Yesterday, our house was buzzing before 5 am as we prepared to spend our Saturday on Stradbroke Island (or Straddie as they call it here.). The trip to Straddie requires a bit of planning as there is an almost hour long ferry ride to and from the island. In addition, the entrance and exit for the ferry ride is in Cleveland a 45 minute drive from our house. All our packing occurred the night before except some of our picnic dishes that had to be prepped early that morning. We were able to leave on schedule so we arrived right on time for our ferry. The efficiency of the ferry terminal was impressive. We pulled up to the gate with all our paperwork at the ready only to be greeted with “Hello Kelley’s” no paperwork required! Ours was one of the first ferries of the day over to the island.and it was quite a pleasant ride.
Once on the island, we headed to the Island Fruit Barn Cafe for a little nourishment! It was the first cool morning we have had this autumn (yep, April is autumn here not spring….still so weird) so a little breakfast chai was in order!
Afterwards, we began our driving exploration of the island. We headed to Amity Point to check it out! It was the perfect place to take your 4 wheel drive vehicle….if only we had one!
We found some beautiful beaches there and met some new friends! Actually, we kept a nice, comfortable distance from these enormous kangaroos. These two male kangaroos really looked like guards ready to give us a quick punch should we try to enter.
We headed from Amity Point over to Point Lookout where we enjoyed spectacular views and then walked along the beach and watched the surfers!
We had packed all our beach gear thinking we would be sitting out on the beach, reading and romping in the waves but the cool, rainy weather forced us to focus more on exploring the multitude of walking paths available on the island. The change of plans was really quite good though as we realized our visits to Straddie would be much more about enjoying nature! Think we will save sitting out on the beach for the Sunny and Gold Coast beaches! We headed to Straddie’s pride and joy the North Gorge Walk and boy did it not disappoint! During whale migration this is the spot to watch the whales! We plan on making the trip back for this in a couple of months. The views were simply breathtaking! This 1.2 km walk is truly spectacular and if you come visit us it will be one of our recommended places to visit while you are here. There is a deeply spiritual quality to this island that we really loved.
After our picnic, we had a few minutes to spare before catching the ferry back to the mainland. We just happened upon the store Made on Minijerribah featuring textiles and ceramics. We were immediately taken with the beautiful designs! Delvene Cockatoo-Collins is the artist. She is a storyteller as her pieces express the stories of her family, her ancestors. Delvene is also the official designer of the medals awarded at the 2018 Commonwealth Games which have just ended. Migaloo, the well known white humpback whale here in Australia, is a key inspiration for her pieces and was incorporated into the Commonwealth Games medals. Our time talking with Delvene was cut short by our need to catch the ferry but she shared this inspiration with us and we wanted to share a couple of her quotes that we sourced from the Commonwealth Games website. “What I saw that day was that Migaloo brought joy to all the people there on the beach waiting for him. So, I thought, he’s reaching a broad range of people and my design would be another way of sharing joy. The image of Migaloo on the commemorative medal, I see is a way to bring joy to every athlete who will receive one.” How beautiful is that?
We were lucky enough to be able to purchase a couple of pieces of Delvene’s work – a whale runner for our table, a lovely ceramic pendant and bookmark! Come visit us and we will make a stop by Made on Minjeribah when we visit Straddie and you too can take a piece of joy home with you too!