A superb natural reserve, South Stradbroke Island offers calm inner waterways on one side, virtually untouched native bushland in the centre, and on the other side, 22kms of pristine surf beach. The surf beach offers spectacular views of the beautiful Gold Coast, and you can catch glimpses of the majestic humpback whales migrating north to breed during whale watching season, which starts in June and runs through to late October.
South Stradbroke Island is largely undeveloped, and its main activities focus on enjoying the outdoors: surfing, bushwalking, swimming and canoeing. It is this aspect of South Straddie , as the locals fondly call it, that offers a welcome diversion from the city lifestyle. There s an abundance of native wildlife to explore, as well as hiking, rock climbing and ocean fishing. The island has hundreds of wild wallabies that are usually human orientated. They are also well known for stealing bread from tents and cabins, and joining campers at their fires.
The southern end fronts the Broadwater on the Gold Coast, and the tip marks the Gold Coast Seaway, only a matter of metres from the mainland at Southport Spit. In the northeast you ll find the Tipplers Passage that separates the island from many small islands near the mainland. The east coast borders the Coral Sea. The western beaches are known as quiet and lagoon-like and the eastern beaches are known as a surfer's paradise.
There are several ways to get to the island including boat hire, charter or water taxi. Gold Coast Ferries operates a ferry service to the island. Cruises to the island by tall ship or catamaran depart daily from Main Beach on the Gold Coast. An array of activities (charges apply) are available upon arrival, including parasailing, jet skiing, speedboat and doofa rides, kayaks, paddle boats, wallaby feeding, seaplane flights, sand duning and wilderness eco tours. Ph. (07) 5532 2444.
Camping On South Straddie
There are three camping grounds on South Stradbroke Island, including Tipplers at the northern end of the Island, North Currigee and Currigee at the southern end. All campgrounds have toilets and showers. One of the best features of South Stradbroke Island is its lack of commercial development, and for this reason, visitors to the campgrounds need to bring all necessary supplies with them.
The South Stradbroke Island camping grounds are completely surrounded by native bushland, with white sand dunes facing the blue Pacific Ocean on the Eastern side of the Island and the magnificent Broadwater on the Western side. Ph (07) 5577 2849.
One of the much loved and fiercely challenged sporting battles on the island is the annual Currigee Cup, held each year on New Years Day, and has been running since 1965. The origin of the race was supposed to be a bet amongst two local residents Messrs Beckman and Knowlman, who decided to take their on-shore differences to sea, and have now created what is now one of the most unknown, yet most tightly challenged nautical battles in South-East Queensland. Almost all the families staying on the southern part of the island take part in the races, of which there are many for each class of boat, including lasers, hobie cats and trailer-sailers. The course weaves its way through the Broadwater, part of Moreton Bay and finishes up in various parties along the island. A sandcastle competition is held in the afternoon. The main award is the prestigious Currigee Cup, awarded to the most gallant crew, not necessarily the fastest.
The Jumpinpin channel also known as The Pin lies between North Stradbroke Island and South Stradbroke Island. It has a fast moving tidal deep water Channel not appropriate for swimming but is popular with beach anglers. The name Jumpinpin is a Yugambeh word meaning Pandanus root. The area around the Pin is constantly changing with sand being deposited in one place after being moved by currents from another area.
The 'Pin is renowned for fishing with huge catches of Bream, Flathead, Whiting, Luderick, Tailor and Trevally being made in season. Numerous Mulloway have been caught here. A few kilometres to the west of the bar an area known locally as Lew's Folly, produces large quantities of bream and flathead in season
Jumpinpin Bar has always been notoriously dangerous, but it s got a lot worse, sand build up over the past 12 months has made it almost un-passable in all but the calmest of conditions. Many now wonder if it will ever recover or if it will revert to its original state non existent. During Australia s early settlement years in the late 1800s, North and South Stradbroke Islands did not exist, Stradbroke was one sand island that stretched from South Passage Bar to the Gold Coast Broadwater. There is however, ecological evidence to suggest the Jumpinpin Bar may have formed and silted up many times over the past million years. The most recent breakthrough is attributed to a combination of nature and human intervention.
Couran Cove Island Resort is an Ecotourism island resort on South Stradbroke Island. Unique in its waterfront location, Couran Cove Island Resort is surrounded by native bush, rainforest and beautiful beaches. It is geared towards offering an active family holiday or a quiet island escape for couples and friends. Guests have the option of hotel rooms and self-contained units suited for up to 8 persons. The Marine Accommodation is perched over the lagoon and marina, an array of architect designed options all with panoramic water views of the marina, lagoon or broadwater.
About Moreton Bay
Moreton Bay, to the east of the city of Brisbane and its suburbs, is very much the city's playground, a wide expanse of relatively calm water dotted with many surprisingly unspoilt islands of different sizes and varying character. The bay extends some 160 km from Caloundra in the north almost to Surfers Paradise in the south.
The bay's southern navigation entrance is the Gold Coast Seaway. It is a haven for wildlife - spotting dolphins, whales, turtles and manta rays, and its vast array of birdlife is a popular pass time. The bay's heritage protected wetlands, mudflats, and waterways are some of the healthiest in the region, supporting seasonally up to 25 percent of Australia's bird species. Moreton Bay is also a popular destination for recreational anglers and is used by commercial operators who provide seafood to market. A number of ferry and water-taxi services travel over the bay either to and from islands or on day and half-day sightseeing and fishing tours.