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Stradbroke Island: Day Trips and Tours from Stanley,Canning,Cavendish,Churchill,Ward

Feeling like an entire world away from the hustle and bustle of city life, untouched Stradbroke Island is an incredible destination for a day trip from Brisbane!

The island's stunning scenery never fails to amaze visitors — with crystal clear blue waters, white sand beaches, lush rainforest hiking trails and breathtaking views of the coastline, this little-known vacation destination offers something for every kind of traveler.

Take a stroll along pristine beaches, explore hidden coves by kayak or stand-up paddleboard, spot whales and dolphins, go snorkeling in the coral reefs or take a guided tour through ancient Aboriginal cultural sites.

Whether you’re looking for adventure or relaxation, you can't go wrong with a Stradbroke Island day trip from Brisbane.

Here's all you need to know about Stradbroke Island, one of the most exciting day trips from Brisbane.

How to get to Stradbroke Island From Brisbane?

Stradbroke Island is a small island off the coast of Queensland, Australia. It's about 30 kilometers long and 14 kilometers wide. Despite being very isolated in the Pacific Ocean, it's close enough to Brisbane that you can take a day trip there from the city.

From Brisbane to Stradbroke Island by car

To reach Stradbroke Island by car, you'll need to take State Route 22 east from Brisbane and follow it until you reach coastal Cleveland.

From there, make your way to the ferry terminal at Toondah Harbour. Here, a passenger ferry can take you and your car across Moreton Bay and into Dunwich on Stradbroke Island. The entire journey is about 1 hour and 45 minutes.

From Brisbane to Stradbroke Island by public transport

Translink operates regular trains from Central Brisbane to Cleveland, which takes about 1.5 hours. Once you reach Cleveland, walk around 2 kilometers to the Toondah Harbour ferry, where you can purchase tickets for the passenger ferry to Dunwich.

The passenger ferry journey then takes about 50 minutes. You can also take the 25-minute water taxi from Toondah Harbour.

Guided tour to Stradbroke Island from Brisbane

The most convenient way to visit Stradbroke Island from Brisbane is with a guided tour.

Most tours leave in the morning and include round-trip transport from your Brisbane accommodation, lunch and an experienced guide who will take you on a day of exploring Stradbroke Island's highlights.

Guided tours generally last between 8 and 10 hours.

What is the typical itinerary?

Most Stradbroke Island day trips from Brisbane usually follow a similar core itinerary, beginning with pickup at your accommodation in Brisbane.

After making your way to Toondah Harbour in an air-conditioned vehicle, you'll then jump on either the passenger ferry or a private boat across Moreton Bay. Along the way, your guide will provide commentary and stories about the area, its wildlife and its history.

Once you reach Dunwich, your guide will take you on a tour of some of Stradbroke Island's most beautiful spots. You'll be able to explore stunning beaches, go on a hiking expedition in lush rainforest, spot wildlife like dolphins and turtles, get up close with Aboriginal cultural sites and learn all about the local Quandamooka people.

You can expect to visit a myriad of stunning locations on the island, such as Cylinder Beach, Point Lookout, Brown Lake, Amity Point, the Myora Springs and the North Gorge Walk. There may also be an opportunity to go swimming in freshwater creeks or take a short boat ride to view dolphins in their natural habitat.

After witnessing a glorious sunset (on most tours), you'll make your way via boat back to Toondah Harbour and be driven back to Brisbane.

What kinds of tours are available to go to Stradbroke Island?

There are a handful of tour options available to visit Stradbroke Island from Brisbane.

Guided small-group tours to Stradbroke Island from Brisbane

As the most budget-friendly option, these small-group tours are great for adventurous travelers who want to explore the island with an experienced guide.

The tour includes pickup, ferry transport, sightseeing and regular commentary throughout the day. If you're a social traveler wanting to meet people, it's a great option.

Day trip to Stradbroke Island plus cruise from Brisbane

While all day tours to Stradbroke Island include a ferry or boat ride, this tour takes it one step further. It replaces the tourist-frequented public ferry with a luxury boat cruise on the bay, where, if you're lucky, you can spot dolphins and turtles in their natural habitat.

Private tours to Stradbroke Island from Brisbane

If you'd like the flexibility of having a private tour for yourself or your family, then this is the ideal option.

This kind of tour also includes pickup, ferry transport, sightseeing and a guide, but comes with the added bonus of being able to customize the itinerary.

Adventure-themed day tour to Stradbroke Island from Brisbane

Featuring fishing, kayaking excursions and a traditional fish and chips for lunch, this tour is perfect for the adventurous traveler.

Not only will you get to explore Stradbroke Island's stunning natural beauty, but you will also have the chance to take part in a few exciting activities too.

How much does a day trip to Stradbroke Island from Brisbane cost?

The price of a day trip to Stradbroke Island from Brisbane starts at around US$80 but varies depending on the tour type and inclusions.

Generally, small-group tours start at around US$85 per person, while tours with cruises cost between US$130 and US$140.

Private tours are closer to US$150 each, while an adventure-themed day tour will cost around US$280.

What will you see and do?

The exact itinerary of a day tour to Stradbroke Island from Brisbane may vary, but you can expect to visit a myriad of stunning locations on the island, such as Cylinder Beach and Point Lookout.

You'll also be able to explore rainforests, spot dolphins and turtles in their natural habitat, get up close with Aboriginal cultural sites and learn all about the local Quandamooka people.

Other activities depend on the type of tour you choose, but generally include swimming in freshwater creeks or crystal-clean beaches; fishing or kayaking (on adventure-themed tours) and a traditional fish and chips lunch.

Other activities include whale watching expeditions, 4x4 driving, walking along the North Gorge Walkway and relaxing on the shore.

When is the best time to visit Stradbroke Island?

Queensland is blessed with sunny weather all year round. The peak summer months (January and February) can be quite hot, but are a great time for swimming.

The spring (September to November) and autumn (March to May) months offer more mild weather with fewer crowds. For whale watching, the best time is between June and October.

Are there any tours to the Stradbroke Island from other cities in Australia?

Yes, there are tours departing from another city in Australia:

Travel tips

  • Bring sunscreen, a hat and plenty of water, as the Queensland sun can be quite strong.
  • Wear comfortable walking shoes as some locations may require a bit of hiking.
  • Make sure your camera is fully charged, as there will be plenty of opportunities for amazing photos!
  • Book your tour online and in advance as some tours can book out quickly.