When I think of Australia, I imagine pristine beaches, kangaroos, koala bears and of course, sunshine. A few weeks before we headed Down Under, I booked a day trip to North Stradbroke Island, Queensland, located around 45 minutes away from Brisbane, and although I’ll admit I’d never heard of this island beforehand, the chances of seeing whales, dolphins and kangaroos immediately sold it to me. I chose to book the trip through Viator with Queensland Day Trips due to the sheer load of information stated on their website and 5* reviews to boot. During the trip we were provided with a local tour guide to which I can’t remember his name (we’ll call him Bruce for the occasion)…
On Thursday 16th November, we (happily) dragged ourselves out of bed and made our way into the city before hopping onto our tour bus on Roma Street. From there, taking roughly 45-50 minutes, we were taken on a ferry across still waters to North Stradbroke Island.
Our first stop on the itinerary was Brown Lake, a lake stained Paperbark Melaleuca and Tea-Treets Leptospermum. With the lake sitting unbelievably still and peaceful, we were able to swim if desired or we had the choice to take a small walk around the surrounding forest – dependent on your fear 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..
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.
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!
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.
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