Call me naive but I was completely unaware that you could take a ferry with your vehicle + caravan over to Stradbroke Island and camp. I always assumed you flew and it was a tourist island only. Stradbroke Ferries has grown to become the largest marine operator in Moreton Bay, with seven vehicle ferries and one water taxi which make it super easy and quick to get over to Stradbroke. We arrived at the well sign posted Cleveland terminal which clearly directed you through the check in lane, making life easy for first time travellers like us, knowing exactly where we were suppose to be.
Stradbroke Ferries are open for business 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The staff in the office tell you exactly where to park your car after you purchase your ticket for a smooth transition onto the Ferry. They also answer any questions that you may have. The ladies provided a range of information and brochures about the islands and what to expect upon arrival.
Once your car is parked in the numbered loading bays, you can jump out of your car and enjoy a coffee in the cafe. There are also public toilets, so arriving early is advised for a stress free trip. We had a very good run to the terminal and arrived over an hour early, where we planned on just waiting for our ferry, however the amazing staff managed to get us on the Ferry leaving an hour earlier than we were supposed to, which meant more time on Straddie!!!
Below is a picture of the ferry we boarded, with all of them having lovely artwork on the outside of them. Once we boarded we loved every second of this experience, especially explaining to the kids how this barge transports cars and vans over to an island. Pricing for the ferry is extremely reasonable and can be found here.
We boarded our ferry where we were guided by the helpful staff on board, parking where directed to. This whole experience was amazing and exciting for Chris and I so I can only imagine how exciting it was for the kids.
Once onboard we moved up to the top decks of the ferry. We waved goodbye to Brisbane for a few days and enjoyed a coffee and banana bread from the onboard cafe, which sells a huge variety of very well priced drinks, meals and snacks.
The whole ferry ride takes approx 45 minutes with staff directing you to your vehicle before the ferry stops so that you can alight from the ferry as soon as it reaches the island. This process flowed so smooth with no waiting time, meaning those cars waiting to come back to the mainland could also board straight away too. We then drove onto the beautiful Stradbroke Island to begin our holiday and after the ease and excitement of the ferry ride, we already had such a positive and happy feel that we knew this was going to be a great holiday stopover.
We drove directly from the ferry terminal at Dunwich up to the North Western tip of the island to a place called Amity Point. The weather was amazing, the beaches were beautiful and the overall feel / vibe was relaxing and positive. It is easy to see why Straddie is known as the place where ‘Summer Never Ends’.
Stradbroke Island has many amazing lookouts and the most picturesque walk we have ever seen – The North Gorge Walk. Wow, Wow, Wow is the only way to describe this walk. It’s a great way to see whales, dolphins and other sea life and the bonus is it can easily be walked with kids! We find a lot of the beautiful walks we have been to are too far or too difficult for kids. It’s approxiately 1km around the cliffs of Straddie with numerous lookouts and seating located along the way and the sights are simply breathtaking.
What better way to reward yourself after a walk like this than with some milkshakes! Directly located at the end of the North Gorge Walk are numerous shops and cafes so we all sat down and enjoyed some yummy milkshakes once we had finished.
Stradbroke Island has the most beautiful wildlife with the best bit being that they obviously feel relaxed / tame enough to be around visitors to the island. We were lucky enough to have a dolphin swim right up to the end of the jetty located at Amity Point, only 100 metres from our caravan. It was almost as if it was playing with us and swam around for about an hour chasing fish right in front of us. There were also numerous families of ducks with very small ducklings walking around the park, lizards, a huge variety of bird species and numerous Koalas. We even had a koala walk through our caravan site in the middle of the day to change the tree it was in. Watching the Koala jump from limb to limb in the tree is honestly something none of us have ever experienced and it was just amazing to watch.
Stradbroke Islands has friendly staff, beautiful beaches, enjoyable and scenic walks that make a holiday enjoyable for all ages. We are so incredibly thankful to Stradbroke Ferries and their amazing staff for providing the service they do to allow travelling families like us the opportunity to experience this amazing place. It is a very cost-effective way of travelling to what feels like paradise in another country, without the stress, cost and time spent on flights and other related services. We LOVED our time on Straddie and are so thankful that we took the time to experience it.
Our time on Stradbroke came to and end this afternoon, catching the ferry back to the Cleveland terminal to continue our adventure back towards Newcastle. We had the most amazing time and feel that this was one stop off on our Australian adventure that I will remember for a life time! This is not Goodbye Straddie, this is see you later, as we will 100% be coming back!!!