South Stradbroke Island
South Stradbroke Island is a sand island which remains fairly undeveloped. Once joined to its near neighbour, North Stradbroke Island, the islands were split apart in the 1890s when a storm forced a channel between the two.
South Stradbroke Island is the smaller island, some 22 km long and about 2.5 km wide at its widest point. It is accessible via a ferry which departs from Runaway Bay marina, about 9 km north of Surfers Paradise, or by water taxi.
South Stradbroke Island offers a rather different style of Gold Coast holiday. Here there are no high-rise buildings, no all-night nightlife. Instead there is just an opportunity to relax amongst the natural and undeveloped beauty of the bush. In fact, many visitors come to the island to escape from the stresses of a traditional Gold Coast holiday!
Covered by tropical bushland, the island offers the contrast between the calm, protected waters of the western beaches, and the sand dunes and surf of the eastern beaches. The waters off the western side of the island are ideal for swimming and watersports. The beaches on the eastern side are great for surfing. There are many bushwalks on the island, taking in secluded beaches, ocean views and abundant forest.
The island is home to a variety of wildlife, including the Golden Wallaby, which is not found anywhere else. South Stradbroke Island is one of the few places on the east coast where you can watch the sun rise and set over water.
Photo courtesy of Queensland Tourism.