One of the reasons many holidaymakers choose to visit Stradbroke, also known as Minjerribah, one of the famous Queensland Island Holiday is to get back to nature. Hiking, swimming, snorkelling and diving feature heavily on many visitors’ to-do lists and there is an abundance of opportunities to take part in all these activities and more, here on Stradbroke Island.
If you’re looking for things to do on Stradbroke Island. You can hike one of the many nature trails available on Straddie, why not check out the Blue Lake Walk or Kaboora Track? The Kaboora Stradbroke island walk is one of the most popular hikes on the island and for good reason.
The Blue Lake is located in a National Park on North Stradbroke Island, and as its name suggests, the Blue Lake is a large freshwater lake with, you’ve guessed it, waters of an incredible blue. Along the way to the lake, you take in impressive forests of eucalyptus to reach this secluded piece of water. If you want to see the lake for yourself, the only way to get there is via a 3-kilometre trail making it a 6-kilometre round trip.
There’s more to the Blue Lake than being just a beautiful, secluded and peaceful piece of water. It’s a place of significance to the traditional Aboriginal owners of the land, the Quandamooka people. They know it as ‘Kaboora’ which means ‘deep silent pool’ – a very apt description. The lake is in the Naree Budjong Djara National Park and is one of the most sacred bodies of water on the island. It’s also one of the main drinking water sources for the island, so swimming in the lake is discouraged. However, if the heat gets too much for you, the nearby Brown Lake is a great place to take a cooling dip.
The trailhead of the Blue Lake Stradbroke Island Walk is located about a 10-minute drive from the town of Dunwich. Unfortunately, there’s no bus service to this area but the drive is very easy. Just head down Alfred Martin Way and you’ll soon come across the signs for the Blue Lake or Kaboora trail. This is the quickest way to reach the lake. You’ll find plenty of parking and some amenities here so you can prepare yourself for your hike. Once on the trail, there are no facilities, which means no toilets and no benches or seating areas, so you need to be well prepared.
The Kaboora trail itself is mainly made up of dirt and loose sand with a gentle incline and easy-to-follow markers. This makes it an easy trail to walk that’s suitable for walkers of all abilities and young children too. The trees and foliage also give the trail some much-needed shade for hikers from the Aussie sun and there’s often an inland breeze to cool you down. However, it is recommended that you hike either in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the midday sun and always remember to take plenty of water with you – you will need at least one litre per person.
You may also want to take snacks, something to sit on and, of course, don’t forget the sunscreen. You won’t need a map as the trail is clearly marked. However, as the trail is in Naree Budjong Djara National Park, you’ll have to leave your canine friends at home as dogs are not allowed in our National Parks.
Set off from the car park and the wide, sandy trail meanders into a shady eucalyptus forest. Along the way, you’ll pass the Tortoise Lagoon. This body of water is part of the scenic wetlands located slightly lower than the trail itself.
As you near the end of theblue lake hike in Stradbroke Island, the path will widen out and you’ll see signs indicating the different trail options for your return journey. The lake itself is surrounded by thick vegetation comprising banksias, sedges and eucalypts which draws in the honeyeaters and lorikeets. You’ll also see ducks and grebes swimming on the lake which is home to many native freshwater fish such as gudgeons and rainbowfish. If you’re extremely lucky, you may see the elusive golden wallaby that’s found only on North and South Stradbroke and Peel Islands.
When walking at a moderate pace, you’ll probably be able to complete the round trip of 6 kilometres in around an hour and 45 minutes. If you want to extend your walk, there are several options to walk further by taking in trails which take you higher up into the National Park.