|Trip Length: 3 days Total Distance: 82 km Road Conditions: Some unsealed roads|
Located on Brisbane's doorstep, North Stradbroke Island is one of Australia's natural treasures and the largest of Moreton Bay's islands, covering 27,530 hectares. Affectionately referred to as 'Straddie', this elongated sand island is the perfect place to take your 4WD for a bit of adventure, but never fear, you won't have to drive too far for an emergency latte!
You must obtain a vehicle permit before taking your 4WD on North Stradbroke Island's beaches. Remember to adjust your itinerary for variations in the tide and track conditions.
|Cleveland to Amity Point||1 hr 10 mins||22 kms|
|Amity Point to Point Lookout||1 hr||35 kms|
|Point Lookout to Cleveland||1 hr 45 mins||25 kms|
There are two vehicle barge services to North Stradbroke Island, both departing from Cleveland.
The ferries from the mainland arrive at Dunwich on the western side of North Stradbroke Island. This old settlement was first established in 1827 as a convict outstation.
You can also explore the history of the town by taking a free self-guided historical walk around Dunwich. The walk winds its way past convict relics and graves dating back to shipwrecks in the 1800s. The Dunwich Cemetery gives visitors a fascinating insight into the Island's past. Drop into the Information Centre for directions.
History buffs will enjoy a visit to North Stradbroke Island Historical Museum (Welsby Street, Dunwich). The museum provides an opportunity to learn about the history of North Stradbroke Island, from its Aboriginal history, to its shipwrecks during the 1800s and its current mineral sand mining industry. The Museum is open on Wednesday and Saturday from 10am to 2pm. Entry fee of $2.20 per person.
Myora Springs, 4km along East Coast Road on the way to Amity Point, is well worth a visit and has a grassy picnic area and swimming hole. Myora Springs is a pristine source of natural spring water surrounded by a small tropical forest.
Amity Point has the tranquil atmosphere of a small seaside fishing village. Trawlers still tie up at the jetty to offload the night's catch of fresh prawns, crabs and fish ready for the tables of local restaurants and shops.
For accommodation you can choose from camping, cabins or bungalows at Amity Point.
Begin the day with a drive to The Keyholes, a freshwater system of mysterious lakes and lagoons which stretch over 4.5 km. These lakes are home to the Island's massive open air aviary of more than 250 species of native birds. It is best to access The Keyholes with a 4WD vehicle from Fishermans Road, which runs east of East Coast Road approximately 3 km before Point Lookout. This location is suitable for swimming, canoeing and other water sports. There are no facilities at The Keyholes.
Spend the afternoon exploring Point Lookout. The best place to enjoy the magnificent view is along North Gorge Walk, a 20 minute trail that starts as a dirt track and turns into a wooden boardwalk offering breath-taking views across the steep cliffs of Queensland's most easterly point.
To the south of Point Lookout is Twenty-Two Mile Beach, if you decide to camp on the beach, remember a 4WD permit is necessary. Camping permits must be booked and purchased prior to arrival, and tent tags must be attached to tents. Alternatively, you can choose from a wide range of accommodation surrounding Point Lookout.
After enjoying a camp-side breakfast or a latte at one of the many cafes at Point Lookout, head back to Blue Lake National Park, which offers a quiet spot to appreciate the natural beauty of North Stradbroke Island and the perfect place to take a refreshing dip in Blue Lake, a magnificent, turquoise coloured lagoon.
To access Blue Lake, drive 8 km along the sealed Trans Island Road from Dunwich. Conventional vehicles must be left in the car park at the entrance to the park. 4WD vehicles can follow a sand track 2.5 km closer to the lake and walk the remaining 200 metres. There are no facilities or drinking water, so take everything you need for the morning.
Drive back to Dunwich to board your (pre-booked) ferry to Cleveland.
* Please note: These rates are indicative based on the minimum and maximum costs only. To obtain a firm price from the provider, please use the contact the operator. All prices are quoted in Australian dollars.
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