleveland) for Dunwich, North Stradbroke Island:
- Stradbroke Ferries – 07 3488 5300 – vehicle ferry (45 minutes) and passenger ferry (25 minutes)
- Gold Cats Stradbroke Flyer – 07 3821 3821 – passenger ferry (25 minutes)
It's advisable to check directly with hire car companies about whether they allow vehicles to travel to North Stradbroke Island.
There are bus connections to and from Cleveland which link with island transport services.
The three main townships on Straddie – Dunwich, Amity Point and Point Lookout – are connected by sealed roads. The island has great four wheel drive bush tracks and sandy beaches you can drive on. Vehicle access permits are required.
While you’re there
- Walk the Gorge: North Gorge Walk is a 1.5km boardwalk offering stunning views of pristine sandy beaches and the Blow Hole – a unique rock formation that resembles the humpback whales which pass by each year. The walk is one of the best places on the island to spot the migrating whales between June and November, not to mention dolphins and turtles all year round.
- Enjoy the beach: On foot or in a 4WD, experience the sensation of having a beach to yourself. Main Beach has 32km of unspoilt sand to explore or perhaps head to an island favourite, Flinders Beach.
- Go sand boarding: Fly down pristine sand dunes on a guided tour from Point Lookout.
- Eat fish and chips: There’s no better way to enjoy delicious fish and chips than eating it by the water at Amity as the sun sets over Moreton Bay.
- Spot whales: There’s no need to leave land to see migrating humpback whales - just follow the whale trail at Point Lookout.
- Carve up the surf: Cylinder Beach offers one of the most picturesque spots to catch a wave in Queensland.
- Enjoy the serenity: Take a picnic to tranquil Brown Lake or enjoy a hike to Blue Lake.
Quandamooka people have lived on Minjerribah for tens of thousands of years: archeology suggests a minimum of 21,000 years, at 121 identified living sites where shelter, water and food were available. The first recorded visits to the island in the 1820s noted numerous large and well-built huts in village-like groups, and complex social systems. At the time more than 5,000 Aboriginal people lived in the Moreton Bay (Quandamooka) area.
Since European settlement the island, known as Straddie to many, has held several key roles in the development of not only the Redlands Coast region, but also in the development of Brisbane (Mianjin) and south east Queensland, including a pilot station, a convict workforce, quarantine station, benevolent asylum, lazaret, koala sanctuary, marine research and conservation and a landmark 2011 native title determination. Sand mining began on North Stradbroke Island in the early 1950s, playing a significant role in the island’s economy until it closed down in 2019. The economy is now transitioning to tourism, led by the Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation (QYAC).
Find more about our local history on our library Local History section.