Like many places I have visited, I have a passion of doing research on a particular area I am visiting. I not only learn about the history of a particular place but gives me an understanding of the area and the people before I set my foot on it. North Stradbroke island , an island off Brisbane city is a place happens to be one of them.
In brief history, Stradbroke island, also known as Minjerribah is a large sand island that formed much of the eastern side of Moreton Bay near Brisbane, Queensland until the late 19 century. Today the island is split into two by the Jumpin Channel. Archaeological evidence suggests the Quandamooka people lived on the island for at least 21,000 years prior to European settlement. In this beautiful and exotic locale, 70 year old Ted living comfortably for many years tells me that it was a traditional meeting place between the Quandamooka and the Nunukul and Gorenpul people. North Stradbroke is the more developed than South Stradbroke, with the three small townships of Dunwich, Amity Point and Point Lookout offering vacation rentals, shops and a range of eateries.
My trip to Stradbroke island began with a two hour Cleveland Line train ride to Cleveland from Brisbane city, to catch a ferry across to Stradbroke island. After disembarking the train, I caught a short 5 minutes bus ride to the ferry terminal where I purchased a returned ferry ticket for a 30 minutes ferry ride to Stradbroke island at the cost of $10 one way. I was very surprised to learn that this was an inexpensive ferry trip to North Stradbroke island for a day or even for a weekend getaway.
For any visitors to Stradbroke, the North Stradbroke island bus service operates in accordance with the train schedule to take passengers to and from the ferry terminal. Also, there are number of ferry companies that operates where you can choose from any of them depending on the time you’re ready to depart.
The short ferry ride was very pleasant without any rough waves and within few minutes I was about to disembark the ferry. As I stood off the ferry, I felt like I was walking onto some of the pristine islands I have visited on the Caribbean. Without a doubt, this tiny island off mainland Brisbane city was absolute delight experience. Like any visitors to a big city, we experienced the magical high lifestyle of big cities from neon lights to packed streets and cafes. Having witnessed and experienced this Brisbane city life, nothing was compared to what North Stradbroke Island had in store for me. This island was sure to delight. This place was going to be my short vacation getaway from the hustle and bustle of Brisbane city life.
Stradbroke island is absolutely beautiful and quite easy to get around the island. Here, I was welcomed by my driver which I arranged prior to my arrival on the island. The driver, who I knew him as Mr Ted was a local indigenous gentle men who was raised and lived on the island all his life.
During my travels to many places around the world, I always try to use locals as my guide/drivers as I personally believe that locals know better and always provide local information rather than what tourists want to hear. As locals say, when you set foot on Straddie, it means you go back in time – “Slowing Down”. I was about to get a local treat, an introduction to what the island has to offer.
The next day, my guide/driver -Ted drove me around the island through both low land and high level areas, where whales can be seen on shores. However, it is seasonal on whale watching. We explored, almost the full-length of the island – from jaw-dropping cliffs to beautiful views of the ocean and uncrowded and naked sandy beaches. It was absolutely breathtaking and views on every turn were just incredible. We ventured off into beaten tracks where only locals go camping or simply enjoying great outdoors and it is unknown to tourists as most of them are private access areas. This certainly not only enable me to explore the beauty of the place and the island but gave me a rare insight into the past, the present and the future. He showed me some of the scared sites where local indigenous do private ceremonies and dances on special occasions.
Just before we came to the end of my island tour, he took me to a lookout that over-looks out to the wide open blue ocean and the white sandy beaches that went for miles and miles away, totally untouched. It was absolutely beyond my imagination. I just totally felt in love with this island and the people.
The locals want to keep it the way they have been for years without any major tourism developments but sadly, many developers are creeping in at a very slow pace. This tiny island is so peaceful where everyone knows each other. It is so relaxing and you really need to visit the island to experience the welcomeness of the area. To me, this is a great destination for honeymooners and any travellers that want to indulge themselves in an environment where quietness, peacefulness, relaxation and stunning views of the ocean and beaches are experienced at the same time. I certainly did and will not be the last either.
It has been one of the rare moments in my travel plan to be standing on this beautiful island, just off Brisbane city certainly provided me with that ultimate, authentic and relaxing experience which has been too toxic to ignore. This place certainly has amazing wonderful spots with stunning views which gives you the chance to truly marvel at nature. These are some of the unique places on earth that are worth taking in.
For tourists and travellers, this is the perfect place to escape the routine of busy city life. You will certainly have that ultimate experience on this island of Straddie and it is worth visiting, even for a day trip.
From a personal perspective: For me travelling to big cities are quiet very similar in many ways – the night life, bustle and hustle of the city, the buildings, wining and dining, shopping and much more. However, there is a big contrast when visiting small islands and the difference in lifestyle is quite huge. The people are more friendly. You feel and experience the welcomeness and the friendliness of the people around you. This vibe of relaxing, quietness, exploring untouched environment and meeting local people keeps me going to visit and revisiting many more tiny islands around the world.
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