Brisbane, the capital of Queensland, is a vibrant and bustling city located on the east coast of Australia. But just a short distance away from the city lies Stradbroke Island, a picturesque destination that is perfect for a day trip. Known for its stunning beaches, abundant wildlife, and rich cultural heritage, Stradbroke Island offers a perfect escape from the city’s hustle and bustle.

Stradbroke Island and North Stradbroke Island refer to the same island. It is often referred to as “Straddie” by locals and visitors alike. In this blog post, we’ll explore everything you need to know about planning a day trip to Stradbroke Island, including how to get there, top things to do, dining and drinking options, and more.

Day trip to Stradbroke island

Day trip to Stradbroke island
Day trip to Stradbroke island

How to Get to Stradbroke Island

A. Public Transport

It is possible to get to Stradbroke Island using public transport. The most common way to get there is by taking a train or bus to Cleveland, which is located about 25 kilometers east of Brisbane. From Cleveland, you can catch a ferry to Stradbroke Island.

To get to Cleveland by train, you can catch the Cleveland line from Brisbane’s Central Station. The journey takes approximately 50 minutes. Alternatively, you can take a bus from Brisbane to Cleveland. The 258 bus runs between Brisbane and Cleveland and takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Once you arrive in Cleveland, you can catch a ferry from the Toondah Harbour Ferry Terminal to Dunwich on Stradbroke Island. The ferry ride takes around 45 minutes. From Dunwich, you can catch a bus or taxi to your accommodation or to other parts of the island.

It’s worth noting that public transport schedules may be limited on weekends and public holidays, so it’s important to check the timetable in advance. However, getting to Stradbroke Island by public transport is a cost-effective and convenient option, particularly for budget-conscious travelers.

B. Private boat

There are several public boat ramps available on the island, as well as private marinas that offer boat hire services.

If you have your own boat, you can launch it at one of the public boat ramps on Stradbroke Island, such as the Amity Point boat ramp or the Dunwich boat ramp. From there, you can explore the island’s waterways and enjoy activities such as fishing, swimming, and snorkeling.

Alternatively, if you don’t have your own boat, you can hire one from a private marina on the mainland and make your own way to Stradbroke Island. It’s important to note that you’ll need a boat license to operate a private boat in Australian waters, and you should always check the weather conditions and tides before setting out on a boating trip.

Taking a private boat to Stradbroke Island can be a fun and adventurous way to explore the island, giving you the freedom to create your own itinerary and discover hidden coves and beaches that may be inaccessible by other means of transport.

C. Helicopter

There are several helicopter tour operators that offer scenic flights over the island, as well as helicopter transfers to and from the island.

A helicopter flight is a unique and exciting way to experience the beauty of Stradbroke Island from above. You’ll be able to take in stunning views of the island’s beaches, cliffs, and forests, and even spot some of the local wildlife from the air.

If you’re short on time or simply want to make a grand entrance, a helicopter transfer to Stradbroke Island can be a convenient and luxurious option. Some tour operators offer transfers from Brisbane or the Gold Coast, taking you directly to the island’s airport or helipad.

It’s important to note that a helicopter flight or transfer can be a more expensive option compared to other modes of transport, but the unique experience and stunning views make it worth considering for a special occasion or treat.

D. Drive

Driving is another popular way to get to Stradbroke Island, especially for those who prefer the flexibility and freedom of having their own vehicle on the island. Here’s what you need to know:

Day trip to Stradbroke Island from Brisbane:

  • Head southeast on the Pacific Motorway (M1) towards the Gold Coast.
  • Take the exit towards Cleveland/Redland Bay Road.
  • Turn right onto Cleveland-Redland Bay Road, then continue straight onto Rickertt Road.
  • Turn left onto Boundary Road, then turn right onto Cleveland-Redland Bay Road.
  • Continue on this road until you reach the ferry terminal at Toondah Harbour.

Day trip to Stradbroke island from Gold Coast:

  • Head north on the Pacific Motorway (M1) towards Brisbane.
  • Take the exit towards Beenleigh/Redland Bay Road.
  • Turn left onto Beenleigh-Redland Bay Road, then continue straight onto Mount Cotton Road.
  • Turn right onto Cleveland-Redland Bay Road, then continue on this road until you reach the ferry terminal at Toondah Harbour.


  • If you’re taking your car to Stradbroke Island, you’ll need to park it at the ferry terminal at Toondah Harbour. There is a large car park available, and parking fees apply.
  • Once you arrive on the island, there are several car parks available at popular beaches and attractions. Some car parks are free, while others require a small fee.

No matter which mode of transportation you choose, the journey to Stradbroke Island is part of the experience. The stunning coastal views and scenic routes will leave you in awe. 

Planning Your Day Trip to Stradbroke Island

A. Budgeting

Before planning your day trip to Stradbroke Island, it’s important to consider your budget. Stradbroke Island ferry prices can vary depending on the time of year, so it’s a good idea to check the prices ahead of time. The website for purchasing tickets is It’s recommended to book your tickets in advance, especially during peak season, to avoid any last-minute hassle. Also, factor in the cost of food, drinks, and any activities you plan to do on the island.

B. Timing

Timing is also important when planning your day trip to Stradbroke Island. The ferry ride takes approximately 45 minutes, so be sure to factor that into your schedule. It’s also a good idea to check the ferry schedule ahead of time to ensure you don’t miss the last ferry back to the mainland.

C. Packing List

When visiting Stradbroke Island, be sure to pack sunscreen, a hat, and comfortable shoes. If you plan on swimming, don’t forget your swimsuit and a towel. It’s also a good idea to bring a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated throughout the day.

D. Additional Tips

Here are a few additional tips to make the most of your day trip to Stradbroke Island:

  • Book any activities or tours ahead of time to ensure availability
  • Respect the environment and local wildlife by following any signage or guidelines
  • Bring cash as some businesses may not accept credit cards
  • Consider bringing a waterproof backpack to carry your belongings while exploring the island

By following these tips, you can ensure a fun and stress-free day trip to Stradbroke Island.

What to do on Stradbroke Island

Stradbroke Island, also known as Minjerribah, is a hidden gem located just off the coast of Brisbane. It’s a perfect destination for a day trip or weekend getaway, with a variety of activities to keep you entertained. Here are some of the top things to do on Stradbroke Island.


Stradbroke Island is home to some of the most beautiful and pristine beaches in Queensland. There are several beaches to choose from, each offering a unique experience. The natural beauty and peacefulness of the island will surely leave you mesmerized, no matter which beach you decide to visit. 

Here are some more details on some of the top beaches to visit on Stradbroke Island:

  1. Cylinder Beach: This is one of the most popular beaches on the island and for good reason. It offers beautiful views of crystal clear waters, as well as plenty of space to relax on the soft, white sand. The beach is patrolled by lifeguards, making it a safe spot for swimming, and there are also picnic areas and barbecues available for public use.
  2. Main Beach: Located at the northern end of the island, Main Beach is another popular choice for visitors. The beach is known for its long stretches of pristine sand, as well as its excellent surf conditions. If you’re looking to catch some waves, this is the spot to do it. There are also plenty of amenities nearby, including cafes, restaurants, and shops.
  3. Frenchman’s Beach: This secluded beach is located on the southern end of the island, and is a great spot for those looking to get away from the crowds. The beach is surrounded by rocky cliffs and offers stunning views of the ocean. It’s also a popular spot for snorkeling and diving, as there are plenty of reefs and underwater rock formations to explore.
  4. Deadman’s Beach: Despite its name, this beach is actually one of the most beautiful and peaceful spots on the island. It’s located on the eastern side of the island and offers spectacular views of the sunrise. The beach is also home to a variety of wildlife, including kangaroos and wallabies.

While indulging in beach activities, it is important to prioritize safety measures and show respect towards the environment and wildlife of the area.


Personally, I enjoy hiking before relaxing on the beach time. If you are like me, you will be pleased to know Stradbroke Island has many walking tracks and trails that are suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels. In fact, one of the most popular things to do on the island is to go on a scenic walk or hike and explore the natural beauty of the island.

Some of the most popular walking tracks on Stradbroke Island include the North Gorge Walk, the Flinders Beach Walk, and the Keyholes Loop Walk. These walks range from easy to moderate difficulty and offer visitors the chance to experience the island’s stunning scenery, from its sandy beaches and rugged cliffs to its lush forests and native wildlife.

For those who are interested in longer hikes, there are also several multi-day hiking trails on the island, such as the Straddie Great Walk. This 54-kilometer track takes hikers through the island’s most scenic locations and offers an immersive experience of the island’s natural beauty.

Whether you’re a casual walker or an experienced hiker, Stradbroke Island has a walking track or hiking trail that is perfect for you. So, don’t forget to bring your hiking boots on your next trip to Stradbroke Island!

Nature and Wildlife

Stradbroke Island is also known for its natural beauty and diverse wildlife. The island is home to several nature reserves, including the famous North Gorge Walk, which offers stunning views of the coastline and the opportunity to spot dolphins, whales, and other marine life. You can also visit the Stradbroke Island Wildlife Sanctuary, where you can see kangaroos, koalas, and other Australian wildlife up close.


There is no shortage of exciting activities to partake in during your visit to Stradbroke Island. Kayaking, paddle boarding, and snorkeling are just a few of the water-based activities available on the island, allowing you to explore crystal-clear waters and its abundant marine life.

To get a comprehensive understanding of the island’s culture and history, you can opt for a guided tour that will take you to the most scenic locations and provide you with insightful commentary on the island’s past and present. If you’re seeking some adrenaline-pumping action, you can try sandboarding or embark on a thrilling 4WD tour to explore the island’s rugged terrain.

Point Lookout

Point Lookout is a stunning coastal headland located on the eastern side of North Stradbroke Island. This picturesque destination is a must-visit for anyone exploring the island, as it offers some of the most spectacular views of the ocean and surrounding landscape.

Visitors can take a stroll along the boardwalk to the Point Lookout headland, which offers panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and is an excellent spot for whale watching ( humpback whales) during migration season. The area is also perfect for surfing, swimming, and other water-based activities, with several beaches nearby, including Main Beach and Cylinder Beach.

For those interested in exploring the local flora and fauna, Point Lookout is home to several walking tracks, including the Gorge Walk, which offers stunning views of the gorge and is an excellent location for spotting dolphins, turtles, and even sharks. The nearby North Gorge Walk is another popular track that offers breathtaking views of the ocean and is a great place for bird-watching.

Amity Point

Amity Point is a charming seaside village located on the western side of North Stradbroke Island. This popular destination is known for its calm waters, sandy beaches, and abundant wildlife, making it an excellent spot for visitors to relax and unwind.

The area is a perfect place for fishing, swimming, kayaking, and other water-based activities. It’s also an excellent location to spot dolphins, sea turtles, and other marine life. With plenty of cafes, restaurants, and shops, visitors can enjoy a range of activities, making it a great place to spend a day or an entire weekend.

One of the most popular attractions in Amity Point is its picturesque jetty, which is an excellent spot for fishing and offers stunning views of Moreton Bay. Visitors can also take a stroll along the beach and explore the beautiful scenery of the area.

Cultural Attractions

Stradbroke Island is steeped in history and culture, with a rich Aboriginal heritage that dates back thousands of years. You can visit the Minjerribah Cultural Centre, which showcases the island’s history, culture, and traditions through interactive exhibits and displays. You can also visit the Dunwich Cemetery, where you can pay your respects to the traditional owners of the land.

Dining and Drinking on Stradbroke Island

Stradbroke Island offers a range of dining options to suit all tastes and budgets. From casual beachside cafes to fine dining restaurants, there is something for everyone. Some of the most popular dining options on the island include Fishes Cafe, Little Ship Club, and the Island Fruit Barn.

Local Seafood and Produce

One of the highlights of dining on Stradbroke Island is the abundance of fresh, locally caught seafood and produce. You can indulge in delicious seafood dishes like fish and chips, oysters, and prawns, all sourced from the surrounding waters. The Island Fruit Barn also offers a range of locally grown fruits and vegetables, which are perfect for a healthy snack or picnic.

Best Places for Coffee, Drinks, and Cocktails

After a long day of exploring, there’s nothing better than relaxing with a good coffee or cocktail. Stradbroke Island has several great cafes and bars where you can enjoy a drink or two. The Island Vibe Cafe and Whale’s Way Restaurant are both popular choices for coffee and light bites, while the Stradbroke Island Beach Hotel is the place to go for a refreshing beer or cocktail with a view.

Accommodation on Stradbroke Island

what to do on Stradbroke island

Types of accommodation available

If you’re planning a day trip to Stradbroke Island, you may not need to worry about accommodation. However, if you want to stay overnight or for a few days, there are several options available. You can choose from a range of accommodation types, including hotels, apartments, and holiday homes.

No matter which area you stay in Stradbroke Island, I recommend using and sorting with price, then consider the ones with highest reviews
For tours, I recommend using get your guide and walking tours available in most places

Best places to stay

Some of the best places to stay on the island include the Pandanus Palms Resort, the Allure Stradbroke Resort, and the Whale Watch Resort. Also, check out South Stradbroke Island although I found only two accommodation providers, which might interest you.

Camping options

For those who love camping, there are several options available on Stradbroke Island. The Adder Rock Camping Ground and the Amity Point Camping Ground both offer powered and unpowered sites for tents, caravans, and camper trailers. Just be sure to book well in advance, as these sites can fill up quickly during peak season.

Stradbroke Island is a paradise for nature lovers, outdoor enthusiasts, and those seeking a peaceful getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life. With its pristine beaches, stunning natural scenery, and rich cultural heritage, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re planning a day trip or a longer stay, be sure to make the most of your time on this beautiful island. With so much to see and do, you’ll never want to leave!

Let me know in the comments:

if you have any other questions on the day trip to Stradbroke island
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Experience Paradise: Day Trip to Stradbroke Island

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