Sunday, 20 November 2011

North Stradbroke Island

Good News, Everyone: I finally remembered this blog when I was at home with time to spare!

A few months ago some friends and I went on a trip to North Stradbroke Island, as I'd been reading about the history of the island and wanted to check out a few things there. I took a plethora of photos and had intended to narrate the trip on this blog afterwards. Time has a habit of getting away from me however, and so here we find ourselves.

Our Trip Mascot, Sidney Dugong pines for the open sea.

Sidney getting in touch with his feminine side.
It's Dugongs all the way down!
After arriving, we walked through town and visited a few of the shops, where we found some giant, mutant strawberries, which were delicious despite their odd appearance. With apologies to Stephen Hawking, we then saw an opportunity for a photo opportunity. On the way there, the youngest of our group decided she wasn't quite ready to pass up an opportunity to use the playground facilities:

We passed a few museums and similar that are unfortunately closed on weekends, so I believe I will need to have a return trip sometime during the week when holidays allow, in order to visit these. Gratuitous photo time!

The old Docks.

The water is amazingly clear.

There were still a few attractions open on the weekend however, one of which is the North Stradbroke Island Historical Museum - Open 10am - 2pm Tuesday to Sunday. If you're ever able to make it to North Stradbroke Island, I can't recommend it enough. It's a wonderful snapshot of the history of the island - from the history of the aborigines on the island through white settlement. There is also a pretty excellent section on Shipwrecks, of which there were many around the island in the early days.

For obvious reasons cameras are frowned upon inside the museum proper, but I did sneak a photo of this marvel outside the entrance:

Sperm Whale skeletons are a rare thing to wash up on Queensland beaches, and this specimen was found in the early 1990s by Queensland Museum, who have since loaned it permanently to this Historical Museum. The thing is awesome, and the photo simply doesn't give you any appreciation of how big it is.

Across the road from this museum is the war memorial to those poor devils from Stradbroke Island who went to all of the conflicts Australia has been involved in, and never came home again. Unfortunately none of the photos of this I took turned out well enough. Next to this memorial however is this behemoth of a tree:

Friends shown for scale.

Following this museum adventure, we proceeded south out of Dunwich, towards the beach, passing a few things on the way. One is the oldest Church on the island, built in 1907, from the time when the island served the colony of Moreton Bay (later Brisbane) as an Asylum and hospital for sufferers of Leprosy, and later a disease quarantine station for inbound ships. Unfortunately the photo of the church itself did not turn out. Bonus photo of the cutest little pony in somebodies front yard.


We were rather lucky on the day that we had the beach almost entirely to ourselves, despite there being a number of local houses bordering onto it. There exist also a number of cabins there which I imagine are used for school groups as a camping facility, and a small research station operated by the University of Queensland.
The track to the beach.

The snorkelling is pretty excellent.

Following a good few hours spend relaxing at this beach, we headed back into town to grab a late lunch at one of the local restaurants, before getting the Ferry back to the mainland.

All in all, a good day was had. There was another part of the trip that I want to go into more detail for, so I will do that up as a separate blog entry in the future. Until then!

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