This peaceful, picturesque island is the Gold Coast's best-kept secret, despite the fact it's barely a stone's throw from Main Beach. You'll always have a patch of paradise to yourself on South Straddie, as the locals know it. No cars, no crowds, no traffic… Just a sky full of stars, perhaps a crackling campfire and the soothing rhythm of waves lapping at the shore.
It makes it a great day trip for those who travel by private boat, charter, ferry or water taxi from several departure points along the Gold Coast. There are three council campgrounds on the island, as well as a café, for those who wish to extend their stay. And who wouldn't? South Straddie offers superb surfing, swimming, fishing and bushwalking.
On one side, South Stradbroke is fringed by the calm water of the Gold Coast Broadwater, the other is home to some of the region's best surf spots. In the middle of the island you'll find almost untouched native bushland – a mix of remnant rainforest and melaleuca wetlands. The Indigenous Australians who lived here for 20,000 years called this place Minjerribah, or Island In The Sun. In the wilder, uninhabited areas, the island doesn't look too different now to how it must have been all those millennia ago.