Thursday, 9 August 2012

Why didn't we go sooner?!

It is nearly a year since we moved to Brisbane, and with the beautiful days of endless sunshine we are having at the moment it seemed about time we visited Stradbroke Island, or 'Straddie' as its known here.  Our excuse for not visiting earlier was that we only just recently bought a car, now making the trip to the ferry much easier.  However, its surprising how it seems locals rarely, if ever, visit Straddie - my hairdresser confessed she has never been there, and she has lived in Brisbane for 30 years!

The early morning ferry ride across the calm bay from Cleveland was great, plenty of bird life around including of course some pelicans.

We hopped off the ferry and onto the local bus.  As soon as we were ready to go the driver asked 'so who would like to stop for a couple of minutes to see a koala?!' A resounding 'YES please'! The bus pulled up just down the road and we gathered round a tree to see this lovely little koala having a snooze.
At this time of year its perhaps a little cold to go in the water (unless you are from northern Europe like me, then I'd say its fine!), but the real attraction right now is the chance to see Humpback Whales migrating along the coast.  We headed for the cliffs at Point Lookout on the North-eastern tip of the island, where as soon as we stepped off the bus we caught sight of whales on the horizon.  After a leisurely coffee and whale watching for a while we headed off on the 'Gorge Walk' which took us to some absolutely spectacular viewpoints.  From here we could look down into the crystal clear waters of the coral sea, viewing not only whales but turtles, manta rays, eagles and an entire pod of dolphins.  To experience a coastline so alive was truly wonderful, and we felt very lucky to be there that day.  
Main beach - we can't wait to go camping here! 
Such clear water we could see this turtle swimming from the clifftop.   
My best shot of a whale!  Not spectacular... we only saw one breaching in the calm water and they were a long way off.  But it was great to see so many.  
 Showing again how clear the water is.  The dark shape just in the open water you might make out is a Manta Ray.
I'm seriously thinking of taking up canoeing after this - the whole dolphin pod surrounded the canoeist. 

After a wonderful day and a little lazy time on the beach we headed back to the ferry, with some lovely views back towards the island, yachts bobbing on the water and Pelicans swimming nearby.  Truly an idyllic place and so close to the city.  

1 comment:

  1. Obviously the dolphins had got ethics committee approval to study a canoeist!

    A great post which makes me add Stradbroke Island to the ever increasing list of places we must go to!