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South Stradbroke Island Australia

South Stradbroke Island Australia Views of the island
South Stradbroke Island Australia views

Day trip or stay on South Stradbroke Island and you won't be disappointed.  A great little getaway from the hustle and bustle of the Gold Coast.

South Straddie separates the ocean from the northern parts of the Gold Coast stretching in the south from the Gold Coast Seaway (Southport Bar) to Jumpin Pin Bar. 

On the mainland the island stretches approximately from Biggera Waters to just north of Jacob's Well.  

This gives two sides to this beautiful, quiet sand island - the calmer inner waterways and the deserted ocean beaches separated by virtually untouched bush where you will find interesting Australian wildlife and bush plants.

The island is mostly kept as bushland with only a couple of places to stay - Couran Cove Island Resort, Couran Point Beach Resort, some private houses and camping grounds.

Another great alternative is to stay on a houseboat anchored in the shelter of the island.

From the surf beach during whale watching season you can catch glimpses of the majestic humpback whales migrating north to breed and have their calves. 

This part of the east coast of Australia is the only place in the world where you can see whales going in both directions at the same time when the early migrators return with their calves.  

Whale migration starts in June and runs through to late October early November.

South Stradbroke Island Australia Information
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Attractions, Things To See and Do

Here are a selection of attractions, things to see and do on South Stradbroke Island Australia.

  • Jumpinpin also incorrectly known as Jumpin Pin and Jumping Pin it is simply called The Pin by local boaties. This area is great for fishing or to anchor up and enjoy the beautiful beach and sand. However, the Jumpinpin Bar can be quiet treacherous so beware if you don't know the area or are inexperienced on the water.
  • Surf Beach - 22kms of surf beach.  Privately patrolled flagged area near Couran Cove Island Resort.  Pristine beach with hardly a soul in sight.  Beware of the 4WD and tractor tours though!
  • Whale Watching - mid-June to late October is the main season.
  • Sand Tobogganing or Sand Sledding - take your boogie board and toboggan down a massive sand dune.  On ocean beach side approximately in line with Couran Cove Island Resort.
Serious sand sledding at South Stradbroke Island
Sand Tobogganing at South Stradbroke Island
Serious sand sledding
at South Stradbroke Island
Sand Tobogganing
at South Stradbroke Island
  • Bushwalking – best to do this with a guide especially if you are inexperienced. A local will be able to guide you and tell you all there is to know about the area and local flora and fauna.
  • Fishing –  fishing off boats on the eastern broadwater side you will typically find estuary fish such as bream, flathead, luderkick, tailor, whiting and jewfish. Occassionally you may be lucky and find the larger mangrove jack or trevally. There are also bountiful sandcrabs to be had. Resorts such as Couran Cove have fishing guides to help you with general fishing information and local fishing tips.  They also arrange fishing trips to take you to the best spots! 
  • Beach Walking - you can walk along the 22kms of surf beach with spectacular views to the north and south, back to the Gold Coast seaway.
  • Water Sunrises and Sunsets - Watch the sun rise over the water in the east and sun set over the water in the west.  This is one of the few places you can see this on the east coast of Australia!
  • Spot the Golden Wallaby - this rare wallaby is only found in this area, spotting one can be a real treat.
  • Water sports - surrounded by water, it makes sense that resorts provide access to water activities (at an additional cost) such as jetskiing, parasailing, diving, sea kayaking, sailing, surfing, windsurfing, fishing trips and boat tours.

South Stradbroke Island Australia Information
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Accommodation on South Stradbroke Island Australia

There have been a few changes to accommodation on South Straddie Island over the last few years. Firstly South Stradbroke Island Resort has closed down, and Couran Cove Resort and Couran Point Beach Resort are only operating for private rentals. You absolutely MUST book accommodation on the island before you arrive.  

Accommodation styles include private holiday rentals, self contained apartments, villas, lodges, eco cabins, houses and camping grounds.  Most of the accommodation on the island is found in the resorts with private owners offer their properties directly plus there are some other houses outside the resort areas.

South Stradbroke Island Resorts

Couran Cove Island Resort

Couran Cove Island Resort is a high quality resort with extensive facilities and programs on offer.  It is nestled in the bushland but partly based around the Couran Cove Marina.  Very picturesque and built to fit in with the surrounding bushland.  Modern and fresh with great facilities.  You could easily spend your entire trip to the Gold Coast here.  I highly recommend this resort and you can get some great specials.

Read more about Couran Cove here

Couran Point Beach Resort

Couran Point Beach Resort is right next door to Couran Cove and is much smaller with fewer facilities.  The accommodation rates are therefore a little less expensive, but you really won't be getting the full resort of the neighbouring Couran Cove.  You are captive to the restaurants and cafe here for all your meals once you are at this resort, with no self catering facilities in any of the rooms and strict no food or alcohol to be brought to the resort on their fast cat service.  It is still a very nice resort and worth a look at.

Read more about Couran Point here

South Stradbroke Island Resort

This formerly knowns as Tipplers Resort is a little further north than the two Courans, and has direct broadwater beachfront.  It was sold to the Gold Coast City Council and from March 2009 there is no longer any accommodation at this resort.

This resort was popular with day trippers and I understand day tripping will still be possible.

More about the former South Stradbroke Island Resort here and photos and experiences on a day trip to South Straddie Island Resort in 2008.

Other Accomodation Options on South Stradbroke Island Australia

Camping - there are four camping grounds on South Stradbroke Island.  Two at the northern end - Bedrooms and Tipplers.  Two at the southern end - North Currigee and Currigee.  All have amenities blocks and some have other limited factilities.  All are surrounded by native bushland. North Currigee is located around an inlet which makes it great for mooring and camping.

It is recommended that campers bring all their supplies as the island is not commerically developed.  This a camping trip to get away from it all, but you must be prepared.

Access is usually by boat, ferry or water taxis can bring you to these spots.

Click here to find about more about camping on South Stradbroke Island Australia. This link will take you to the Gold Coast Tourist Park website which can give you more information about ruls, booking and camping on South Stradbroke Island.

South Stradbroke Island Australia Information
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Golf Information for South Stradbroke Island Australia

There are no golf courses on South Stradbroke Island!  Only Bush golf!  If you want a golfing holiday, this is not the place to stay.  If you want to play golf whilst you stay at one of the resorts, Sanctuary Cove and Hope Island golf courses would be the closest by water taxi or ferry.

Hope Island
  • Hope Island Resort Golf Course
Sanctuary Cove Golf Courses
  • The Pines
  • The Palms

South Stradbroke Island Australia Information
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Beach Information for South Stradbroke Island Australia

There are no official beach patrols, but there is a flagged area close to Couran Cove Island Resort on the ocean side.

South Stradbroke Island Resort Ferry Service departs from Runaway Bay Marina and goes directly to the resort several times a day.
South Stradbroke Island Resort Ferry
departs from Runaway Bay Marina.

As with any unpatrolled areas, swimmer beware.  Also be particularly careful at Jumpinpin Bar as the tides can make this particularly hazadous for swimmers, canoists, kayakers, small boats etc.

As well as the ocean beach there are some smaller beach areas on the broadwater side of the island, and a large expanse of beach at Jumpinpin at the northern tip of the island.  

The broadwater side of the island is more bushland some some areas do not have a real beach area.  

South Stradbroke Island Resort has a reasonable beach particularly at low tide.

South Straddie Island Information
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How To Get To South Stradbroke Island Australia

There are several ways to get to South Stradbroke Island:

By Water

  • Boat hire or charter
  • Ferry
  • Water taxi

By Air

  • Helicopter
  • Sea plane

Gold Coast departure options include:

South Stradbroke Island Australia Information
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Looking for other Queensland Island Holiday destinations?

Other south east Queensland options include North Stradbroke Island and Moreton Island including the fabulous Tangalooma.

Further north is Fraser Island. You can take day trips or longer tours to visit Fraser Island or Great Barrier Reef:


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