South Stradbroke Island
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NASA Landsat Image of South Stradbroke
|Length||21 km (13 mi)|
|Width||2.5 km (1.55 mi)|
|Local government area||Gold Coast|
South Stradbroke Island is an Australian island in the state of Queensland, south of Brisbane and forms the northern end of Gold Coast. 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. 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.
The southern end 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 small islands near the mainland. The east coast borders the Coral Sea. Gold Coast Ferries operates a ferry service to the island.
South Stradbroke Island consists mainly of sand dunes, remnant livistona rainforest and melaleuca wetlands. 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.
In the north the island is separated by the Jumpinpin Channel from the larger North Stradbroke Island. Before 1896 the island was part of the Stradbroke Island. In that year the island was separated by a storm from North Stradbroke Island. An earlier storm caused a passing vessel carrying rum to run ashore. The locals from Southport trudged across the sand dunes to collect the rum from the shipwreck. They used plows to lower the height of the dunes to near sea level so that collecting the rum was easier. The next storm caused the island to split into two. 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.
During the 1950 to 1960s sand-mining was conducted at the northern ocean beach area but reserves were limited. From the 1870s onwards the island's inner shores were used as camp grounds for holders of oystering licenses. 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. Also once located at the southern end was a small area of vine scrub rainforest that attracted significant bird-life.
In 2009, some filming was done on the island for the 2011 film The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. 
South Stradbroke Island has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:
The island is a tourism 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 February 2009, and is now closed for accommodation. Ramada Couran Cove Island Resort is located on the north side of South Stradbroke Island Resort; located approximately forty minutes from Surfers Paradise, it provides accommodation, dining and the opportunity to see native Australia animals in the forest.
One of the much loved and fiercely challenged sporting battles on the island is the annual Currigee Cup, held each year on New Years Day, and has been running since 1965. The origin of the race was supposed to be a bet amongst local residents - Messers, Beckman and Knowlman, who decided to take their on-shore differences to sea, and have now created what is now one of the most unknown, yet most tightly challenged nautical battles in South-East Queensland. The committee for the cup now changes from year to year, composed of family members of the island.
Almost all the families staying on the southern part of the island take part in the races, of which there are many for each class of boat, including lasers, hobie cats and trailer-sailers. The course weaves its way through the Broadwater, part of Moreton Bay and finishes up in various parties along the island. A sandcastle competition is held in the afternoon. The main award is the prestigious Currigee Cup, awarded to the most gallant crew, not necessarily the fastest.
- Horton, Helen (1983). Islands of Moreton Bay. Spring Hill, Queensland: Boolarong Publications. pp. 96—102. ISBN 0-908175-67-1.
- "Guide to Stradbroke Island in Queensland". Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Digital). 2008-11-24. Retrieved 2009-09-10.
- "Wallabies". Eco-Online. Queensland Museum. Retrieved 2009-09-10.
- "Dux Hut (entry 602012)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-06-19.
Media related to South Stradbroke Island at Wikimedia Commons