Read on to find out why North Stradbroke Island with kids should be high on your Queensland bucket list.
This is a guest post from Louis from Outdoor Explorer. A lover of all things outdoors, Louis writes about camping and hiking over at his site, Outdoor Explorer. You can also see what he’s up to on YouTube and Facebook.
Passing through South East Queensland and looking for something unique to do with the family? Why not try an island getaway?
North Stradbroke Island (known by the locals as Straddie) is the second largest sand island in the world, and is absolutely packed with fun activities for all ages! It’s also surprisingly accessible, thanks to the hourly vehicle ferries which depart from Brisbane.
Let’s take a look at the top 5 things best activities when visiting North Stradbroke Island with kids!
North Gorge Walk on North Stradbroke Island
An absolutely unmissable part of North Stradbroke Island is the North Gorge Walk. A long meandering boardwalk which makes its way around the Point Lookout headland, this walk gives you absolutely spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean.
Feel the power of the waves as they crash into the rocky coast, while keeping your eyes peeled for marine life in the waters below. I often see turtles swimming lazily around the headland, as well as pods of dolphins frolicking amongst the waves!
If you go at the right time of year (late May to early November) you can even spot whales migrating up and down the coast. If you are lucky, you might see the odd one breach the surface! Truly a spectacular sight.
Kangaroos are sometimes lazing under the pandanus trees adjacent to the walk, so keep an eye out for them too!
All told, the walk only takes about 30 minutes, so it’s suitable for kids as well as adults. The kids will love spotting wildlife along the way.
Go For A Swim
While you’re in Point Lookout, do yourself a favour and check out Straddie’s truly world class beaches. Two of the best are Main Beach and Cylinder Beach.
These are fantastic spots, with beautiful white sand stretching for miles off into the distance.
Unlike many of the smaller beaches on the island, these two beaches are both patrolled by lifeguards, so they are kid-friendly.
Visit Brown and Blue Lakes
Brown Lake and Blue Lake are two of the more intriguing places on the island. Both of them are freshwater lakes, sustained by underground perched aquifers.
The many Tea Trees adjacent to Brown Lake drop leaves into the water, which results in the water being stained brown (hence the name!). Despite this staining, the water is still perfectly clean and your skin or clothes won’t get dirty if you take a dip! It is accessible by car and is a popular place for a swim.
Blue Lake is accessible by a 45 minute walk (one way) from a car park off the main road running east-west across the island. Remember that you are walking over sand, so it can be tough work. Make sure that you bring plenty of water!
Remember that these lakes are not supervised by lifeguards, so keep a close eye on the little ones at all times!
Go Four Wheel Driving on North Stradbroke Island with Kids
Being a sand island, North Stradbroke Island has plenty of awesome 4WD trails for you to sink your teeth into. Before you get started, however, you will need to purchase a 4WD permit. A 1 month permit costs $53.65 at the time of writing.
Once you get a 4WD permit, you can access the many 4WD trails on the island, as well as the Main Beach camping area (4WD access only). It is very cheap to camp here compared to the rest of the island, and you’ll have stunning beach views right from your tent or swag.
There’s no power here however, so make sure that you bring your camping fridge stocked full of supplies!
Try Your Hand At Sandboarding on Straddie!
If you are up for a bit more adventure, why not try boarding down some of Straddie’s huge sand dunes!
While not the easiest thing in the world, it certainly is satisfying when you finally get the hang of it. Dave from Straddie Kingfisher Tours will pick you up from wherever you are on the island and take you directly to the dunes. He will also supply the sandboards and wax (essential when boarding on sand).
If you aren’t good enough to make it more than a few metres without falling over, you can instead go down the dunes toboggan-style – also a lot of fun! (we did this in Tin Can Bay too after feeding the wild dolphins)
North Stradbroke Island is one of my top recommendations for places to go in South East Queensland with kids. There are a ton of fun activities for all ages and I’m sure you’ll be able to make some memories to last a lifetime!
Why not give it a go when you’re next passing through the area?
Looking for more ideas in South East Queensland? Sunshine Castle was a great medieval find on the Sunshine Coast!