Australia’s North Stradbroke Island makes for a great side trip from Brisbane. I did “Straddie” in a day, but I think an overnight stay would be ideal. The island has so many beautiful sights and beaches, and it’s fairly easy to tour without a car.

Via public transport, the journey requires rides on a train, two buses and a ferry — each way. But all of the services are synchronized and quite efficient. Within two hours of saying bye-bye to Brisbane, I was saying hello to this. Wow!

Straddie’s most popular sight is the North Gorge Walk. This 1.2 kilometer route is easy and follows a winding path on a wooden boardwalk.

And every step of the way is magnificent.

dsc01922

There are a few spots where visitors can walk onto the cliffs for incredible views and the chance to kick back while watching for whales and sea turtles. Which is what I did!

dsc02026

The walk concludes with a bird’s-eye view of Main Beach and South Gorge.

dsc01950

See all the surfers?

dsc01964

The North Gorge Walk isn’t a circular path, so I got to see everything in reverse as I doubled back. And guess who I ran into along the way? My first kangaroos in the wild! There were about seven of them, all enjoying a meal.

Notice anything interesting in this photo?

dsc02045

There’s a baby on board!

dsc02045-copy

At one point, when the mama was eating grass, the little joey poked its head out and ate too — without even leaving the pouch. What a little pouch potato!

dsc02059

Here’s a photo from a different angle.

dsc02069

dsc02069

After completing the path along the gorge, I walked the length of neighboring Frenchman’s Beach.

dsc02116

Then I climbed over some rocks to continue walking on Deadman’s Beach. Glad I learned the name of the beach after my visit! Here’s some history via StradbrokeIsland.comIn 1956 a skeleton and boot were uncovered in the sand on this beach, and it is believed they were the remains of the Prosperity’s mate or cook. The finding gave the beach its name.

dsc02223

Here are the rest of my photos from North Stradbroke Island: