North Stradbroke Island is an idyllic beach paradise with pristine wilderness areas and charming pockets of civilisation to enjoy.
|Grading||May need high clearance; suitable for towing camper trailer|
Half to full day
|Distance||53km, Dunwich return
|37.5km, Point Lookout to Dunwich (via Main Beach & Tripod Track)|
|Facilities||Dunwich, Amity, Point Lookout|
|Best time of year||All year|
|Warnings||Normal road rules apply. The speed limit on Flinders Beach is 40 km/h and on Main Beach is 60 km/h. 4WDs are not allowed on the beaches an hour either side of high tide: always check tide charts before beach driving. There is very soft sand in parts so lower tyre pressure to 16psi. Through access on Tripod Track depends on weather conditions – use at own risk.|
|Fees & permits||A vehicle access permit is required for the Minjerribah Recreation Area: fees apply. The permit must be attached to the left side of the vehicle's windscreen. It can be purchased online at Straddie Camping or in person at one of the Straddie Camping offices.
Stradbroke Ferries operate regular vehicular ferry services to Dunwich from Toondah Harbour at Cleveland.
|Important contacts||Straddie Camping Ph (07) 3409 9668, www.straddiecamping.com.au, Stradbroke Ferries Ph (07) 3488 5300, www.stradbrokeferries.com.au; QPWS, Department of National Parks, Sport and Racing Ph 13 74 68, www.npsr.qld.gov.au/parks|
Navigation & Maps
The 4WD route featured here includes both inland and coastal driving for variety. From Dunwich, head north on East Coast Rd. Just before the turnoff to Amity Point is an unmarked track at 10.5km. There are a few minor tracks leading into Tripod Track. Turn south off the East Coast Road and follow one of the two tracks until there is a larger track on your right: this is Tripod Track (you need to follow the track notes carefully as the entrance to Tripod Track is not signposted.)
This sandy, rather obscure track, climbs over what amounts to vegetated dunes. Due to recent rain we found the sandy track firm and easy to negotiate in 4WD with tyre pressures around 16psi. After a dry spell this track would become softer, and therefore more challenging. Periodic views of the ocean and impressive scribbly gum forest are the highlights of this delightful little trip. At 2.5km there is a sandy carpark and from here you can walk 200m up the hill to the Tripod Lookout for great views over Stradbroke Island.
Returning to your vehicle, keep driving past all the locked and blocked tracks until you reach the bitumen Alfred Martin Way (formerly Tazi Rd). Turn east and head to the beach.
Once on Main Beach you can choose to either head south to camp or north up towards Point Lookout. Remember to drop your tyre pressures. The drive along the beach is generally on firm sand and there are no creek crossings to worry about. That doesn’t mean going flat out though, as a 60km/h speed limit is enforced.
Before you get to the ‘no vehicle zone’ at the northern end of the beach turn off onto the beach access track then follow George Nothling Dr back to East Coast Rd at Point Lookout. Take some time to look around Point Lookout before returning to Dunwich along the sealed East Coast Rd.
Camping fees apply for all camping groups and beach camping areas in the Minjerribah Recreation Area. A tag with your booking number must be displayed at your campsite. Book online at Straddie Camping, or by phoning (07) 3409 9668.
|Camping area||Site details|
|Adams Beach||Ballow Rd, Dunwich. Powered & unpowered sites available.|
|Cylinder Beach||300 Dickson Way, Point Lookout. Powered & unpowered sites available.|
|Adder Rock||E Coast Rd, Point Lookout. Powered & unpowered sites available. Cabins.
|Amity Point||Basin Dr, Amity Point. Powered & unpowered sites available. Cabins. EcoShacks.
|Bradburys Beach||Flinders Ave, Dunwich. Powered & unpowered sites available.|
|Flinders Beach Foreshore||Multi-location sides on Flinders Beach. Unpowered sites only.
|Home Beach||80 East Coast Rd, Point Lookout. Powered & unpowered sites available.
|Main Beach Foreshore||Multi-location sides on Main Beach. Unpowered sites only.
Things to do
North Stradbroke Island is the largest of the three sandy islands to the east and north of Moreton Bay Marine Park. Although most of the Island is closed to the public, due to sand-mining activities, there are plenty of fabulous places for the holidaymaker to experience, with or without a 4WD.
Being so close to Brisbane, school holiday traffic is full-on so watch out for kids: and dogs too for that matter. The tailor fishing season (spring and summer) is also pretty hectic.
Whatever you do, don’t miss out on sunset at Cylinder Beach and Amity Point. And if you don’t mind an easy walk, do the Gorge Walk at Point Lookout for sensational rocky coastline featuring a fiord-like sea gorge and cliff top views where numerous humpback whales can be spotted in winter and spring.
There are plenty of designated beach camping sites for the self-sufficient that are accessed by sandy tracks off the beach. Be aware that high tides and waves can form steep cutaways, making access to some of these campsites challenging to say the least.
The southern section of beach, where North Stradbroke Island and South Stradbroke Island nearly meet, is particularly vulnerable at high tide. Absolutely do not attempt this section near high tide, to do so is nothing less than dangerous. At 38km, it is a quite lengthy beach run, so set out early and take particular note of the tide situation so you don’t get caught out.
If you fancy a bit more beach driving you can take the much shorter, but nevertheless spectacular, beach run of 7km along Flinders Beach. To get onto Flinders Beach, take the access from either the Flinders Beach township, Adder Rock or Amity Point. There are plenty of shady campsites along this beach.