North Stradbroke Island

North Stradbroke is the largest of Moreton Bay's islands, covering 27 530 hectares. Affectionately referred to as "Straddie", the elongated sand island of North Stradbroke shields much of the southern part of Moreton Bay and the smaller islands from the ocean swells.

The permanent population the island is quite small, but the number of people on the island swells significantly during the holiday season. There is no bridge to the island and the only access is by vehicular or passenger ferries leaving from Cleveland.

There are three townships on the island. Dunwich is the largest and has most of the island's services including a school, medical centre, local museum and university marine research station. Point Lookout (referred to locally as 'the point') is on the surf side of the island and is the major tourist destination in the holiday season. The third is Amity Point which is much smaller and a popular fishing spot on the island. Flinders Beach is a small settlement of mostly holiday houses located on the main beach between Amity and Point Lookout.

North Stradbroke Island is known for its long clean white beaches in the east, its peacefulness due to a long isolation and its rich diversity of nature varying from whales passing Point Lookout to the many wild orchids in the interior of the island.

The island has numerous freshwater lakes including; Ibis Lagoon, Black snake Lagoon, Welsby Lagoon, Lake Kounpee, Brown Lake and the beautiful Blue Lake situated in Blue Lake National Park. There are a number of man made (mining) water bodies including the Key Hole Lakes, Yarraman Lake, Herring Lagoon and Palm Lagoon. In some areas there are extensive swamplands such as the long Eighteen Mile Swamp and another behind Flinders Beach. Other notable features of the island include Adder Rock between Amity and Point Lookout and on the southern tip of the island is Swan Bay and an area of very large sand dunes.

The island is managed and administered by the North Stradbroke Island Water Resource Coordination Group and the Department of Natural Resources and Water.

Straddie is located on the outer edge of Brisbane's Moreton Bay, and a variety of whales pass close by this Queensland island and shelter just off the many beaches and in Moreton Bay itself. After a brief rest the Humpbacks, Southern Wright and occasionally Blue Whales move on to their Hervey Bay and Whitsunday breeding grounds.

Beaches

Main Beach stretches for 32kms of unspoilt sand, dunes and surf. It is popular with board riders and body surfers who enjoy the big swells. The waves are large and powerful and the views are spectacular. Although Main Beach is patrolled it often has strong currents and rips to go with its big swells. The headland at Point Lookout overlooking Main Beach is the best vantage point for watching the surfing action and spotting dolphins and whales in season.

Cylinder Beach is a picturesque cove between Cylinder and Home Beach Headlands. It is popular with families because it is easily accessible with a carpark situated only metres from the beach. The waves at Cylinder are often smaller and therefore it is perfect for sun bathing and swimming during good weather conditions.


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Deadman's Beach and Frenchman's Beach are secluded spots, nestled between North Gorge and Cylinder Beach. These beaches are great places to explore the rock pools where you can see small fish, anemones, shells and crabs. Adder Rock Beach is accessed through a 4WD track next to Adder Rock campground. This beach provides an attractive spot for swimming, and is popular with campers and four wheel drivers.

Flinders Beach is 4.6 kms of beach situated between Amity Point and Point Lookout. Flinders Beach has foreshore camping and is accessible by 4WD only from Amity Point and Point Lookout.

Amity Point and Dunwich are on the sheltered west side of the island and have sandy beaches and calm water for swimming and great fishing. Amity and Dunwich both have swimming enclosures however these beaches are not patrolled.

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 % 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.

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