Exploring the North Stradbroke Island

The waters surrounding Brisbane are scattered with picturesque islands that are alive with wildlife and incredible scenery. North Stradbroke Island, also known as ‘Straddie’, is one of the more popular islands, sitting snug in Moreton Bay just 30 kilometres from the coast of Brisbane.

Here, sprawling lakes meet lush mangrove forests, while native flora and fauna thrive on the expansive beaches and in the surrounding ocean. Animal lovers will enjoy the incredible array of species, while the landscape provides a beautiful backdrop to explore against.

There are five main beaches on Stradbroke, each of which boast a great selection of activities, from fishing and surfing, to water sports and relaxing. The surrounding rock pools are home to numerous critters, but it is the marine life of Stradbroke that draws in most visitors.

The waters surrounding Stradbroke Island show an eclectic and vibrant display of the area’s stunning wildlife. Whales and dolphins mix with ancient turtles and dugongs, while colourful species of fish flit in and out of the reefs and corals that flank the shores.

Diving and snorkelling are popular activities in Moreton Bay, simply because of the vast array of species you can spot below the water’s surface.

North Stradbroke Island

The Sea Life of Stradbroke Island

The bay and waters that surround North Stradbroke Island are home to no less than six of the world’s seven species of marine turtles. These centuries-old creatures glide effortlessly through the water, basking in the warmer shallows and nesting on the collection of pristine beaches.

Spring marks the start of breeding season, where the turtles come ashore to lay their eggs. When they’ve hatched, the baby turtles find their way to the sea to start explorations of their own.

Elsewhere in the waters, you can marvel at the stunning collection of fish species. Dip below the water’s surface, and you’ll be exposed to a magical world of exotic and native species.

If you’re looking for larger marine species, keep your eyes peeled for whales, dolphins, and dugongs that bask in the shallows around Stradbroke Island.

Stradbroke Island is famed for its extensive array of unique and wonderful wildlife species, many of which prefer the warm, shallow waters of the island to the rougher seas off the coast of the mainland.

Top Things to Do on North Stradbroke Island

1. Explore the Wildlife

The wildlife on Stradbroke Island is second to none. Each type of animal is nestled in their own habitat, and if you know where to look you’ll be spotting them all day. Throughout the island you can spot kangaroos on the North Gorge walk, koalas resting up the high trees, and even dolphins that come right up close to Amity Point’s popular jetty.

2. Whale Watching

Continuing on the wildlife vibe, you can also catch a glimpse of the whale migration as it takes place between June and November. Grab one of the many vantage points between Cylinder Beach and North Gorge and keep your eyes peeled for these magnificent creatures.

3. Get to Know the Cultural Heritage

North Stradbroke Island boasts a fascinating cultural heritage, and you can dive into it on a tour with a local Aboriginal guide. While on the walk, you can learn about the Quandamooka people, their artefacts, including the traditional hunting methods they use, and the range of bush medicines they produce. Salt Water Murris’ Art Gallery at Dunwich has a huge range of local Aboriginal art, illustrating how gifted these local people are.

4. Scuba Diving

Explore the spectacular marine life off Stradbroke Island with a spot of scuba diving. Scuba diving is very popular here, listed as Straddie’s must-do adventures. In summer, visibility is around 15-20 metres, so make the most of the clear waters and the life it holds. For the best experiences, head to Shag Rock or Flat Rock to see the Manta Ray pod, leopard sharks, ancient turtles, and hundreds of species of colourful fish.

5. Take a Stroll

Getting to know Stradbroke Island by foot is one of the best ways to discover everything it has to offer. The most popular walk, the North Gorge Walk, takes you 1.2 kilometres around the island, where you can soak up views of the rocky outcrops and the ocean. Keep your eyes peeled for sea creatures, like dolphins, manta rays, and the occasional shark.

North Stradbroke Island really does have a little something for everyone. There are many ways you can experience what’s on offer, too, from boat trips out into the depths of the ocean, to snorkelling, scuba diving, and simply watching the action from the safety of the shoreline.

If you’re in the area in winter, be sure to keep a look out for the whale migration, which really is one of the best things the island has to offer.

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