Nature-based recreation like no other

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South Stradbroke may be the quiet achiever when compared to the more popular North Stradbroke Island but if it’s incredible beauty you are seeking then you’ll want this destination at the top of your holiday bucket list.

Nature is the entertainer - the sunsets are spectacular - but come prepared as camping on South Stradbroke is reserved for those with high levels of self-sufficiency.The island has limited commercial development and cars, apart from those owned by City of Gold Coast, are not permitted.

Three campgrounds surrounded by bushland provide options of tent accommodation (North and South Currigee Campgrounds and Tipplers Campground), huts which can sleep up to four people, or a six-person cabin at South Currigee Campground. Once you’ve unrolled your sleeping bag, the great outdoors await. Activities range from kayaking, snorkelling, bird watching, fishing, hiking, cycling and surfing. The island is about 22km long and 2.5km at its widest point and provides unlimited exploring opportunities.

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Sand dunes that change shape with the winds and tides can become a playground if you’re daring enough. A piece of cardboard can be used as a toboggan if you climb to the top of the dune and glide down - you’ll feel like a 10-year-old again!

There’s a specific beach to watch the sun go down and if you can get yourself to Sunset Beach there’s the promise of a bar which services cold drinks to go with the amazing views. However, seclusion can be addictive and if that’s the case then a simple campfire may be your evening choice.

For the safety of guests and the pristine island, campfires should only be lit in the fire rings provided, never left unattended and extinguished before you head for your sleeping bag. Firewood is available from the tourist park’s reception or kiosk.

Make your group comfortable with a campfire with no smoke.

A few steps to build it:

  • Place a tinder bundle in the middle of the fire ring. Above the bundle, form a teepee with some kindling, leaving an opening on the side the wind is blowing against (this will ensure the fire gets the air it needs and will blow the flames onto the kindling)
  • Continue adding kindling to the teepee, working your way up to pencil sized twigs.
  • Create a larger teepee structure around your kindling teepee with your fuel wood.
  • Place a match under the tinder.
  • Add more firewood as needed.

Stradbroke Island, or Minjerribah as it is also referred to, has been home to an indigenous population for more than 21,000 years. The Quandamooka people utilised much of the native flora in their diet - roasted fern roots ground down as flour for their cooking.

Today, 154 species of native plants are still found on South Stradbroke Island, according to the Healthy Waterways report released by Department of Environment and Science. There is said to be koalas on the island and you may even spot a green turtle, however this species population is listed as vulnerable on the island.

You will almost definitely see wallabies - both the Golden Swamp and Agile species. You’re free to explore as much or as little of the island’s flora and fauna as you can in the time you have available.

Campers are strongly encouraged to do their bit towards maintaining the distinct environment survives for another 21,000 years by recycling their bottles, cans and cardboard in the yellow-lid wheelie bins provided.

So, maybe it’s time to leave the busy city, hop on a boat and make your way over to the incredible beauty of South Stradbroke and have a nature-based recreation like no other.

Three campgrounds surrounded by bushland provide options of tent accommodation (North and South Currigee Campgrounds and Tipplers Campground), huts which can sleep up to four people, or a six-person cabin at South Currigee Campground.

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