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11.9.14

Stradbroke Island






Stradbroke Island (East of Brisbane) is a tropical paradise with kilometres of white sandy and stunning beaches, picturesque headlands and an abundance of wildlife. It is truly a natural treasure as Straddie is also the second largest sand island in the world! The island has five main beaches, the longest beach, Main Beach, stretches up to 32km and it is good for surfing. The other four beaches, Cylinder Beach, Flinders Beach, Frenchmans Beach and Home Beach are pretty popular with swimmers and campers. 

I spent two days exploring Stradbroke Island and my itinerary went like this: 

Day 1: 
  • Check-in to Manta Lodge YHA
  • The Gorge Walk: Spotted a Sea Turtle in the Gorge and spotted wild Kangaroos whilst doing the nature walk. During the Manta Rays season you'd get to see them swimming in the Gorge. It's definitely an experience to see these beautiful sea creatures and animals go about freely.
  • Lunch at the cafe near The Gorge Walk 
  • Hire surfboards and stand-up paddle boards from Manta Lodge YHA
  • Walk to the beach, literally a minute away! We had the whole beach to ourselves how awesome was that!? Spent the rest of the day-time surfing, stand-up paddle boarding, swimming and chilling. 
  • Fish at Amity Point: Spotted wild dolphins by the jetty. I was so mesmerized by the dolphins! Such beautiful and friendly creatures! 
  • Dinner at Seashells Cafe 
  • Drinks and s'mores by the bonfire at Manta Lodge YHA. After which we walked to the beach to gaze at the Milky Way. Never in my life have I ever seen a Milky Way and that many stars. Also spotted a shooting star and a few planets. (Seriously mind-blowing)
  • End of Day 1 
Day 2:
  • Breakfast at Manta Lodge YHA
  • Get on the dive boat to transport to the dive/snorkel location. The boat ride was so fun! It felt as though I was on a mechanical bull. 
  • Snorkel and Scuba Dive by the Gorge  
  • Whale watch on the dive boat
  • Return back to Manta Lodge  
  • Check out of Manta Lodge YHA
  • Back to Brisbane City
  • End of Day 2

View from the Gorge Walk

Dolphins watching and fishing at Amity Point
Bonfire at Manta Lodge YHA. It was a lovely get together. Drinks, S'mores, marshmallows, acoustic sessions with the accompaniment of the Djembe drum. 
 We were real lucky with the weather. Took this dive boat out to the beautiful Gorge, where we scuba dived and snorkeled. 
Hammock time post scuba dive and snorkeling. 

During my time in Straddie, I felt a sense of peace and tranquility within me. Probably because I was very in touch with nature and being on this beautiful island has helped me to reconnect with myself. I guess everyone gets caught up in the daily rat-race that we seldom or never care to look at the sky. Or to experience the cool sea breeze, to observe the greenery, to walk/sit on the grass. I believe connecting with nature is a way of life, when you are outdoors and alone, let nature come into your heart, keep your world beautiful. We are all part of the nature, a big cosmic whole. 

I flew back to Sydney the following day. A big THANK YOU to YHA and Brisbane for being all kinds of wonderful. I had the most amazing time embarking on such fun adventure. I got to admit, traveling out alone can be intimidating but once you take the plunge and get past all of that, you'll feel a sense of empowerment and confidence in traveling solo. It definitely pushes you to step out of our comfort zone and inspire you to tackle even more things in life you have been afraid to try! Before you know it, you could be chatting it up with some interesting folks at a cafe or even joining a group of like-minded people for a scuba dive, snorkeling session, even yoga on the beach. You will be surprised at how a solo trip can be powerful and introspective. The main thing is to keep an open mind, and safety too! 

Manta Lodge YHA & Scuba Centre
132 Dickson Way 
Point Lookout 4183
Phone: (+617) 3409 8888
Email: stradbrokeisland@yha.com.au

Follow me on Instagram and Snapchat @joyceroxanne for more updates! 

Fierce and Love, 
J

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