#4 Enjoy some sustenance We eat three times a day, so we may as well do it well; that’s my philosophy – especially when I’m holidaying by the beach. Our dining highlights included: freshly-caught prawns from Rufus King at Amity Point; wood-fired pizzas from the Friday night food trucks at Cylinder Beach; boulangerie - style croissants from Chillers; pub grub at the recently upgraded Straddie Pub; Oceanic Gelato for the obvious (also good coffee); and Blue Room for breakfast. Pro tip: Point Lookout Surf Lifesaving Surf Club has a small bar that opens from 2pm on weekends. It allows BYO food and has an incredible balcony above the sea. Get here for opening, bring a few tasty platters, and relax with a couple of cold wines. #5 Go adventuring We didn’t even scratch the surface of Stradbroke. Ours was a beach weekend, but the scuba diving, surfing (and sand-surfing), fishing and 4WD-driving are all world-class too. You can also camp in various spots, explore the inland waterholes (try Brown Lake for a swim and a picnic), or join a historical walking tour with a local Aboriginal guide to discover the culture of the indigenous Quandamooka people.
Getting there Brisbane is seven hours from Singapore. There are options for getting to Stradbroke without wheels, but it’s easier to hire a car at Brisbane Airport and drive the 30 minutes to the ferry terminal. The vehicular ferry takes 45 minutes (there’s a viewing deck, bar and toilets), after which it’s a short drive on sealed roads to Point Lookout, the main centre for beaches, accommodation and services. Where to stay Stradbroke isn’t a hotel kind of place – nearly all accommodation is in rental houses. We stayed in Paperbarks , a new architecturally designed house right on Home Beach – we knew of it because it was built by an Australian family who were expats in Singapore for many years. It has a brilliant modular design that sleeps up to 14 guests across four bedrooms, each with an attached ensuite. The open-plan kitchen and living areas are perfect for a lazy beach holiday, and for entertaining family and friends. There’s also free Wi-Fi, smart TV, hammocks for stringing up in the trees, games for kids and more. The property’s name comes from the pretty grove of paperbark trees beyond the back garden. A semi-private trail leads 50metres through these trees to the beach. At the beginning and end of each day, we would stroll along the trail to what felt like our own massive expanse of ocean, and marvel at the sublime sunrises and sunsets. Throughout the day, our two girls would come and go from the beach as they pleased, in a state of utter contentment. It doesn’t get much better.
Visit paperbarksatstraddie.com for more details, and email email@example.com for bookings.