North Stradbroke Island

When I think of Australia, I picture beaches, Koala bears and Kangaroos, and during our first week of our year abroad, we took a trip to North Stradbroke Island, Queensland, hoping to experience all three, never expecting to witness what we did. We didn’t appreciate how lucky we were to see Koalas and Kangaroos in the wild until we spoke to several Aussies who had still never seen them out of a zoo or sanctuary.

On Thursday 16th November, we woke up early and made our way into the City, before jumping onto our tour bus on Roma Street, Brisbane. From there, taking roughly 45-50 minutes, we were taken on a ferry that would take us across still waters to North Stradbroke Island.

The first stop was Brown Lake, a lake stained by Paperbark Melaleuca and Tea-Trees Leptospermum. With the lakes unbelievably still, we were able to swim if desired or we had the opportunity to take a small walk in the surrounding forest… if you’re not afraid of snakes and spiders.

We spent half an hour at Brown Lake and we were then taken to Amity Point, a small fishing village on the island. The waters here are also calm and clear, making it ideal for fishing, snorkelling and swimming. The area is surrounded by trees home to Koala Bears, and we were lucky enough to witness our first Koala in Australia in the wild. Speaking to many Australians, witnessing a Koala Bear in the wild is extremely rare, making North Stradbroke a must see for wildlife.. 

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Next stop was Cylinder Beach. Our trip included a lunch at North Stradbroke Hotel that boasted draw dropping views of the crystal clear blue waters. After a quick bite to eat, we soon headed down the steps to the gorgeous beach and couldn’t resist a quick swim in the sea and we took the opportunity to lie down in the sun for 20 minutes. 

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TOP TIP– When swimming, stay between the flags the lifeguards have provided on the beach to avoid riptides! 

On the way to our last stop we pulled over to find a handful of Koala Bears, including a baby, in the trees! 

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The last stop was Point Lookout during North Gorge Walk. All I can say is wow. If you are visiting Queensland this work is a must. Although hot and quite a bit of walking, it’s totally worth it. Our first wow moment was the beach – I couldn’t believe how blue the water was and to top this off we were lucky enough to watch dolphins and turtles swim in the sea. We then walked further and explored the rocks a bit further down – another perfect photo opportunity and it also gave us a closer view of the turtles. As the walk came to an end, we unexpectedly came across two kangaroos in the wild and finished up with ice cream from Oceanic Gelati & Coffee Bar, a recommendation by our tour guide.

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TOP TIP – Visiting in November we had just missed whale season on the island. The Humpback Whales can be seen from late May to early November!

What to take

Water
Comfy shoes
Snacks
Suncream
Camera

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