South Stradbroke Island

Coordinates: 27°51′S 153°25′E / 27.850°S 153.417°E / -27.850; 153.417
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South Stradbroke Island
Native name:
Nickname: South Straddie
NASA Landsat Image of South Stradbroke
LocationMoreton Bay
Coordinates27°51′S 153°25′E / 27.850°S 153.417°E / -27.850; 153.417
Length21 km (13 mi)
Width2.5 km (1.55 mi)
RegionGold Coast, South East Queensland
Local government areaCity of Gold Coast
Population142 (2021 census)
Ethnic groupsQuandamooka people
South Stradbroke
A humpback whale heading north for the winter, off the coast of South Stradbroke
Population41 (2016 census)[1]
 • Density1.310/km2 (3.39/sq mi)
Area31.3 km2 (12.1 sq mi)
Time zoneAEST (UTC+10:00)
LGA(s)City of Gold Coast
State electorate(s)Broadwater
Federal division(s)Fadden
Suburbs around South Stradbroke:
Southern Moreton Bay Islands North Stradbroke Island Coral Sea
Southern Moreton Bay Islands South Stradbroke Coral Sea
Paradise Point
Runaway Bay
Biggera Waters
Main Beach
Coral Sea

South Stradbroke Island (Indigenous: Minjerribah[2]), colloquially South Straddie,[3] is an island that lies within Moreton Bay in the Australian state of Queensland, south of Brisbane and forms the northern end of Gold Coast. The island is a locality within the City of Gold Coast.[4] In the 2021 census, South Stradbroke had a population of 142 people.[5][1]

The 21 kilometres (13 mi) by 2.5 kilometres (1.6 mi) sized island is the smaller one of the two Stradbroke Islands and lies very close to the mainland.[6] The island has hundreds of wild wallabies that are usually human orientated. They are also well known for stealing bread from tents and cabins, and joining campers at their fires.

One of more than 360 islands within Moreton Bay, the southern end of South Stradbroke Island fronts the Broadwater, and the tip marks the Gold Coast Seaway, only a matter of metres from the mainland at Southport Spit. In the northeast is Tipplers Passage which separates the island from many smaller islands within the bay closer to the mainland. The east coast borders the Coral Sea.

South Stradbroke Island consists mainly of sand dunes, remnant livistona rainforest and melaleuca wetlands.[7] The island also has unique flora and fauna. The golden wallaby is endemic to the island and the agile wallaby, once more common to the region, has now retreated to the island.[8]


Even before its formation as a separate island in 1896 the lands and waters of what is now South Stradbroke were sacred to the Quandamooka people who had long inhabited Redland Bay islands.

To the north the island is separated by the Jumpinpin Channel from the larger North Stradbroke Island. Both islands were originally one island, Stradbroke Island. In September 1894, heavy seas drove aground the barque Cambus Wallace at a narrow isthmus roughly halfway down the island's length. Salvage activity (including the detonation of a cargo of explosives) weakened the sand dunes along the spit such that by the spring of 1896, storms and tides had created a permanent opening from Moreton Bay to the Coral Sea now known as Jumpinpin Channel.[9] The new tidal channel caused large changes to the channels and islands within southern Moreton Bay. Coastal managers are concerned that eventually one day Jumpinpin may repair itself which may cause problems for tidal waterway management including fish stocks, dugong habitat, erosion and flooding.[2]

Some land clearing for cattle grazing conducted in the early 20th century has occurred.[10] During the 1950 to 1960s sand mining was conducted at the northern ocean beach area but reserves were limited.[6] From the 1870s onwards the island's inner shores were used as camp grounds for holders of oystering licences.[6] A small township called Moondarewa with 156 surveyed lots, was established at the island's southern tip. By 1953 the island's natural movement north had washed away most of the settlement.[6] Also once located at the southern end was a small area of vine scrub rainforest that attracted significant bird-life.[2]

In 2009, some filming was done on the island for the 2011 film The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.[11]

The population of the island at the 2011 census was 101,[12] but the number of people on the island swells significantly during the holiday season.

On 17 April 2023 services to the community of Couran Cove were turned off amid a legal dispute. Hundreds of homes were without power, water, and gas.[13]

Heritage listings[edit]

South Stradbroke Island has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:

Accommodation facilities[edit]

The island is a tourist destination. There are numerous campsites including an anchorage for the Southport Yacht Club and Dux Campsite, owned by The Southport School. Tipplers was purchased by the Gold Coast City Council in 2009. Due to ongoing encroachment of the sand dunes, the Council-run Bedrooms Campsite was closed in 2013. The Council has three alternate campgrounds: Tipplers that accommodates up to 100 tents with gas BBQs, a children's play area, and a kiosk that has basic camping supplies including ice and firewood;[19] and North and South Currigee that together accommodates up to 80 tents with access to BBQs, a children's play area, and a mini kiosk for basic camping supplies.[20]

Couran Cove Island Resort is located on the north side of South Stradbroke Island Resort. Located approximately forty minutes by boat from Surfers Paradise, Couran Cove Island Resort provides a range of accommodation options, dining and the opportunity to see native Australian animals in the forest.[21] The resort was established by Ron Clarke and originally opened in 1998 as an eco-tourist resort.[22] While the resort is not marketed as such now it does incorporate a number of environmental design features and technologies. There are also several private house located at the southern end of the Island.

As at May 2023, there are many reports from remaining South Stradbroke Island residents that the resort closed after Easter 2023, with no defined reopening date, while the associated entities seek to resolve long-running legal disputes. Many local media reports indicate that the numbers of remaining permanent inhabitants on the island have dwindled, and as a result of disputes some of the island residents have had access to water, electricity and gas cut off.


An 1,800-hectare (4,400-acre) conservation park provides access to native wildlife. The park is suitable for hiking and ocean fishing.[23]

Other recreational activities include jet ski tours, tube rides, 4WD tours, and speed boat rides. These operate from the Couran Cove Island Resort and Tipplers Passage.[24]


There are no schools on the island, but there are many schools on the mainland. However, accessing those schools would depend on the transport options available from the home location on the island.[25] Distance education would be another option.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "South Stradbroke (SSC)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 20 October 2018. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ a b c "South Stradbroke Island history". Gold Coast history and heritage. City of Gold Coast. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  3. ^ "Visiting South Straddie". Gold Coast Tourist Parks. City of Gold Coast. Archived from the original on 23 October 2015. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  4. ^ "South Stradbroke – locality in City of Gold Coast (entry 46084)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  5. ^ "2021 South Stradbroke, Census All persons QuickStats | Australian Bureau of Statistics". Retrieved 25 May 2023.
  6. ^ a b c d Horton, Helen (1983). Islands of Moreton Bay. Spring Hill, Queensland: Boolarong Publications. pp. 96–102. ISBN 0-908175-67-1.
  7. ^ "Guide to Stradbroke Island in Queensland". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Digital. 24 November 2008. Retrieved 10 September 2009.
  8. ^ "Wallabies". Eco-Online. Queensland Museum. Retrieved 10 September 2009.
  9. ^ "Stradbroke Island". Gold Coast City Council. 2 September 2009. Archived from the original on 9 October 2009. Retrieved 3 December 2020.
  10. ^ Hundloe, T. (2015). "The impacts on the Gold Coast's terristrial environments". In Hundloe, Tor; McDougall, Bridgette; Page, Craig (eds.). The Gold Coast Transformed: From Wilderness to Urban Ecosystem. Csiro Publishing. p. 55. ISBN 978-1486303304. Retrieved 21 August 2015.
  11. ^ Scott, Peter (6 November 2009). "Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader". Mornings with Steve Austin (Interview: Transcript/audio). Interviewed by Steve Austin. 612 ABC Brisbane, ABC Local Radio. Archived from the original on 22 November 2009. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  12. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "South Stradbroke Island (SSC)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 5 October 2015. Edit this at Wikidata
  13. ^ "Aussies explode as Queensland's Couran Cove blacks out". Nationwide News. 17 April 2023. Retrieved 17 April 2023.
  14. ^ Gold Coast Local Heritage Register - A to M, pp. 43-44
  15. ^ "Dux Hut (entry 602012)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  16. ^ Gold Coast Local Heritage Register - A to M, pp. 33-34
  17. ^ Gold Coast Local Heritage Register - N to Z, pp. 115-116
  18. ^ Gold Coast Local Heritage Register - N to Z, pp. 137-138
  19. ^ "Camping: Tipplers". Gold Coast Tourist Parks. City of Gold Coast. 2015. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  20. ^ "Camping: North and South Currigee". Gold Coast Tourist Parks. City of Gold Coast. 2015. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  21. ^ "Homepage". Couran Cove Island Resort. Ramada Couran Cove. 2014. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  22. ^ Buckley, Ralf (2003). Case Studies in Ecotourism. CABI. p. 194. ISBN 0851997694. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  23. ^ "South Stradbroke Island, Gold Coast". Gold Coast Tourism. 2014. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  24. ^ "Popular experiences". Retrieved 26 February 2018.
  25. ^ "Queensland Globe". State of Queensland. Retrieved 12 November 2019.


External links[edit]

Media related to South Stradbroke Island at Wikimedia Commons