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Stradbroke Island: superb holday location with whale watching, surfing, and natural beauty

Updated on February 3, 2015

Stradbroke Island: a picturesque playground in Moreton Bay Queensland

North Stradbroke Island is famous for its whale watching, great surfing and fishing, sand dunes, 4WD adventures, Brown Lake and idyllic natural environment in the waters of Moreton Bay, Queensland.

My family and I have visited Stradbroke Island for many years often camping on the beachside camping grounds.

North Stradbroke Island is about 20 minutes by water taxi from Cleveland which is an hour's drive from Brisbane - so it is readily accessible to people who live in Brisbane.

Stradbroke Island - whale parade

I was having coffee with my wife and a local friend at a Cafe overlooking Point Lookout on Stradbroke Island. Suddenly everybody jumped up excitedly and moved to the other side of the road (on the edge of the cliff looking seawards).

Then I realized what they were looking at. To our right (from the South) was a long line of whales moving north in pairs and threes. The whales were breeching the water and then diving. This was a spectacular sight and it took about 15 minutes for them to pass by.

The image of this majesty passing by is something I will never forget.

Views of Stradbroke island - These photos were taken on some of my many visits to the island.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Coming into the jetty at the Little Ship Inn, Yabbie Street, Dunwich.  This is where the Stradbroke Island Water Taxi pulls in.Part of the view form the walk around the cliffs at Point Lookout.  The water is stunningly clear.  This is one of the vantage points for viewing dolpins and whales as they pass by.View at sunset looking across the water from Dunwich to Cleveland.  Photo taken from the backyard of my friend, Kay, who lives on Stradbroke Island.View from from the cliff walk at Point LookoutLooking towards the beach from the cliff trail at Point Lookout.The view at sunset after attending an afternoon session of the Stradbroke Island Chamber Music Festival, where we got up close and personal with members of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra.
Coming into the jetty at the Little Ship Inn, Yabbie Street, Dunwich.  This is where the Stradbroke Island Water Taxi pulls in.
Coming into the jetty at the Little Ship Inn, Yabbie Street, Dunwich. This is where the Stradbroke Island Water Taxi pulls in.
Part of the view form the walk around the cliffs at Point Lookout.  The water is stunningly clear.  This is one of the vantage points for viewing dolpins and whales as they pass by.
Part of the view form the walk around the cliffs at Point Lookout. The water is stunningly clear. This is one of the vantage points for viewing dolpins and whales as they pass by.
View at sunset looking across the water from Dunwich to Cleveland.  Photo taken from the backyard of my friend, Kay, who lives on Stradbroke Island.
View at sunset looking across the water from Dunwich to Cleveland. Photo taken from the backyard of my friend, Kay, who lives on Stradbroke Island.
View from from the cliff walk at Point Lookout
View from from the cliff walk at Point Lookout
Looking towards the beach from the cliff trail at Point Lookout.
Looking towards the beach from the cliff trail at Point Lookout.
The view at sunset after attending an afternoon session of the Stradbroke Island Chamber Music Festival, where we got up close and personal with members of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra.
The view at sunset after attending an afternoon session of the Stradbroke Island Chamber Music Festival, where we got up close and personal with members of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra.

Camping on Stradbroke Island

When our children were younger (and we were fitter), we used to camp on Stradbroke Island - Cylinders Beach, Point Lookout or Adders Rock.

Our children would surf at one of the many beaches, swim in Brown Lake, roll down the huge sand dunes or catch colorful fish in the pristine, clear water amongst the rocks. We would watch the dolphins play in the surf and see them ride the waves in.

In the evening we would go to meet the professional fisherman returning from the day's catch and buy one of their fish fresh off the boat to cook for dinner.

The kids loved to see our friend feed her dog its daily quota of fresh fish (great for the dog's coat!).

Note: 6 April 2009 - my son is heading to Straddie with a couple of his mates to camp for a few nights.

To move forward - stand still!

On one occasion my wife and two children were swimming in Brown Lake on Stradbroke Island while I was resting on the sand above them. [Brown Lake is colored brown because of the Tea Tree oil from the surrounding trees. The water is very shallow and is always warm.]

At the time I had been working on my PhD and trying to get my head around 5 years of data collection. We had decided to go to Straddie to help me get away from the thesis work and give me a break.

While I was sitting on the bank of Brown Lake listening to the birds, an innovative model came to me as a way to express my five years of research.

I raced to the car and grabbed some flipchart paper (all good consultants always carry flipchart paper with them wherever they go).

Then I went over to the barbecue and grabbed a few burnt twigs and started to draw and re-draw the model. This model became the foundation of my PhD write-up and my contribution to knowledge via my Doctorate on action learning.

Moral of the story: Sometimes, you need to stand still to move forward.

Denis Brockie - Landscape Artist

Check out the brilliant seascapes and landscapes of Stradbroke Island.

Stradbroke Island Art by Denis Brockie

Stradbroke Chamber Music Festival

On Saturday 16 August, my wife and I attended one of the sessions of the Chamber Music Festival held on Stradbroke Island. We were able to hear members of The Queensland Symphony Orchestra play Mozart's Clarinet Quintet in A and Brahms Sextet for Strings in B flat.

We had a real sense of Chamber Music as we were seated 20 feet from the musicians in the old Stradbroke Island Church at Point Lookout. Meeting some of the musicians afterwards was a real pleasure.

Reader Feedback

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    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 

      8 years ago from USA

      Wow! What a beautiful place! Thanks for the tour!

    • profile image

      Keaka77 

      10 years ago

      I hope to be able to visit there one day.. My wife loves it there...

      Sports Games

    • ronpass lm profile imageAUTHOR

      ronpass lm 

      10 years ago

      Angie - thanks for your interest and support. I have arranged for AM and I to spend next weekend with Kay on Straddie - I'm looking forward to the rest in this peaceful place.

    • ronpass lm profile imageAUTHOR

      ronpass lm 

      10 years ago

      Thanks Bonnie - and a big thanks for your support in helping me to become a Giant Squid.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      10 years ago

      CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR 50th PUBLISHED LENS, RON! No mean feat, eh?

      Many thanks for your generosity in sharing your ideas and resources. Dreaming about relaxing at Straddie....

      Best wishes, AB.

    • profile image

      bdkz 

      10 years ago

      What a beautiful place! 5 Stars and a Squid Angel Blessing!

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