Monday, April 20, 2009

A Visit to Stradbroke

Guy had booked two nights at a resort on North Stradbroke as a birthday present for me. As we couldn't get in till Easter, this gave us the opportunity of asking Karla and Bec to come with us.

We picked them up from Cleveland and caught the vehicle barge across to Dunwich, the town at the top of Stradbroke where the ferries and barges arrive. We drove off and headed towards Point Lookout on the other side of the island, some 20km.

We were stayed at Whale Watch Ocean Beach Resort and Guy had chosen the best apartment ... overlooking Main Beach and all the way down towards the Gold Coast.

After unpacking, we went for a long walk along the beach and came back to the apartment in time for a glass or two of NZ sav blanc on the balcony, admiring the pandanus palms and the dense vegetation below.

The next morning we walked down to the shops at Point Lookout and then clambered down to the first beach, Frenchman's Bay.

We followed this north to Deadman's Beach (I don't think I would like to swim here .....) and up the rocks to Cylinder Beach where we sat for a while watching the surfers out at sea.

Walking down to Cylinder Beach, we stopped for a swim. The water was cold and the waves incredibly close together, pulling across the beach with a strong undertow. I was glad to be "swimming between the flags" ... thank goodness for lifesavers!!!
Guy and I left Karla and Bec in the water and walked back via the shops (for an icecream). In the evening, we went out to one of the many restaurants in the area. We chose a Fish Cafe within walking distance. The food was very reasonably priced and ocean fresh. I had Szechuan salt and pepper squid with salad and orange and ginger dressing. Super yum!!!

Sunday morning, we had to be out of the unit by 10am, so we packed and took off. We found the Sunday markets open and stopped for a browse. Lots of the usual tatt but I managed to find a couple of books to read and we contributed a few $$ to the Local Ambulance Committee for a new defribulator. We have just bought a new one on Macleay, so we know how hard it is to raise money for them. (And like why don't the Government pay for these essential items for ambulances on islands???)
From there, we drove to Amity Point and (shsshh!!) drove on the beach. You are allowed to drive on the beaches on Stradbroke but are supposed to have a permit. We only went about 10m just to turn around and go back the way we came so I guess we are pretty safe there. Then we stopped and had a look at the beach, which was long, white and not a soul in sight.

We had lunch in Dunwich after a quick drive inland to Brown Lake, a freshwater lake in the centre of the island. There were certainly a lot of visitors there. Perhaps that's why all the beaches were deserted?

And finally it was time to board the barge and return to Cleveland. There to say a temporary farewell to Karla and Bec who are job hunting and house hunting and to get on yet another barge and return to our own island, Macleay.

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