Why to do Stradbroke Island in a van | blog.queensland.com

5 reasons why you need to do Straddie in a van

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The van’s been secured, kitted out with a ‘70s-inspired doona, and the surfboard, picnic set and table all fit in without too many Tetris manoeuvres required.

The #vanlife community just gained a new member: me.

I’m now constantly on the lookout for weekend escapes, to test the comfort of my new holiday house on wheels. Places not too far, easily accessible and with a vibe to match the carefree cool of all the Insta photos. Enter North Stradbroke Island, known to locals as Straddie or Minjerribah.

It’s the second-largest sand island in the world and only an hour and a half from Brisbane’s CBD. Which means you’ll be reclining in your camp chair with a cold bevvy from the esky before anyone can say, are we there yet?

Here are 5 reasons why you need to clear the weekend, fill the tank and go North Stradbroke Island camping in a van:

1. You can roll straight into action

Stradbroke Ferries | Why to do Stradbroke Island camping in a van

To get to the island, it’s only 45 minutes from Brisbane City to Cleveland, then an easy 45-minute ferry ride. And unlike Straddie’s big brother Fraser Island a few hours north, you don’t need a 4WD.

Park the van on board and take to the top deck to see if you can spy a dolphin. Once you arrive at the other side, there are no bus rides or walking for you, my friend. Roll on.

Who: Stradbroke Ferries
When: Departs daily, nearly every hour from 5:30am to 8pm.
Cost: From $120 return for a car/standard van. Must book in advance.

2. Your pick of beachfront camping

Home Beach Stradbroke Island Camping | Why to do Stradbroke Island in a van

There are six beachside campsites to choose from on Straddie, and you don’t have to pack the kitchen sink into your tiny portable home. There are clean amenities and kitchens at each site, complete with phone charger facilities, so there’s no risk of missing a vital Insta moment.

Van = little setup and pack-up, leaving more time for the fun stuff. You just need to prepare for waking up to wallabies at your feet.

Who: Straddie Camping
Where: Amity Point and Point Lookout for surf beaches. Adams Beach and Bradbury’s Beach at Dunwich for calm water.
Cost: From $35 per night, low season. Must book in advance. 

3. You bring the fun

Stradbroke Island Wildlife | Why to do Stradbroke Island camping in a van

Take the opportunity to declutter your house and keep your gear in the van, because it’ll be put to good use when you’re Stradbroke Island camping.

Surfboard: Head to Main Beach or Frenchman’s.

Sandboard: Check out Straddie Adventures.

Snorkel: BYO and try Point Lookout.

Walking shoes/thongs: You can’t go past North Gorge Walk. Keep an eye out for wildlife.

Bathers/boardies: Swim between the flags at Cylinder or Main Beach.

Fishing rod: Drop a line at Flinders Beach.

Binoculars (optional): Look to the horizon from July to November, for migrating humpback whales.

4. You don’t have to be stocked

Have fun loading the esky with your favourite food groups, but rest assured you don’t need to freak out if you forget milk or marshmallows. Being hangry’s not an option on Straddie, with these local haunts.

For backup supplies: Bob’s Shop (Foodworks Point Lookout).

For THE best French baguette: Chillers Café.

For a quick bite: Sisco’s Philly Cheez.

For fresh Straddie prawns: Follow signs to the local fisherman at Point Lookout.

5. You can move with the breeze

Main Beach Stradbroke Island camping | Why to do Stradbroke Island in a van

When you’re carrying everything in the back, it’s easy to pick up and find a new spot depending on your mood and time of day.

For brekkie: BYO BBQ fry-up at Cylinder Headland.

For lunch: Picnic overlooking Frenchman’s Bay.

For sunset: Dunwich or Amity Point, to see the sun set over the mainland.

Anytime: From the top of the hill gives you sweeping views of Main Beach and the surfers.

Has this trip given you the taste for the good life? There are 52 weekends in a year, so try Stradbroke Island camping then check out these 7 more awesome spots to park your van and let the good times roll.

Have you taken the van to Straddie? What are your favourite things to do there?