Dog-Friendly North Stradbroke Island: Visiting with a Dog

North Stradbroke Island lies just off the coast of Brisbane, and is a great Queensland island destination to visit with your dog. Find out more about visiting North Stradbroke Island, or “Straddie” as it’s often called, from how to get to the island to dog-friendly places to stay and dine out.

North Stradbroke Island
© Tourism and Events Queensland

Are Dogs Allowed on North Stradbroke Island?

Yes, dogs are allowed on North Stradbroke Island, although there are places on this large island where they are not allowed. As well as being prohibited from many beaches, dogs are not allowed in the Naree Budjong Djara National Park, including Blue Lake, plus at Brown Lake.

On the other hand, dogs are generally not allowed on South Stradbroke Island to the south. The majority of the island is contained within the South Stradbroke Island Island Conservation Park where pets are prohibited, plus dogs are not allowed at any of the other campsites.

How to Get to North Stradbroke Island

There are multiple ways to get to North Stradbroke Island with your dog. The main option is the car ferry operated by Sealink. There are also two passenger ferries (also called water taxis): the Stradbroke Flyer and a second ferry operated by Sealink.

All three services depart regularly from Toondah Harbour in Cleveland. The passenger ferries are the quicker option, taking about 25 minutes, while the car ferry takes 50 minutes.

North Stradbroke Island Passenger Ferries
The passenger ferries departing to North Stradbroke Island

Each of the ferries permit dogs on board, for no additional fee. Sealink stipulates that dogs need to either travel in your car, or otherwise be leashed and muzzled. The same rules likely apply on the Stradbroke Flyer. 

Do You Need to Take a Car to North Stradbroke Island?

When visiting North Stradbroke Island, it’s easiest if you take your car across, particularly if you are visiting Stradbroke with a dog. The island is quite large and spread out – for instance the off-leash dog beach is a 20 minute drive from the ferry terminal.

There is a bus that operates on Stradbroke Island. Unlike buses on the mainland, dogs are technically allowed onboard, either in a carrier or wearing a muzzle and leash. However, the transport of pets on the buses is at the discretion of the driver.

Additionally, the bus services are rather limited and I’ve heard it’s quite common for the buses to be full on busy weekends and holiday periods – meaning dogs are unlikely to be accepted.

Some accommodation providers also provide a pick-up service, which may or may not be dog-friendly. But you’re still restricted where you can visit once you get to your accommodation.

Dog-Friendly Beaches on North Stradbroke Island

One of the main attractions of North Stradbroke Island are its beaches, and dogs visiting the island haven’t been overlooked, with an off-leash dog beach on the island – a section of Home Beach at Point Lookout.

The off-leash section is in between Rocky Point and Rocky Headland, in front of the Point Lookout Hotel. Point Lookout is an easy 20-minute drive from the ferry terminal on sealed roads, with plenty of nearby accommodation.

Point Lookout North Stradbroke Island
Point Lookout on North Stradbroke Island © Tourism and Events Queensland

Pet dogs are also allowed on-leash on a number of other beaches, including most of Main Beach, most of Flinders Beach, Deadmans Beach and Frenchmans Beach. Check the signs at the beach. 

Note that dogs are prohibited from these sections of beach:

  • Cylinder Beach and the adjacent reserve
  • Main Beach between the access road adjacent to the Point Lookout Surf Lifesaving Club and  a point northeast of Plant 7 Road
  • Flinders Beach between Geeera Street and the Amity Point access
  • Plus in front of the swimming enclosures
Main Beach on North Stradbroke Island
Dogs are allowed along most of Main Beach © Tourism and Events Queensland

Dog-Friendly Parks on North Stradbroke Island

North Stradbroke Island is also home to one off-leash dog park, great for if you want your dog to burn off some energy but not get covered in sand, such as before you take the return ferry off the island.

The dog park is located at the Barton Street Park in Dunwich, in between the skate bowl and the fenced off area. For more information, refer to the Redland City Council website

More Dog-Friendly Sightseeing on North Stradbroke Island

Another top dog-friendly attraction on North Stradbroke Island is the Gorge Walk. Leashed dogs are welcome to join you on this dog-friendly walk.

The walk starts almost at the end of Mooloomba Road in Point Lookout. A 1.2km long boardwalk follows the headland of Point Lookout, offering spectacular views. There’s even a good chance of spotting whales between June and November.

Gorge Walk on North Stradbroke Island
The dog-friendly Gorge walk © Tourism and Events Queensland

Some of the other popular activities on North Stradbroke Island are 4WDing on the beach and fishing from the beaches, with dogs welcome to join you as long as they aren’t prohibited from the beach. Make sure you also purchase a 4WD permit.

Dog-Friendly Cafes & Pubs on North Stradbroke Island

There’s an increasing number of dog-friendly dining options that you can choose from when staying on North Stradbroke Island, if a BBQ at your campsite or accommodation isn’t planned.

Just outside of Dunwich, head to the Little Ship Club. With its wide grassy lawn, there’s plenty of room to sit outdoors with your pup, perhaps while you enjoy the sunset.

Alternatively, head to Straddie Brewing Co, not far from the ferry terminal. There’s a pet-friendly area on the ground floor, along with water bowls for pups.

At Point Lookout, while the Stradbroke Island Hotel was previously not pet-friendly, it now has a dog-friendly dining area. Pets are also welcome at the bowling club and many of the other cafes with outdoor dining areas around Point Lookout.

It’s best to check opening hours in advance, which often vary between peak and off-peak seasons.

Dog-Friendly Accommodation on North Stradbroke Island

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive commission if you make a purchase using the links. See my full disclaimer.

There’s a range of dog-friendly accommodation options on North Stradbroke Island. 

One of the classic options is camping along the foreshore. Dogs are allowed in two foreshore camping areas: Flinders Beach (at the north of the island) and Main Beach (along the east of the island).

Both of these camping areas are only accessible by 4WD. In addition to your campground reservation, you need to purchase a 4WD permit, valid for either one month or one year. There’s a limit of two dogs per site, and dogs must be kept on leash.

Beach driving on Stradbroke Island
4WDing on North Stradbroke Island © Tourism and Events Queensland

If camping isn’t your thing or you don’t have a 4WD, instead consider Sea Shanties at Amity Point. Also a waterfront option, they have eight basic cabins with ensuites and kitchens, sleeping between two and six guests. About half of the cabins are pet-friendly, with well-behaved dogs permitted. 

There’s also plenty of holiday rentals on North Stradbroke Island, some that are listed as pet-friendly. However, many rentals only allow pets outside, so always double check the rules in advance, especially if your dog is an inside dog.

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About the Author

Photo of Shandos & Schnitzel

Shandos Cleaver is the founder of Travelnuity: Dog-Friendly Travel. She has travelled extensively with her Miniature Dachshund, Schnitzel, including to 33 countries across Europe, every state and territory of Australia except Tasmania, and 10 of the United States. She’s passionate about providing inspiration and information to others wanting to travel with their dogs, whether close to home or internationally.

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