The Gorge Walk at Point Lookout is a must for all visitors to the island. This gentle walk offers outstanding views across the ocean and is an ideal vantage point for spotting marine life such as turtles, dolphins and manta rays.
The best time for the walk is the morning when you can see the Sunrise from the left section of the walk, the start. It is here too that the wallabies and kangaroos collect, and wait as the morning begins when they go south to cooler and shadier places.
The first morning I was there, I was treated to 8 kangaroos and two males having a fight, and then a whole pod of dolphin down below clapping and dancing in the water.I was not able to get a clear photo of the dolphins, but it was a delight to see them enjoying themselves playing in the water. You could hear the clapping quite clearly, and it wasn’t until I read the notice board that I realised I had been listening to them calling and clapping in the water.
The Gorge walk is 1.5 kms, and you climb up the path and the steps to see the gorge below. Walk on the rocks and see the turtles and mantas playing in the clear waters below in the gorge cut out in the middle of the walk. Then you walk across to the other side and walk along the gorge on the opposite side.The gorge is constantly fed by water and waves. At high tide it is almost full of water and at low tide, there is sad below.
As you walk up the steps you can hear the mournful howl of the Blow Hole when the winds catch the hollow flute and the rocks groan out their protest to all who listen. There are steps down to the blowhole and in winter one can see the water spouting out of the hole in the rocks.
From here you can see the dolphins and the whales when they are migrating. Whales have great memories and they have avoided Stradbroke Island because of the whaling station at Moreton island and the whaling industry. However, recent years have seen the return of whales to Stradbroke as if they know the waters are now safe from whaling. This is bringing increased tourists to the Island during the whaling season when the whales migrate north and then return south back to their home in Antarctica.
For millennia, the islands have been the home of indigenous Aborigines until the arrival of Europeans. There is some speculation that it was the Portuguese that made first contact with the area. Although no concrete evidence now exists as to the whereabouts of the wreck of the Portuguese galleon, early local maps marked a spot where such a ship was supposed to have founded in the early 1600s. Several sightings of the wreck have been recorded and there are stories of artefacts being removed. This wreck, if it had existed, was connected with North Stradbroke Island.
What we do know for certain is that Lt James Cook sailed past these islands in 1770 and gave the name to the most northerly of them. He named it Morton Island after James Douglas, 14th Earl of Morton. Cartographers later misspelt the name by labelling the island Moreton.
Matthew Flinders followed in 1799 and, because of a confrontation with the local Aborigines on Bribie Island, named the place Skirmish Point.
John Oxley arrived in 1824 with convicts to set up a settlement at Redcliffe. The following year the settlement moved to a site inland on the Brisbane River. Moreton Bay as a place of incarceration continued until 1842 when the area was thrown open to free settlement. With that, migrants flooded into the area.
Quarantine stations were set up at Dunwich on North Stradbroke Island in 1850, followed by the occupation of St Helena Island in 1866. The St Helena facility was converted into a prison (1867-1933) and a new quarantine station was built at Peel Island with some overflow facilities on Bird Island. Peel Island was also designated a lazaret.
Point Lookout, Amity and Dunwich became North Stradbroke Island’s population centres.
During Logan’s time Dunwich served as a depot for supplies which were off-loaded there before being taken up the Brisbane River by shallow-draught boats. A quarantine station was established at Dunwich in 1849, barely in time to receive passengers from a fever ship and to bury several of the victims. In 1864 a benevolent asylum was added for aged and infirm persons, and in 1892 a lazaret (hospital for incurable diseases, mainly leprosy) was established. In between these events the quarantine station was moved to Peel Island, midway between Redcliffe and Dunwich.
The asylum consisted of numerous well-constructed buildings, with the dining hall being converted to a community hall well after the closure of the asylum in 1947. Less well constructed was the Aboriginal settlement Myora at Moongalba two kilometres north of Dunwich. The site includes the Myora spring, is an environmental reserve, and the last resting place of Aboriginal poet and activist Oodgeroo Noonuccal (1920-93), who was born on Stradbroke Island.
The North Gorge Walk is a must-do on your visit to North Stradbroke Island. Offering a spectacular outlook from the rocky outcrops to 32 kilometres of white sandy beach, the area is a haven for a variety of marine and bird life. Point Lookout, which overlooks the Pacific Ocean, is perfect for whale watching (between June – November) and dolphin spotting and while you’re taking in the incomparable view over the gorge itself, keep your eyes peeled for giant sea turtles
The ferry from Cleveland stops at Dulwich, and is met by a local bus that comes every hour. It takes you to Point Lookout, and then the bus returns to meet the next ferry. From where the bus stops, you walk across to the North Gorge Walk…Takes about 30 minutes and its a beautiful walk if you take your time and amble along with your camera. Towards the other end it gets heavy going with many steps if you have trouble walking climbing tracks like I do. The walk is well worth the effort and not to be missed.
The North Gorge Walk takes about 20 to 30 minutes and has an easy-to-follow, designated track to ensure your safety. The walk commences on an unsealed track and continues on a wooden boardwalk complete with benches for you to sit back and admire the stunning panoramic views – picture-perfect sunrises and sunsets are part of the package too.
A ferry went from Russell island to Dunwich, Stradbroke Island for the festival, but we were unable to get seat.
So we went by bus to Cleveland, then bus 258 to the jetty where for $10 we took a ferry to Stradbroke Island.
There is a bus stop right outside the ferry which takes you around the Island. We walked over a small bridge to the Sports Oval where tents were set up in the centre and stalls selling oysters around the border.
Only a couple of stalls were doing business as all the others had sold out of their product. There were very disappointed people saying they were unable to buy any seafood as it was all gone. One stall was working as fast as they could to clean and prepare oysters for the waiting queue of customers
A free bus leaves Cleveland Station 20 minutes before the ferry leaves for Dunwich on North Stradbroke Island.
Ferries leave every hour starting from 4.55am weekdays and 6.55am weekends.
The last ferry leaves Dunwich at 7.55pm during the week and 6.55 pm during the weekend..gives you plenty of time to spend a day on the island.
The Stradbroke Ferries Fast Ferry, Escape to Stradbroke, operates 7 days a week with up to 14 return services daily.
The Fast Ferry comfortably seats 170 passengers and bookings are not required. The trip takes 25 mins and connects with the local bus on the island.
There is also a connecting bus from the Cleveland train station which departs approximately 20 minutes prior to the Fast Ferry departure.
Instameet at Stradbroke Island 4 October at 5pm
Please join them at 5.00 p.m. to prepare for a stunning sunset at 5:48 p.m.! The Instameet will take place at the Amity Point Camping Ground at Sunset, in front of the stunning Amity Jetty. Some of the best places to get shots will be the Jetty, boat ramp, beaches and rockwalls. Your hosts for this event will be Discover Stradbroke’s Maddison Evans (@discover_stradbroke/@fishesatthepoint) and Straddie Camping’s Anji Kemp @straddiecamping.
Moreton Bay is a wonderful sailing experience. You sail from Russell Island to Stradbroke Island and back. When the wind is high, the sails drive the yachts straight ahead and the return journey is more sedate and even faster. It took us 2 hours to sail to the sands of Blakeney Beach on Stradbroke Island and back to Russell island yesterday in perfect sailing conditions..
Back to the mooring at Russell Island.
It was not easy taking these photos as I had to take the wheel while the captain did the sails and rigging and in strong winds, it was not easy to try and get a photo as the yacht would not stop still. It was a wonderful afternoon on the water.
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