Walking on Straddie with Maddie

It started out with Maddie wanting to go to Straddie….

Maddie was Swedish, in high school, and on an student exchange to experience Aussie culture, language, and the few contemporary traditions, we Australians have. She wanted to see Straddie, aka Stradbroke Island, a secluded beach paradise off the coast of north eastern Australia. This is how we came to meet Bill, but more about that later.

As Australians are oft to shorten names, Stradbroke Island is affectionately called Straddie, even though it’s name has anything but humble beginnings, being named as it was, after the British Lord of Stradbroke.

Aboriginal communities have long existed on Straddie, as has a plethora of wildlife and flora, including the much-loved koala, kangaroo and ‘Gin–gin,’ otherwise known as a Grass tree.

Add to this, miles of pristine white sandy surf beaches, and you have a swimming meccas for locals, and occasionally, sharks.

“Maddie” wanted to see “Straddie”, so we booked in at the Backpacker’s  Manta lodge, situated just a few kilometres back from the famous Point Lookout, and took an early morning ferry to Dunwich. This was actually called the ‘Flyer’ and the fare also included the bus to our lodge, which has a convenient timetable that coincides with the arrival of the ferries.

The beach from the porch of the Manta Backpackers Lodge

 Desperately hoping the name Adder Rock was not synonymous with the highly venomous snake, the Death Adder, we arrived at Manta lodge, an accredited scuba dive centre and above average Backpackers in a 4 share room. This backpacker is in an excellent location, step outside and you are on the beach, also reasonably close to Point Lookout by road, but we chose to walk along the beach for the scenic journey over the rocks and beach verges.

Stradbroke Island Adder Rock
4WD vehicles are permitted on the beach here
Gunter’s point where perhaps a German tourist was not careful enough?

If you visit Stradbroke and stay here, I would caution you that the beach trail to Point Lookout takes over an hour, and we found later that it is more direct to take the road, or catch the bus, but, of course, it was a lot less scenic. You can also find toilets along the way at Cylinders beach Caravan Park and a small shop and Post Office. We ever saw a Beach wedding taking place. High Heels in the sand… can you imagine the difficulties???

A nice diversion along the way is the Point Lookout Hotel, good for a hearty/ liquid lunch, or refreshment, or two… the view from there is simply amazing, from anywhere in the hotel. After we were suitably refreshed, we continued on, exploring the headland at Point Lookout, named by Captain Cook as he sailed along the East Coast in 1770.

The views from Point Lookout afford amazing views along Thirty Mile Beach…..or or was it Sixty MileBeach…. plenty of it anyway!   Take the Gorge walk for a long and very scenic view of this cove and the turbulent surf hitting the headland in front of the Surf club and you will see views like this….

As for amenities, Point Lookout has a number of eateries to suit a variety of palettes.  You will find a small collection of avant-garde gift and boutique fashion shops. Their opening times are various, but you could be lucky. One that caught my eye seem so ‘Straddie’…. laid back…. not always open and simple but good… the Fresh local Seafood shop called “The Prawn Shack.”

But this is where Bill comes in, our local tour guide – the quiet achiever Bill who would take us on a 4 hour 4WD tour of the Island.

As I am linking to Restless Jo’s Monday Walks,  I will talk more about Bill’s fabulous adventures in another post.

Some Walking with Restless Jo on her Monday walks – lots to Ponder About

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33 thoughts on “Walking on Straddie with Maddie

  1. I have a long-time friend who moved back to Australia from Dallas, Texas about 10 years ago. He’s originally from England, but had lived in Australia so long that he considered it more of a home. I told him Australia is one of the (many) places I hope to visit in my lifetime. I don’t care if just about everything there is poisonous! I still want to drop by for a couple of weeks, or a couple of months!

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    1. You definitely should Alexjandro. Don’t be put off coming to Australia. There’s not that many things here that can kill you. After all I’ve lived here for a long time and I’ve survived!! But it is a big, big country so you have to visit for at least 3 weeks to see enough to get an impression. And there is always friends to visit too.

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    1. It is pretty special and pretty close to the city except for The ferry ride. The reason why it is so unspoilt is that residents keep refusing an offer to build a bridge from the mainland and as such it stays fairly underdeveloped and pristine.

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    1. Yes we are a bit lazy with our speech sometimes but it seems to have become a linguistic dialect of sorts in a country without dialects!! Pretty funny, hey? I remember posting something about it a while back. It is under the title: She’ll be right. I can’t add the link in here for you atm but if you wanted to read it you can search for the title in the search bar.

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  2. I love that Aussies shorten the full names to cuter version, like Tassie 😀 When I was growing up, we had an Australian volunteer and a family friend at the school I went to. He was a very cool guy but I never understood him. I didn’t understand him until I was 15 years old, due to the accent..
    Straddie sounds beautiful! Was it possible to swim there? Looks like the tides might be strong.. ‘The Prawn Shack’ sounds very tempting.. What a beautiful country Australia seems like!

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    1. Thank you Pooja. Straddie is a island paradise and yes it is absolutely possible to swim there. I have!! And many people swim and surf there. There was only ever one incident of a shark attack, as the beaches do not have the shark nets they have at the more popular beaches but that means you can also see dolphins and migrating whales in the water. If you don’t go too far out from the shore, it is safe to say you won’t meet a shark. Australian accents can be tricky to understand especially as we use so much slang and sometimes talk too quickly! But we are very friendly.

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    1. Oh you should Chris! It would make a nice stop on your trip! The car ferry is a tad expensive but it is worth it to be able to drive around the island enjoying the multitude of different beaches, villages and environments.

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    1. Yes, well we have such a lot of different dialects here in the U.K. So place names are said differently then in time those various names stick. It’s quite interesting actually- hey maybe even a future blog post 👍

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    2. That sounds good. It would be fun for me to read. Often times people are amazed when I tell them we have no English speaking dialects/different accents here. Must be because we are a relatively young country. The aboriginal peoples have many different dialects/languages.

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    3. Yes. Language is a continually evolving thing yet in 200 years all of us here in Australua have evolved in the same way, linguistically. I sensed the same in New Zealand amongst the English speaking population. Again the Maori have their own tribal languages.

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  3. What a wonderful bit of coastline, Amanda! Rather takes me back to where I’ve just been, and here I am trying to acclimatise to English skies again. 🙂 🙂 Many thanks for joining me and sorry for the delay in getting here.

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