Sunday, 13 January 2013

A weekend on North Stradbroke Island

I have a soft spot for North Stradbroke Island. All through Primary School, it was where we went for our family beach holidays and I have wonderful memories of sandy houses and quiet streets, mornings and afternoons in the surf and packets of pringles popped on the beach at sunset. Mmmm...pringles.

So when Jane offered me a long weekend at Straddie I leapt at the chance.We caught the ferry over on a Wednesday afternoon, after I had been at work for a whole three days. We were in a house on Prosperity Street at Point Lookout, right next door to about three houses I had stayed in when I was younger. Point Lookout had not changes one iota from my memories of it. The shops, the houses, everything at least seemed identical.

Prosperity Street is easy walking distance to both Deadmans Beach and Cylinder Beach. Cylinder Beach is one of the most popular beaches at Point Lookout, usually crowded out with families and tourists. Only locals and holiday makers in the know go around the rocks to Deadmans. Less family friendly but not crowded and all around a more enjoyable place to spend a few hours.

Early morning on Deadmans Beach.

 Settling in for a swim and a bit of beach reading.

A tiny piece of bluebottle stinger washed on to my hand. I hadn't been stung for years and I can put it off again for another decade at least. It looked redder in real life than in this photo.

This old gent and his dog were having a great time. He was fully clothed complete with hard working boots and thick socks. You could have put him on a sheep station and he would not have looked out of place.

There isn't a lot to do on Straddie. Which is no bad thing. Going there for three days we covered a lot even with afternoons spent reading and watching cricket. What this forced nothingness does is make your visit incredibly relaxing. When the only big decisions you have to make in your day are which beach to surf at and if you could be bothered to leave the house for a drink, life is easy.

Lunch at Look cafe/bar.  House salad on the left, apple, rocket and walnut salad on the right. 
Both delicious!

Mal Starkey's Seafood House. 
The shop is quite literally under his house and the seafood was delicious! 

The only element that had changed this holiday as opposed to all the previous holidays I had spent on the island was that this time I could drink. We took ourselves to the Point Lookout Pub more than once. We tried to get in to the yacht (surf) club but the car park was too busy.

Enjoying a Moreton Bay Mule at the Point Lookout Pub. $10 on ladies' night! Ingredients: Lime Finlandia Vodka, lime juice and ginger beer. The cocktails were surprisingly good. 

One of my favourite activities to do at the beach is the early morning walk along the sand. It is the only circumstance when it is easy for me to drag myself out of bed to exercise.

Early mornings on Cylinder Beach.

Locals and visitors taking early morning surfing lessons.

On the Friday, Jane and I tripped out to Brown Lake with a short stop off at the The Most Amazing Shop. That isn't a superlative, that is actually what the shop is called. We wouldn't have bothered except I read this blog post earlier this week by Brisbane blogger Girl Clumsy and immediately added it to our itinerary.

The Most Amazing Shop is sort of the best junk shop you have ever seen. There can be no mistaking - this is a shop full of junk. But it's Amazing Junk!

 Velociraptor for your garden?

Even if you don't buy anything, you are encouraged to make a gold coin donation for Karla's new wheelchair. Worth so much more for the sheer enjoyment of exploring this weathered treasure trove.

 Tempting, but I resisted.

Gentleman's Willy Care Kit. The gift for the man who has everything? 

Brown Lake was one of my favourite spots on Straddie when I was younger. It's so placid and natural. It's still beautiful but for swimming I definitely prefer the ocean.

Brown Lake, stained by tea tree.

It was a great little trip away, and so much easier then you might think. My parents clearly knew what they were doing when they brought us here as kids and I would happily go back any time for a short break of doing nothing.

 The crowds for the one proper ice cream shop at Point Lookout, all crowded in to avoid the midday sun.

It doesn't get much bluer than this.

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