Hopping on the ferry to North Stradbroke Island is an absolute delight, especially when it’s a long weekend and you’re going for the first time. We took off with some of the family to camp at Cylinder Beach and despite a slightly wet forecast, we had a wonderful weekend.
Set right next to Cylinder Beach at Point Lookout, the campsite offers both powered and unpowered sites. It’s worth noting that if you want a powered site you’ll be at the back of the campsite rather than beachfront, and that the non-powered sites have no parking available right next to your tent. The sites are generous in size and we had plenty of room for two tents and a van.
We knew there was some rain forecast for the Saturday so a large gazebo and some extra tarpaulin were essential to stay dry between downpours. Despite a damp start to our Saturday, we headed to the Gorge walk, located on Mooloomba Road before you get to the Point Lookout SLSC. This is an absolute must, and there’s plenty of wildlife to enjoy. The ocean views are stunning, and despite the rain, the walk was wonderful. We saw kangaroos up close and lots of different bird life.
We managed a dash to Cylinder Beach that afternoon for a quick swim before the storm hit and then hunkered down at the campsite for the remainder of the evening. The facilities on offer are perfectly adequate with hot showers, a large amenities block and plenty of space to do the washing up. There is not, however, a camp kitchen, only a toaster and kettle, so best to bring all that you need with you.
For the remaining two days of our stay, the sun shone and we swam and built sandcastles; we delighted in a sunset over the ocean on the Saturday night. For our final day on North Straddie, we hit Flinders beach. This is advertised as a 4WD drive only, which is true once you hit the beach. We don’t have a 4WD vehicle but we were able to drive down the track to the beach entrance in our van without much bother, and simply parked there. A note of caution, this beach is basically unsupervised and there are strong currents and large waves; we had to supervise the little ones carefully. Despite that, it was wonderful. Be mindful during busy times there can be a lot of beach traffic, with 4WDs whizzing up and down, but you can certainly see why.
We packed up and caught our afternoon ferry just as the last autumn sun was setting in the sky. It was such a beautiful afternoon we sat on the top deck of the ferry with a drink and watched the world go by. A lovely weekend of relaxation and fun and we only just scratched the surface when it comes to North Stradbroke Island!
Written by Charlotte Hall