Every time we receive new visitors in Brisbane, I want them to visit Minjerribah (Stradbroke Island), one of the best islands near Brisbane. Straddie, as many locals call it, is easy to access from Brisbane and has a lot to offer. It is the perfect escape when our time is limited. The things to do on Stradbroke Island are perfect Australian cliches for international visitors, and the great climate and space will seduce the domestic visitors. In summary, everybody will love Minjerribah (Stradbroke Island).
Travelling along Australia’s East Coast? Check out this itinerary for nature lovers!
Things to do on Minjerribah (Stradbroke Island)
Minjerribah has a lot of Australian must-do concentrated in a tiny area. It’s one of the best places to see wildlife in Australia. These are the reasons why I always our visitors to visit Minjerribah:
1. Visit Minjerribah to spot koalas
From the moment you arrive on the island, keep your eyes open and always look up towards the trees. There are many wild koalas on Minjerribah and your chance to spot one is high. Every time I saw one, it was resting in a tree just near the road on the way to the north of the island, less than 5 minutes after leaving the ferry. There are a few around the cemetery.
2. Visit Minjerribah to spot wild kangaroos
The best place to spot wild kangaroos is at Point Lookout, while on the beautiful North Gorge coastal walk. Keep your eyes open and don’t always look at the sea: kangaroos are often relaxing or eating on the other side of the path.
You can also spot them just before starting the walk, on the grass patch in front of the ice cream shop (perfect, isn’t it?), with a beautiful view of Frenchman’s Bay behind them.
3. Visit Minjerribah to spot turtles and other marine animals from the shore
The view from the magnificent cliffs of the Point Lookout Walk is breathtaking. Not only is it beautiful, but it is also a perfect place to spot turtles and many other marine animals depending on the season: manta rays, dolphins, whales, sharks…
4. Visit Minjerribah to enjoy an Australian beach escape experience
Going to the beach is the most obvious activity among the things to do on Minjerribah. For foreigners, Australia‘s never-ending empty white-sand beaches are impressive. Minjerribah is perfect for experiencing the beach escape: 4WD tracks head to the beach where you can set up your camp to spend the night.
If you don’t have a 4WD, there are kilometres of unspoilt beach that you’ll have just for yourself if you’re lucky or to share with very few people if you are visiting during a peak period.
Beach views on Straddy are breathtaking. The Point Lookout Gorge Walk is a must-do. Don’t miss the view of Frenchmans Bay when you start the walk. Cylinders Beach is beautiful – and the restaurant at the top offers a very nice view.
5. Visit Minjerribah to see dolphins from very close for an unforgettable sunset
A pod of three dolphins visit Amity Point jetty almost every day at the end of the afternoon. They are wild dolphins but very used to interacting with humans, so you’ll have a chance to get very close to them from the jetty. Signs say it’s forbidden to feed them. Feeding wild animals isn’t good for them so I feel more comfortable there rather than on Moreton Island.
The story I was told is that locals from Straddie had been feeding them for years, but the interdiction was decided when the resort on the nearby Moreton Island started to monetise it for tourism purposes. It is their way to limit the number of dolphins being fed so doing that on Minjerribah is now forbidden.
6. Visit Minjerribah to dive or snorkel with manta rays or leopard sharks
A list of things to do on Minjerribah wouldn’t be complete without mentioning scuba diving as it’s one of the best scuba diving sites on Australia’s east coast. When the weather is good, you can also inquire if a boat is going out for snorkelling. They provide all the equipment so you don’t need to have your own scuba diving or snorkelling gear to enjoy the underwater beauty of the island.
Diving with the huge manta rays is a sensational experience. I wrote a full article about it. If you missed the season, it’s still a great diving spot. You might be lucky to be there when the beautiful leopard sharks are around. There are many other types of rays to see (guitar sharks, eagle rays…), as well as turtles, wobbegongs, clownfish, porcupinefish, octopuses, shrimps and many other colourful marine life!
Do you find scuba diving scary? I know the feeling. I have now done more than 200 dives, so I’ve shared my experience about overcoming my fear of scuba diving in this article; I hope it can help!
What about you? What are your favourite things to do on Minjerribah (Stradbroke Island)?
Tips to plan your trip to Minjerribah (Stradbroke Island)
If you don’t want to organise anything, you can book online a day tour from Brisbane*.
I like staying overnight and spending a full weekend on Straddie. I usually choose to camp: it’s fun and cheap. But you can also upgrade: there are glamping options available or cabins with beach views.
If you don’t like camping, I recommend staying near Point Lookout. There are many accommodation options available. I once rented an apartment for three couples at Whale Watch Resort* and we had a lovely stay.
For budget accommodation, check out Manta Lodge*. It’s super close to the beach and they also host the dive shop.
Where is Minjerribah (Stradbroke Island)?
It takes 45 minutes to go by boat to Minjerribah from Cleveland, a suburb in the south of Brisbane in Queensland. From Brisbane CBD, you need to allow about two hours to reach Stradbroke Island.
You can board with a car or go as a walk-in passenger. The buses on the island are conveniently aligned with the ferry timetable. The island is quite big, so a car is the best option to visit Minjerribah if you lack time. If you go there for scuba diving, the Manta Lodge* will organise transport for you.
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