Australia is for adventurers—those looking to get out there and see things that they can’t see anywhere else. Whether it’s exploring the endlessness of the Mars-esque Outback or getting under the waves to see the incredible variety of marine life that inhabits Australia’s coastal waters, Australia is a distinct experience. Since we’ve already taken you through the Outback, we want to show you one of the best places for an Australian coastal adventure.
North Stradbroke Island is located on Queensland’s coast, about 20 miles north of Brisbane. Referred to as “North Straddie” or just “Straddie” by the locals, the island is a paradise for those looking for a city escape and an opportunity to see Australia’s incredible marine life up close. Few places in Australia offer so much in such a small area without the tourist rush.
What to Do on the Island
Whether it’s manta rays, massive whale sharks, dolphins, sea turtles, or the seemingly endless list of fish species that patrol the waters off Straddie, a scuba diving trip off Stradbroke’s north end can’t be missed.
Check out the land critters
The marine life is the main attraction, but skipping out on the land-based wildlife would be a major mistake. Head to the top of the North Gorge Walk to see the kangaroos chow down at breakfast and dinner or see a few of the island’s koalas at Amity Point Campground.
Whale watching from the beach
From June to November humpback whales pass just off Stradbroke’s eastern coast. Pick a hill, grab some binoculars and set up for your own personal whale watch from the comfort of a beach chair. The cliffs between Cylinder Beach and North Gorge offer the best vantage points.
Surf the swells and the sand
Where to stay
Manta Lodge YHA and Scuba Centre
This hostel on the island’s northern coast sets you up perfectly for your scuba trips. The beach is right there, the ferry to the mainland is close, and boats and guides are waiting to take you out to see the marine life. What’s not to love?
Yarrandabbi Dreaming Boutique Bed and Breakfast
Just across the water from Straddie is MacLeay Island and the Yarrandabbi Bed and Breakfast. Comfortable rooms, a 3-course breakfast to rave about and a quiet pool area give guests the opportunity to get some peace and quiet after running around all day.
Bella Vista of Baby Ray Bed and Breakfast
If you’re looking to stay comfortably on the mainland and still have easy access to the island, Bella Vista is the way to go. Right on Baby Ray Canal, this place has an infinity pool and a deck area that’s perfect for winding down after a long day in the water or exploring the island. The ferry ride to the island is about twenty minutes so guests don’t have to sacrifice easy island access for mainland comfort.