South Stradbroke Island (Straddie)
South Stradbroke Island (or ‘South Straddie’ as the locals affectionately refer to it) is a rare sand island. If you want to escape the fast pace of everyday life and totally relax amongst natural, unspoilt beauty, South Stradbroke Island is the perfect place.
Easily accessible from the Gold Coast, South Stradbroke Island lies across the Broadwater from the North Gold Coast area. It is easily accessible by ferry, water taxi, boat, jet ski and even by surf board at the Seaway Spit area. It offers visitors the opportunity to experience the Gold Coast area in its natural beauty.
With ferry services from Runaway Bay Marina, just 20 minutes north of Surfers Paradise, day trips are also an easy option. Other Gold Coast departure options include Sanctuary Cove Marina and Marina Mirage at Main Beach.
A superb natural reserve rich in native flora and fauna, South Stradbroke Island offers calm inner waterways on one side, untouched native bushland in the centre, and on the other side, a pristine surf beach with hardly a soul in sight. The surf beach offers spectacular views of the beautiful Gold Coast, and you can often catch glimpses of humpback whales as they migrate north to breed from June through to late October.
On South Stradbroke Island you can take advantage of a variety of water sports such as surfing, sea kayaking, canoeing, windsurfing, parasailing, snorkelling, kite-surfing, beach and boat fishing, sailing and jet skiing.
South Stradbroke Island is home to the rare Golden Wallaby which is only found in this area and sightings are not uncommon. In fact they are friendly to humans and are also well known for stealing bread from tents and cabins, and joining campers at their fires at night. For this reason and the fact that the island is a conservation park, dogs and cats are not permitted on the island. Another enjoyable and unforgettable day is to watch the sun rise over the water in the east and set over the water in the west - one of the few places you can see this on the east coast of Australia.
There is a variety of accommodation offered on the island from short to long stays and includes apartments, houses, eco cabins and resorts. Located on the north side of South Stradbroke Island Resort is a private venue that hosts weddings and private functions. Camping is another possibility on the island but you will need to bring almost everything with you.
One of the most loved and best events on the island is the annual Currigee Cup, held each year on New Year,s Day. 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, and finishes up in various parties along the island. A sandcastle competition is held in the afternoon. The main award though is the ‘prestigious’ Currigee Cup, awarded to the most gallant crew, not necessarily the fastest.