Another great riding idea from Andrew, one of our EBB E-Bike specialists. Stradbroke Island is one of the world's largest sand islands and is easily accessible by e-bike. If you fancy an interesting and fun week-end away or want to squeeze in an adventurous day trip then read on.
Brisbane is blessed to have the world’s largest sand islands situated just off its coastline. Stradbroke Island (or "Straddie" as it’s known") is easily accessible and has beautiful sealed roads to get around on.
The departure point to get to the island is in the suburb of Cleveland where you board the Stradbroke Island ferry.
The vehicle ferry leaves on the hour and bikes are carried for free, so all it costs for a return ticket is $16. Tickets are purchased online and you can choose when you want to travel, just show up at the ferry and you can go on. The trip from Cleveland to the little township of Dunwich on the island takes 45 minutes.
Top Tip: Book your ferry ticket in advance: see Stradbroke Ferries
The departure point for Straddie is in the suburb of Cleveland which is an easy 60 minute ride from my home. This was a great start to the day and also meant I could ride there with all my camping gear without the hassle of loading a car up and finding a park.
I arrived on Straddie at 9.45am and decided to let the cars on the ferry dissipate before hitting the road. Morning tea at Dunwich overlooking the mighty Straddie Sharks home ground hit the spot.
By 10.15 I was ready to get moving and with no time restriction I was happy just cruising along East Coast Rd with just the odd car passing me. The road was excellent for cycling with wide, clean shoulders and plenty of room for cars to pass with lots of beautiful beach and bushland vistas.
I stopped at Myora Springs, a natural water source for local wildlife and a place of great cultural significance to the local indigenous population.
Further up the road I took a detour to the little town of Amity Point on the north west side of the island. The road narrowed somewhat so greater care was needed with approaching traffic, but there were enough spots to stop in order to take in the sites of the wonderful native flora – banksia, grass trees, scribbly gum among others covered the unspoilt landscape.
After Amity Point I backtracked towards East Coast Rd and the last few k’s towards Point Lookout and my camp for the night at Cylinder Beach. The campground is located right behind the beach and my “premium unpowered tent site” afforded me great views of the water.
After setting up the tent, I headed up to Point Lookout for some fish n chips. Amazing how good they tasted sitting on the cliff top watching the surfers and the whales.
After a restful night I woke to crystal clear skies again and a visit from some local wildlife. However, the wind had also picked up overnight promising to make riding conditions a little more challenging. Thank heavens for the little assistant I have hiding in my Riese & Muller Delite cranks!
I started the day the best way I know, with a walk along the beautiful beach and a dip in the surf before breakfast.
After breakfast, I left camp and headed back to Point Lookout and one of Straddie’s best known attractions, the North Gorge Walk. With the clear skies and pumping surf, the gorge was at its spectacular best. As well as affording great views of the gorge, the walk also tracks along the northern end of main beach, offering expansive views to the southern end of the island.
I headed back to camp to pack up before making the journey towards Dunwich. The trip back was largely uneventful except for the strengthening wind doing everything to knock me off the bike.
A stopover at the historic Dunwich cemetery provided a welcome rest. It is one of the earliest surviving cemeteries in Queensland with burials dating back to 1847 when Dunwich was a gazetted quarantine station.
My aim for today was to be on the mid afternoon barge to get home so after a quick bite at the Dunwich bakery I then headed east along Alfred Martin Way to the famous Brown Lake. This is an icon due to it being a freshwater lake formed by the water table coming to the surface, and the tannins from the local teatrees impacting its colour.
I didn’t know what to expect and sometimes that’s best isn’t it? Brown Lake was beautiful and a great place to conclude the trip. I spent a couple of hours swimming, sunning and reflecting on the previous couple of days. The lake was protected from the prevailing wind which made it even more serene.
I left the lake just after 2pm vowing to be back soon. Next stop was Dunwich and with impeccable timing rode straight on to the ferry back to Cleveland. I was hoping for a relaxing trip back but with the ferry sailing straight into a stiff westerly I spent the whole trip standing and supporting the bike. Moreton Bay demonstrated what it was capable of when conditions turn wild.
North Stradbroke Island is a wonderful place to explore by bicycle. I chose to do an overnight stay and could easily have relaxed there for a few more days. It offers accommodation and food options to suit all tastes. However, if your time is limited it’s also perfectly suitable for a single day adventure.
For more riding ideas see Andrew's 5-day trip around Murwillumbah and Mt Warning.
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