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My Hero Experience

My Hero Experience

By Guest Blogger Tiarna Elliott

North Stradbroke Island. Camping. Redlands Coast

For me, something that I believe really sets us apart from other areas is North Stradbroke Island. There is no other region where you can be on a faraway tropical paradise in less than an hour. I feel very lucky to live on Redlands Coast for many reasons, but most of all for having Straddie on my front doorstep.

Straddie was always my family’s favourite holiday destination. As each school holiday was creeping up, my siblings and I would get more and more excited about our journey to North Stradbroke Island. Once the day rolled around, in the early morning, we would get the car all packed up and ready to go. Mum would snap a quick photo of us all in front of our, full to the top, four wheel drive and off we would go.

straddiefamilyresizeAt Toodah Harbour, we would anxiously wait for our barge to arrive, looking out at the water and watching all the ferries coming in to dock and trying to guess which one would be ours. Once we were aboard we would hop out of the car and race to the top of the stairs into the Café to see if we could spot any dolphins out in the water. In 45 minutes, after a breathtakingly beautiful journey, we would arrive on Straddie! First stop, the Straddie Bakery for a sausage roll, fresh out of the oven, yum! Back in the car, we drive a short 20 minutes to the Main Beach causeway to let down our tyres. This was always my favourite part because this is where we would meet all our aunties, uncles and cousins! While Dad would be letting down the tyres, we would be racing down to the water’s edge to feel the sand between our toes and the salt water on our skin! Not long after, Dad would signal us to come back up to the car so we can go pick out our camping site. I fondly remember the drives along the beach, with the windows down and taking in all the scenery, with either ACDC, The Police or Fleetwood Mac faintly playing the background.

straddieinsidecar-resizeWe would arrive at our campsite and start unloading everything out of the car. This was almost routine after the many times we had done it before. After everything was set up, the only thing left to do was to have fun, and for Mum and Dad- to relax. Us kids would be playing on the dunes, while Mum and Dad watched from a distance with their feet up and a beer in hand. Our home away from home.

The campsites were always abundant with wildlife; singing birds, sand crabs, if we were lucky, dolphins! And almost always goannas, which me and my cousins would always name and create a character for each of them. I remember lying down in the sand one afternoon, watching my sisters and all my cousins swimming and jumping through the waves… Then also spotting two dark shadows swimming in the waves behind them! Safe to say, they all ran out quick as a flash once they realised what we were screaming out at them.

straddie3campingresizeMy visits with my family to Straddie have always been my favourite memories and I will always hold them close to my heart. I will enjoy visiting with my two furbabies and my partner in the future and continue the tradition that my Dad started.

Everything else that makes Redlands Coast great

  • Wellington Point - in the afternoon, have ice-cream and fish & chops at the point watching the tide go out, walk to King Island at low tide. 
  • Aboriginal experiences, culture and history

  • Heritage trails 

  • Beaches, large shopping precincts, hiking and walking trails

  • Waterfront dining

 

 

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