Whale Watching on Australia's North Stradbroke Island


  1. Introduction
  2. Getting There
  3. Accommodation
  4. Getting Around
  5. What to Do

    See Also

  6. Other Trips
  7. Home

Books about: North Stradbroke Island, Whale Watching, Oodgeroo Noonuccal and Travel Queensland.

North Stradbroke Island

North Stradbroke Island


For much of my early life holidays were spent on North Stradbroke Island, (Queensland, Australia). The Island was popular for fishing and surfing, but more recently whale watching has been the attraction. In some places you have to hire a boat and go many kilometers out to sea to spot a whale or dolphin. On Stradbroke Island you can drive up, park and watch whales while sitting in a cafe on the headland, or out of the window of an apartment.

North Stradbroke Island is an Australian island in the state of Queensland, 30 km southeast of the capital Brisbane. Before 1896 the island was part of the Stradbroke Island. In that year a storm from South Stradbroke Island, forming the Jumpinpin Channel. The island is about 38 km long and 11 km wide.

The permanent population of the island is quite small, but swells significantly in the holiday season. There are no bridges to the island and the only access is via vehicular or passenger ferries leaving from Cleveland. There are three main settlements on the island. Dunwich is the largest and has most of the services including the school. Point Lookout is on the surf side of the island and is the major tourist destination in the season. The third is Amity Point and is much smaller.

From: "North Stradbroke Island", Wikipedia, 23 March 2006

Getting There

The most pleasant way to get to North Stradbroke Island is by the high speed catamarans from Cleveland. You can catch the Airtrain train from Brisbane airport to Roma Street station, then change for the Cleveland line. At Cleveland station (the end of the line), there are shuttle busses to the Water Taxi.


Point Lookout has camping grounds and caravan parks as well as luxury accommodation. Keep in mind that the surf and most tourist attractions are on the ocean side of the Island at Point Lookout. Dunwich has accommodation but is on the bay side of the island and has no surf.

What to Do

There are many kilometers of beaches, fishing and bushwalking. Or you can go whale watching without leaving your seat at the outdoor cafes.

The center of the island has two large freshwater lakes: Blue Lake and Brown Lake. Brown Lake really is brown, with the water stained by plant material in the swamp which feeds the lake. The water is safe to swim in, but you look like you have a really good tan, while in the water.

Blue Lake is crystal clear and cold. The water flow from this lake into Eighteen Mile Swamp, which really is eighteen miles long, and backs the main surfing beach (call "Main Beach"). Most of the surfing activity is confined to the first kilometer of Main Beach and the other 30 or so km of beach have only the occasional person fishing. If swimming, remember that the lifesavers don't patrol the whole Main Beach, just near the Surf Lifesaving Club (and some other beaches).

The poet Oodgeroo Noonuccal (Kath or Cath, Walker) was born on Stradbroke Island (Minjerriba in the local language).

Books about: North Stradbroke Island, Whale Watching, Oodgeroo Noonuccal and Travel Queensland.

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