Australia is not only the territory of koalas and kangaroos. When on the east coast, why not take a look at the whales?
From June till early November, there is a large run of the biggest mammals of the sea along the east coast of the continent. The most spectacular is in the mating-season when, swimming North, they jump out of the water during their mating-dance.
Later, when they travel back to the polar waters of Antarctica, you can see them only by the flume that they blow out. Don’t forget to bring your binoculars to have a better view. Who knows, you may even catch a mother whale with her calf!
And do you know what is the best of this? You don’t have to book a tour, don’t need to go on a cruise, no worries about sea-sickness! 40 km away from Brisbane airport, there is a small place, North Stradbroke Island, where you can watch the whales without getting wet.
Take a ferry or leave your car in Cleveland, at the port, and go to the island by a Stradbroke Flyer. In Dunwich, you can catch a bus to Point Lookout in the north.
A long walking track guides you on the side of the sea, between rocks and flowers. There are stairs up and down, and lovely viewpoints. At every place, you get the chance to see whales. Keep an eye free for other species, like turtles and dolphins as well.
Other things to do on the island
If you haven’t been lucky enough to catch even one of them? Don’t be sad. You can still go into the museum to have a look at the ancient islanders’ life and also at a big whale skull.
You may read the story about the old Spanish galleon, which is buried somewhere here on the island under the sand. Living on the island are people whose grandfathers told them there was a story about somebody who had seen a piece of Spanish gold in someone’s hands.
True or only a fable, who knows. But isn’t it exciting to imagine that we can have a walk on a treasure island ourselves? If you like, you can rent a four-wheel-drive vehicle to drive on the sand, or rent a bike to make a circuit of the island.
Want a peaceful day? Stay on the island for a while. Have a beach yoga lesson, go diving, try out surfing or watch the birds in the wetland and bushland. On the Goompi Trail, you can get a view of the rich aboriginal history and traditions of the island.
Transport and accommodation
There are different kinds of accommodations from camping or two-bedrooms with a shared bathroom for AUD 30 at the port-town Dunwich, or up to 400 AUD for luxurious guesthouses at Point Lookout.
The ferries and flyers regularly go between the island and the mainland. The bus from the port to Point Lookout goes once an hour, taking only twenty minutes.
To plan your trip, you can find all the important information at the North Stradbroke Island website. ~TPM
About Orsolya Harrach—Orsi is a 63-year old Hungarian freelance translator with many trips to write about. Harrach hopes there are more to come. In addition to most of Europe, Orsi has visited China, Cuba, Canada, Nepal, Australia, and more. Harrach is an ITWPA member.