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
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.
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 & doofa
rides, kayaks, paddle boats, wallaby feeding, seaplane flights, sand
duning and wilderness eco tours. Ph. (07) 5532 2444.
The island has numerous quiet campsites. The western beaches are known
as quiet and lagoon-like and the eastern beaches are known as a
surfer’s paradise. There are numerous campsites such as an
anchorage for the Southport Yacht Club and Dux Campsite.
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.
View Larger Map
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.