About North Stradbroke Island
NSI or ‘Straddie’ is one of the world's largest sand islands and is only a 40 minute ferry or barge ride from Cleveland, in Brisbane’s eastern suburbs.
The island is 32 kilometres long, 11 kilometres at its widest cross-section and 285 square kilometres in area (equal to 27,500 hectares). The island’s surface is a spectacular series of massive vegetated sand dune ridges which rise up to 239 metres and are visible from Brisbane.
NSI’s Indigenous occupancy dates back at least 20,000 years when communities hunted, gathered and met with other tribes in the area for cultural exchange. The indigenous community belongs to the Jandai language group and comprises three groups, Noonuccal (Amity Point area), Koenpul (South of Dunwich) and Ngugi (Moreton Island).
In the mid 1800’s European settlement occurred. A mission was established at Moongalba and movements to the island were controlled by access permits. Traditional customs and practices were prohibited, but did not entirely disappear.
Today, 'Straddie' is a growing tourism destination and home to more than 2,275 people. There are three main communities on the island – Amity Point, Dunwich and Point Lookout.
Named by Captain Cook in 1770, Point Lookout is located on the island’s north eastern coastline. It is the major tourist centre and has spectacular natural features, including world-class beaches. Point Lookout is famous for fishing and surfing, and towering rocky headlands where you can spot whales as they pass by on their annual migration.
To the island’s north-western corner, directly opposite Moreton Island, is Amity Point. This area is well known for its quiet fishing community and boat launching point into Moreton Bay.
Dunwich is NSI’s central visitor access point, with a history dating back to 1827, when the area was established as a convict settlement. Since then, Dunwich has also been the site of a quarantine station and a benevolent society for the care of elderly people. Today, Dunwich is the first point of call for most ‘Straddie’ visitors with the local barges and water taxi ports located in the area.
Key Fauna and Flora Facts
North Stradbroke Island is home to:
- Approximately 20 mammal species
- 20 species of frog
- 40 species of reptile
- More than 250 bird species
- 18 different regional ecosystems are recognised on the island, comprising nearly 600 species, with the predominant species being Eucalyptus, Acacia, Banksia and Melaleuca (The Flora of North Stradbroke Island, 2009)
- NSI is nationally recognised for its high biodiversity, including rare and endangered species, RAMSAR protected wetlands, fresh water lakes, rainforest, old growth forests, woodlands and many ecologically significant vegetation communities.
- The Island has a genetically unique population of koalas, with between 300 and 1,000 koalas living on the Island.