South Stradbroke Island is the place for bush walking

Escape from Paradise to a Paradise Island

Golen Wallaby on South Stradbroke Island




















South Stradbroke Island is the place for bush walking. It’s been on my list of walks to do for sometime since I went on a whale watching trip, we stopped for lunch at Tipplers and I took a quick look around and I made my mind up I would be back.  
Well it’s been over 12months and I’ve frequently noticed what appears to be bush-walkers from the mainland (end of the spit) they looked like they had backpacks on. I was determined to go to the island and find out!

How to get to South Stradbroke

Finding transport to South Stradbroke proved to be a bit of a challenge. I consulted Mr. Google to find an economical way to get over to Straddie for the day. It was hard work, every time I put in words I thought a visitor would use, I ended up searching on times for ferries to North Stradbroke, after a while it appeared the only way to get over was by:

  • Private boat charter or someone you know
  • A water taxi
  • Take a day trip package, which doesn’t allow for any free time to explore the island.
  • Ferry to Couran Cove Island Resort
  • Couran Cove Island for the day

Couran Cove Island ferry really was the only option, for what I wanted at the time of writing it was $30.00 return and allowed us around 6 hours to explore the island’s bush trails. The plan was set for me and my friend Dawn.
We parked the car at Hope Island Marina and within a very short time we were on board, I have to say the young pilot was very friendly and entertaining and set the pace for the day. Unfortunately the view from the window was obscured by the rain which was steadily coming down, an omen of what lay ahead.

Ferry to Couran Island Resort

We arrived at Couran Cove
After checking in at reception we were given a site map of the resort and some of the walking trails. It was so nice to sit down in the cafe and plot our day while drinking a coffee, this is the life! The idea of staying at Couran Cove for a couple of days walking the bush trails, and taking photos, was growing by the minute, I felt a weekend plan on the horizon.
At this point I would like to write lots of tips about which was the most scenic trail, however of all the days we could have picked, and this one was the worst! It was just drizzling when we started but eventually it poured.
We were equipped with raincoats, but I quickly found out that my light weight raincoat wasn’t that waterproof, maybe for a light shower but not a downpour.

Lush bushland after the rains

We set off on our bush walking adventure…
We both set off and decided to stay on the main road (no traffic only the occasional electric resort vehicle) and walked to the Surf Club. The bushland was beautiful and every now and then we would spy a Golden Wallaby peeping through the low growing fern cover. 

A Golden Wallaby on the dunes



After around three kilometres we arrived on the eastern side of the island it was spectacular.


The boardwalks disappearing under the cover of wind blown sand the colours of the beach Spinifex.








The whole area had a moody feel, and every now and then quick flashes of wallabies darting off and disappearing into low bushes and sand dunes, I took this photo but just wasn’t quick enough.

Boardwalk to the beach
Now it was pouring and I was drenched, Dawn had more sense and was undercover at the surf club, but I was already heading for the beach. My camera wrapped in a scarf the only dry bit of fabric on me; I would take a quick photo and cover the camera up again. This didn’t last long eventually I had to abandon this crazy idea and put it away.

Nice glass of wine at the Couran Cove CafeTime to head back
We had to return to the resort, it was now teaming down.

Trekking along the 2 kilometres back to Couran Cove wasn’t very pleasant all we could think about was a hot lunch and a glass of wine and getting out of this rain.

I should have taken a photo of us; we were a sorry looking sight indeed.

There’s not much more to say, other than… I’ll be back!

Here are some links to plan your day at South Stradbroke Island for a bush walking experience.


Remember to experience the Gold Coast on foot….

4 Responses to South Stradbroke Island is the place for bush walking

  1. […] the surface for a thrill. This is a world where you can glimpse the white sands and sea spray of South Stradbroke Island from a rockwall that is hundreds of metres off […]

  2. I did a five day walk around the island just last week (it can be done a lot quicker, but I do a lot of photography which slows me down a lot). Like you I got the boat to Couran, then hiked up to Tipplers where I set up camp for two nights. Second day was continuing along the trail to where it was abruptly cut off by the advancing sand dunes, so followed the dunes up to The Bedroooms, then the coast up to Half Moon Bay, then the dunes again to the top at Jumpinpin Point before returning along the main beach back to Tipplers. Third day I packed everything up, returned to the main beach and hiked down to North Currigee where again I set up camp for two nights. Fourth day I returned to the main beach for sunrise and hiked down to the bottom, then followed the dunes until I could get across, then followed the trails back to North Currigee. Final day I followed the sand road up to Browns Road where a track headed back to Couran. Some of the natural forest in this last stretch was rainforest just like the little rainforest area at the resort. Excellent walk – even better for hikers than Moreton or North Stradbroke.

    • Thanks Jeff for posting your adventure on South Stradbroke Island, it sounded fabulous. I don’t think that many realise what a beautiful place it is and literally only a stone’s throw away. Maybe that’s a good thing for now.



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