South Stradbroke Island Conservation Park Gold Coast

Fragile foredunes hem miles of secluded beaches. Photo credit: Cheryn Kelly © Queensland Government

Visiting South Stradbroke Island Conservation Park safely

    Getting there and getting around

    South Stradbroke Island is 1–2km across The Broadwater from the northern Gold Coast suburbs of Paradise Point and Runaway Bay. You can get there several ways, either by private boat, water taxi, boat hire, sea plane, jet ski or kayak. See the tourism information links for details.

    The island lies between the Gold Coast Spit and North Stradbroke Island. To the south, The Spit is just 350m across the Gold Coast Seaway while North Stradbroke Island to the north is separated by the 1km wide Jumpinpin bar.

    Private boat access

    South Stradbroke Island can be reach by private boat from a number of departure points including the Jacobs Well boat ramp, Runaway Bay Marina, Sanctuary Cove Marina and Marina Mirage at Main Beach. Select a departure point that best suits your destination on this island.

    For Tipplers, on the north-west of the island, the boat ride is approximately 30 minutes from Runaway Bay Marina or 20 minutes from the Jacobs Well boat ramp.

    For Couran Cove Resort, on the central-west of the island, the boat ride is approximately 20 minutes from Runaway Bay Marina.

    No public moorings are available at South Stradbroke Island. Private vessels can anchor in The Broadwater along the western side of the island.

    Boating maps by Maritime Safety Queensland should be used as a guide for navigation.

    Four-wheel-drive access on the island

    Four-wheel-drive access for visitors is limited as transport to the island is by boat only. There are no public vehicle barge services operating to the island.

    Four-wheel-drive (4WD) vehicles using the park’s tracks must stay on designated roads and vehicle tracks. Driving on or over vegetation, including the fore dunes, is prohibited. All vehicles must be registered and drivers licensed. All Queensland road rules apply.

    Please read these before driving on South Stradbroke Island:

    Wheelchair accessibility

    There are no areas deemed accessible by a conventional wheelchair in South Stradbroke Island Conservation Park.

    Staying safe

    Sand slips are silent

    Exposed sand dunes and sand cliffs are unstable and can collapse without warning. Serious injury or death can result. Don't assume that this won't happen when you or your children are there.

    • Do not toboggan down sand dunes on the eastern beach; you can suffer serious head and spinal injuries.
    • Never climb, slide down or dig into sand dunes or sand cliffs.

    Walking safely

    • Stay alert when on the beach. Approaching vehicles are difficult to hear over the sounds of the surf and wind.
    • Carry sufficient water when walking, and treat all water collected from taps, lakes or watercourses before drinking.
    • Walk in groups and supervise children at all times.
    • If exiting walking tracks out on to the eastern beach, take note of the emergency positioning sign number SSI 1 to 9. This will help you locate the track entrance on your return journey.
    • Carry a first-aid kit and have someone in the group who is a current first aider.
    • Allow plenty of time to reach destinations well before dark.
    • Mosquitoes are common in the warmer months. Avoid bites as some mosquitoes carry Ross River and Barmah Forest virus. Wear long, loose, light-coloured clothing and use insect repellent for protection.
    • When walking along roads or beaches, ensure you are visible to drivers.

    Water safety

    People have suffered serious injuries in water-related accidents. There are no patrolled swimming areas on South Stradbroke Island. Avoid tragedy.

    • Always stay with children when near water.
    • Avoid swimming in the ocean. It is not patrolled by lifeguards and there may be rips and sharks.
    • Do not dive into water. Serious injuries have occurred.

    Boating safety

    If arriving by private boat to the island:

    • check tide times and weather forecasts, available from the Bureau of Meteorology
    • know the risks, know your equipment, know your responsibilities and know your boat
    • seek local advice about strong currents and tidal influences.

    In an emergency

    Phone Triple Zero (000) for all life threatening, critical or serious emergencies, or for reporting a bushfire or acts of arson. Yellow emergency positioning signs SSI 1 to 9 are located on the eastern beach. When calling 000 advise the operator of your nearest emergency positioning sign.

    Check for park alerts

    For more information, check park alerts and read the guidelines on safety in parks and forests.

    The quacking call of the wallum rocketfrog can be heard on warm, rainy nights.

    The quacking call of the wallum rocketfrog can be heard on warm, rainy nights.

    Photo credit: Harry Hines © Queensland Government

    Eastern curlews use their large curved beak to probe in to the sand in search of food.

    Eastern curlews use their large curved beak to probe in to the sand in search of food.

    Photo credit: Queensland Government

    Little tern chick and eggs in the shingle beds at the tip of South Stradbroke Island.

    Little tern chick and eggs in the shingle beds at the tip of South Stradbroke Island.

    Photo credit: Deborah Duncan © Queensland Government

    Before you visit

    Essentials to bring

    Preparation is the key to a safe and enjoyable visit. Limited facilities are available on the island so make sure to pack everything you require.

    Protective personal items

    Long sleeved shirts and trousers, sunscreen, hat and sunglasses are recommended to protect yourself from the sun. Mosquitoes are especially prevalent during the warmer months of the year. Insect repellent is essential to avoid mosquito and sand fly bites.

    Fuel and supplies

    Fuel and supplies are available in mainland coastal towns from Redland Bay to the Gold Coast. For more information see the tourism information links.

    First-aid kit and prescription medicines

    There is no pharmacy or resident doctor on the island. Bring adequate supplies of any prescription medication you need and a well-equipped first-aid kit. It's always wise to have at least one person with a current first-aid certificate in your group.

    Drinking water

    No drinking water is available in the park. Water and other supplies are available at council campgrounds and private facilities on the island.


    Bring your own garbage bags and sealable containers for rubbish, including small containers for cigarette butts and bottle tops. Always extinguish cigarette butts. Don't discard the butts on the island, unless in a bin. 'Pack it in and pack it out'.

    Opening hours

    South Stradbroke Island Conservation Park is open 24 hours a day.

    Permits and fees

    There are currently no permits or fees required for visiting South Stradbroke Island Conservation Park. However large organised groups and commercial operators planning on visiting the park should view permits and fees for further information.


    Domestic animals are not permitted in the conservation park.


    Generators are not permitted in the conservation park.

    Climate and weather

    South Stradbroke Island has a mild, subtropical climate. The average daily temperature range is 22–30°C in summer and 12–22°C in winter.

    Always check weather warnings before heading off. Tsunami, cyclones and extremely high tides may occur in coastal areas. Visit the Bureau of Meteorology website for weather forecasts or tsunami updates and stay tuned to a local radio station for weather updates.

    Park closures and warnings

    Prior to arrival, check Park Alerts for park closures or warnings about issues, such as floods, fires, road and walking track conditions and scheduled maintenance.