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North Stradbroke Island

Bask in all-day sunshine

Cylinder Beach, near the community of Point Lookout, is a photogenic cove with fine white sand that attracts families and paddlers; its soft, peeling waves appeal to surfers and body boarders. The patrolled beach is north-facing, which means it enjoys all-day sunshine along with glorious views over to neighbouring Moreton Island.

See migrating humpbacks

Like to see some spectacular whale action while standing on solid ground? Skip the motion of the ocean that comes with whale watching cruises and head to Point Lookout with a pair of binoculars between late May and early November. Straddie is near Australia’s “humpback highway” – the route taken by whales migrating between their feeding and breeding grounds. Humpbacks are known for their extroverted “breaching” behaviour, which includes leaping out of the water and rolling in the air.  

Visit Brown and Blue lakes

Brown Lake and Blue Lake are the two largest and most sacred lakes on the island. Indigenous Australians believe the lakes are home to a giant carpet snake spirit. Brown Lake (the pure rainwater is stained brown by native tea trees) is 3.5 kilometres (2 miles) from Dunwich. To reach Blue Lake, continue past the Brown Lake turn-off to the Blue Lake entrance in Naree Budjong Djara National Park and hike to the lake through woodlands. 

Walk the North Gorge

At Point Lookout, get a bit of a workout by following the North Gorge walk that traces up, down and around the rocky headlands, showcasing a spectacular narrow gorge. Pandanus palms frame stunning coastal views that, at the right time of year, might include migrating humpback whales.

Stay and snap the wildlife

Straddie is packed with accommodation options ranging from campsites to hotels and resorts. At Cylinder Beach, the Stradbroke Island Beach Hotel and Spa Resort, formerly the Straddie Pub until a head-to-toe makeover in 2006, offers hotel rooms and apartments for those who prefer to self cater. Nearby, The Islander Holiday Resort offers apartments, along with the chance to spy Straddie’s resident kangaroos, koalas and kookaburras.

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