After visiting a non-ferry alternative with Bribie Island if you now feel like getting a bit further away, you can consider a trip to North Stradbroke Island.
With the vehicle Sealink ferry operating daily from 6am to 6pm, you have a relatively good chance to find one that works with your schedule. The ferry leaves from Cleveland which is located around 45min south of Brisbane and 60min north of the Gold Coast. On Friday and Sunday, there are two later ferry options at 7 and 8.30pm as well. For the full timetable, check the Sealink website.
You can book a spot for you 4wd or, alternatively, catch the passenger ferry. However, there are transport options such as Uber on the island, so it either bus, taxi or bike or you bring your own vehicle over.
The ferry usually costs between $160 and $230 and depends on the height and length of your vehicle, the number of people, and the dates and times you choose. You can book these ferry options on the Sealink website. Ensure to book some time ahead in the holiday season as especially the early and late ferries are very popular and book out early.
Both the vehicle and passenger ferry dock in Dunwich from where you can start your island adventure.
Where to stay on Bribie Island?
Be warned – North Stradbroke is not a trip destination for bargain hunters. There are a few Airbnb options and apartments. However, for a weekend trip from Friday to Sunday, you should budget with at least $500 for two nights for two people. Look for locations around Point Lookout if you would like to walk to get your morning coffee as you will have a few options in that area.
If you prefer to camp, Stradbroke offers several options. There is Minjerribah Camping which is located right next to the ferry docks in Dunwich. These campgrounds have good facilities and there are usually spots available.
Camping ground are also located all along the Northern beaches of the island including at Amity Point, Flinders Beach, Adder Rock, Home Beach, and Cylinder Beach.
If you would prefer to stay in a Caravan park, try Myora Caravan Park.
Want to sleep under the stars on the beach and have a 4wd? Main Beach is the perfect spot for your adventure. It is a 38km long beach on the eastern side of Stradbroke island. Minjerribah camping offers 15 designated camping sites towards the southern end of the beach. You can get there by driving down along the beach in your 4wd for around 17km from Point Lookout. All camp sites are 6x6m, are dog-friendly and cost around $18 per night.
There are no amenities or power at Main Beach. However, you can buy an amenities pass for $10 to access the Adder Rock amenities block which is located at the Northern end of the island.
You will also require a vehicle access permit to get to these camp sites.
Another beach camp site is located on Flinders Beach and also only accessible with 4wd.
4×4 driving on Stradbroke Island
Similar to the rules on other islands, you have to get a vehicle access permit to 4wd on the beach. The island has amazing 4wd tracks in the bush and along the beach. The permit sticker must always be visibly displayed in your windscreen to avoid any fines.
You can either order the permit online or buy it on the island. If you order it online, you will have to pick it up at one of the two offices which are open daily between 8am and 4pm. The offices are located at the Amity Point and Adder Rock Campgrounds. Permits are valid for North Stradbroke Island only and you can purchase them for up to one month for $53.65 per vehicle or more than 1 month (up to 1 year) for $160.80. Alternatively, you can buy a permit at the Dunwich Booking Centre or Cylinder Beach Camping Ground.
Main beach usually gets a big swell and is great for surfing and fishing. Pay attention to the tide times when you are planning your trip to avoid getting stuck during hide tide. Minjerribah camping offers a 4wd info brochure that shows the tracks and camp sites.
Other attractions on Stradbroke Island
Both lakes can be reached via Martin Way which starts in Dunwich. If you are wondering now if the name of the lakes has anything to do with the actual water colour – yea, supposedly. For Brown Lake this might be an accurate description. Due to its leafy base, the water colour seems to be brown.
We have to mention at this stage, especially if you have been to lakes such as Lake Mckenzie on Fraser Island, Blue Lake, however, is not really blue. It is pretty much a second brown lake. It might just have been the time of the day or the year (June, 2.43pm) that we were there but reach out to us if you get a good shot (that is not photoshopped) of Blue Lake actually being blue.
The hiking trails that lead to Blue Lake are about 4km return and easy to walk along for even the youngest ones. There aren’t many inclines which makes it suitable for even non-experienced hikers with a low to moderate level of fitness. However, you should be in good overall health to attempt any hikes as there is no phone reception throughout the bushland.
The Gorge Walk at Point Lookout offers you more spectacular views across the ocean – if you are lucky you can even spot some dolphins or whales in whale season.
Places to stop for food and coffee
You have to stop a The Blue Room at Point Lookout for a coffee. They also offer some snacks, pastries and other baked goods but don’t have an extensive breakfast or lunch menu.
If you like a longer wait, average customer service that is compensated by nice views, you can stop at the Stradbroke Island Beach Hotel for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. On the weekend, there might be a 20-minute wait for your coffee and even longer for your food, so bring a book and entertainment options for the kids that are not interested in the views.
If, for some reason, you are a bargain hunter that still ended up on Stradbroke Island, there is a great Fish and Chips shop that offers $12 deals you will love. Fins ‘n Fries is located just behind Foodworks at Point Lookout. Grab your takeaway and had down to the lookout at Cylinder Beach and enjoy your meal with an amazing and peaceful ocean view.
Get your 4WD ready for adventures
Are you ready for a 4wd adventure? At Prospark Auto Electrical, we made it our mission to get your 4×4 ready for your getaways. Our team offers services including canopy setups, dual battery systems, lighting additions and more. Contact us online today or give us a call on 0432 579 906 for booking enquiries.
Stay tuned for more 4×4 adventures, send us your photo of Blue Lake (only if it is actually blue) or reach out to tell us about your favourite 4wd getaway locations.