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North Stradbroke Island [a.k.a, the place where I first saw wild kangaroos!]

October 13, 2014

I have always been a fan of islands. Whether big or small, tropical or Alaskan, they are always so unique and have so much charm!

Last Friday  a new friend and I set out for an island off the coast of Queensland, near Brisbane, called North Stradbroke Island. There are several ferries that run daily to and from different ports over to the island. We left from Cleveland on one of the vehicle ferries, since the walk-on price is half that of the passenger ferry.


Boarding the ferry

While the passenger ferry is about 25 minutes faster, the vehicle ferry only takes 50 minutes, and only costs $5.00 each way! We didn’t mind spending the extra time on the ferry to save a few bucks, and we enjoyed relaxing and seeing the views on the way over.


Views along the way

After you get to the island you need to catch a bus to take you wherever you want to go. [The bus is $5.00 each trip.]  We took the bus to Point Lookout to do the North Gorge Walk which is a stunning walk along the cliffside on a new-looking boardwalk. The views at every turn are truly impressive and we often stopped to spend more time at different lookouts.IMG_8372

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We chatted with a couple who was whale-watching with binoculars. We’d never have seen the whales had they not pointed them out to us. We would have also missed the dolphins were it not for them!



After the whales and dolphins headed out away from shore, we walked on, stopping to climb down a rocky cliffside for better views of the surf.

Waves crashing against the rocks

Waves crashing against the rocks



The waves crashed high against the rocks we were on, and the sea spray felt so good since it was a hot day. We spent a while there, and could have spent longer, had we not wanted to see more around the island. At one point we thought we heard a whale so we walked down to a high ledge that overlooked a rock outcropping and then a small inlet surrounded by rocks. We heard the sound several times (sounded like a whale spouting water) but never saw a whale, so we concluded it must be a small blow hole in the rocks, although it sounded nothing like any blow hole I have ever heard. Strange.



It was a tiny bit scary standing up here to get pics.

We wandered on and decided to walk down to the gorgeous Main Beach that we saw below us.



LOTS of surfers







I am pretty sure it doesn’t get any prettier than this. Ok, I know, I haven’t made it to the Whitsundays yet, but I plan to. =) But for now, it doesn’t get any prettier than this. This country is stunning.

We wandered down to one side of the rock outcropping, to the secluded side of the beach, and looked around for a bit. It was pretty, but the sign warned of strong rip tides, and said not to swim, so we made sure to not venture in very far.

=( The beaches are so dangerous here. Gorgeous though.

=( The beaches are so dangerous here. Gorgeous though.

Curious tracks =)

Curious tracks =)

Shells in the rocks

Shells in the rocks

The rocks were full of shells imbedded in them!

The rocks were full of shells imbedded in them!






Such clear water


While wandering down to the beach, I stopped to put on my flip flops.  When I  looked up into the clearing we had stopped by, I was shocked to see a kangaroo family! I excitedly told Janina about them and then frantically tried to get my camera out, sure they would run away as soon as they saw us. Their ears perked up and they stood up and looked at us, but that was it.


First look at the kangaroos



Slowly we crept forward, a little at at time, closer and closer. I was so surprised at how close we were able to get. At first I thought it was a mama and baby, since one was noticeably smaller than the other. Then I saw the smaller one had a baby in her pouch! It was a whole family, a daddy, mama, and baby! I couldn’t believe our good fortune!


Is this not the cutest thing ever???

They continued eating, stopping to look at us whenever we moved. Finally I got a little too close and they hopped off. It was so funny to see them hop!


Daddy hopping away, following mama.


After spotting our kangaroos, we headed down to the other side of the beach.



Love these shallow clear ripples

After spending some time wandering around here, we walked back up to the town, got some gelato, rested, and then headed down to Frenchman’s Beach. You gotta love a gorgeous place that is totally deserted on a Friday, giving you run of the entire place! So easy to get pictures with no one around to mess them up, ha.


Peeking out at the tiny white sailboat in the distance




I didn’t realize *how* many stairs we had walked down until we had to climb them all to head home! (This is just one small part of them)



See the weird patterns in the water? I don’t understand how those waves were going sideways.



Most amazing day EVER. Seriously.




I think this jellyfish (btw these blue jellyfish are EVERYWHERE. Another reason not to swim here.) looks like a turtle who lost his shell.



At the end of the day we took the bus back down to Dunwich where the ferry is, walked up to the little strip of shops, found the only open restaurant and ordered a surprisingly delicious pizza to share while we waited for our ferry. Janina had it timed perfectly so we could see the sunset and that was a nice touch to the end of an amazing day!





I’ve been a lot of places, and had more than my share of those picture perfect days where you can’t believe you are really doing what you are doing, and that you are blessed enough to really be there, but this one climbs the charts to near the top of all those days. It truly was a perfect day and I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to get to live here and experience things like this.
If you are ever in Brisbane (which, if you visit AU, you must visit Queensland!), you MUST put North Stradbroke Island on your list of must-see places! You can thank me later. =)



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