The island mini-break outfits {plus top 5 things to do on Straddie}

It had been too long between visits. Four years too long to be precise.

North Stradbroke Island, just a 40-minute barge ride across Moreton Bay from Brisbane, is one of those places the effect of even a single visit can stake a claim on your heart forever.

It’s also one of those places that I liken to an old friend. You know the friends I’m talking about don’t you? The ones who you may not actually get to talk to in person for months or years but when you do catch up, it’s like that gap in time never happened.

So, when the invitation came through from Tourism Queensland* to head over to our beloved “Straddie” for a quick pre-Christmas mini break, it took about 30 seconds in a family round-table meeting to all agree we needed to go. To check on our old friend and see how she was weathering.

Many people are fond of a spot of camping on Straddie. Each to their own. You won’t be surprised to know I do not share that fondness.

I have a fondness for lovely beds and white sheets; fridges filled with bubbly bottles; big bathtubs and balconies with views … some of the things I have at home … and many of the things I WISH I did have at home.

Which is why we’ve always holidayed in beach houses on Straddie.

The beach houses for rent on Straddie range from original 1950s shacks through to homes so worthy of a Belle magazine cover, they probably have been featured on one.

Property prices on Straddie are in the Lotto-winning stratosphere – even those original beach shacks – because available residential land is land-locked by national parks and most are within a stones’ throw of the water.

This combination has helped the island retain its charm, so much so that even in peak season (and we were there the first weekend of the Queensland school holidays), it’s still low key in comparison with other beach spots.

On previous visits, we’ve always managed to stay somewhere that exudes Straddie charm but … I have to say … we’ve never holidayed in a house like THIS ONE.

North Stradbroke Island | Point Lookout | Queensland

Aquila is three levels of architect-designed modern beach house goodness, perched high on the hill above Point Lookout’s surf club.

North Stradbroke Island | Point Lookout | Queensland

With wide polished floorboards, fibro and timber construction, views at every turn (even from the shower), it is a showcase of how it’s possible to build a modern “shack” that is designed to capture and flow even the slightest of summer breezes into a very liveable space. Yet, in winter, it’s possible to seal off the main living area and still take in those views, while hanging out around fireplace.

North Stradbroke Island | Point Lookout | Queensland

A house like Aquila is the perfect conduit for slipping into the ease that is a typical day on Straddie.

A routine that goes a little something like this … early morning surf check by Mr SY, slow breakfast, a couple of hours at the beach, back home for lunch and siesta, out for a walk and icecream and back home for sunset drinks and dinner.

It’s a rhythm that comes naturally, whether you’ve got two days – or 20 – on the island. Trust me, if you fall into tune with this rhythm, you’ll find the secret to hitting that elusive recharge button.

North Stradbroke Island | Point Lookout | Queensland

Our 5 fave things to do on Straddie

1. Hit the beach. This may seem like an obvious thing but the beaches of Straddie have to be seen to be believed. The water really is THAT clear. Swimming pool clear. Cylinder Beach is our fave, mainly because it offers a protected swimming spot, a bit like Mooloolaba or Noosa in a prevailing south-easterly wind. And due to the headland formation, there’s usually a naturally formed tidal lagoon to swim in as well. And you have to love a beachside coffee bar like the one pictured below. Oh, and if the northerly’s blowing? No problem … head two minutes up the road to Main Beach.

North Stradbroke Island | Point Lookout | Queensland

North Stradbroke Island | Point Lookout | Queensland

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2. Eat with a view. Without a doubt, lunch at the Straddie Hotel comes served with the best view on the island as a free side dish. I’m sure it makes the food taste even better. Expect to pay an average of $20 a head for lunch. The Look is also worth a visit for breakfast, lunch, cocktails or dinner. No complaints from any of our five about brekky. Particularly big thumbs up from Miss SY with her banana bread, served with caramelised banana.

North Stradbroke Island | Queensland

3. Indulge in a daily gelato. Thank goodness this little scoop of heaven is still thriving on the island. Hello lychee-flavoured gelato … oh and the pineapple, mango coconut was pretty spesh too. Anytime’s a good time for ice cream, right?

North Stradbroke Island | Point Lookout | Queensland

North Stradbroke Island | Queensland

4. Walk the Gorge. This track follows around the rocky gorges of Point Lookout, offering some pretty spectacular views and nature spotting. On our stroll, we managed to spot a pod of dolphins surfing a break, a turtle and a shark. Many of the walkways have been upgraded but there are lots of stairs so it’s not suitable for a stroller or wheelchair.

North Stradbroke Island | Queensland

North Stradbroke Island | Queensland

5. Fossick in shops. You won’t find any shopping malls or fast-food chains here. The emphasis is on small independents … think beachy with a hipster vibe. There’s a little supermarket for supplies but I was also stoked to find The Green Room, a natural deli-style food store. Next door is Drift, offering all things handmade. We also like to buy fresh local seafood from the bottom level of a home in Tramican Street. Mr SY tried to make a sneaky surfboard purchase from Bob Mintee’s Surf Shop. Reminded him of quid pro quo status of such a purchase and he quickly moved on.

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What I wore

This was to be a quick escape. A no-fuss escape. A “we’ll mainly be in our togs all weekend” escape.

But … you know … I do like any opportunity to dress the part. Equal parts comfort and fun were called upon for a couple of island mini-break outfits.

My day beach “uniform” consists of the cover-up dress. Something that works over a swimsuit and allows as much cross-ventilation as the house in which we were staying.

This eb&ive teal cotton frock from Sequins and Sand, proved a worthy addition to my beach cover-up wardrobe.

eb&ive beach dress at Sequins and Sand

eb&ive dress $79.95 @ Sequins and Sand | Prada sunnies | Uberkate earrings and necklace | Urge sandals | Dodgy beach hair ;)

But what about when you come off the beach and shower off the encrusted layer of salt and sand in readiness for that first glass of icy goodness?

Well, of course, I reached for a kaftan, didn’t I? This beautiful silk chiffon sea green kaftan from new online business i Allure arrived just in time last week.

And as I was packing her into my weekender bag, I caught a glimpse of my Red Phoenix Emporium mint necklace. Perfect. It’s ok to be a little bit fancy on an island mini-break, I thought to myself.

i Allure kaftan

i Allure kaftan $189 | Sancerre slip dress | Uberkate earrings | Red Phoenix Emporium necklace | Urge sandals

Heading to a beach these summer holidays? Packing cover-ups and kaftans? What about Straddie? Have you been?

For more information about about where to stay and what to do on North Stradbroke Island, visit Discover Stradbroke.

*The Styling You Five were guests of Tourism Queensland and Discover Stradbroke for this mini-break. This is not a sponsored post … we jumped at the chance to share our love of Straddie with you. **The dress and kaftan were sent to me for editorial consideration in accordance with my disclosure policy.

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  • Belinda

    Is the wide strap singlet style slip better than the skinny straps for under a kaftan? Which one would you recommend? Thanks B

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      I have both Belinda as some kaftans suit the thinner style. If choosing the thin strap then wear a coloured bra as a feature – or white to match. The advantage of the tank-style strap is that the bra is fully covered.

  • Pingback: An exciting few weeks……. | i ALLURE beach & resort wear

  • http://www.jeweldivas.com.au/ Jewel Divas Style

    Looks great and even though I lived on the Sunshine Coast for 4 years and have been back to the Goldie twice since, I’ve never been to Straddie. It’s also been awhile since I’ve heard the word fossick!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Amazing place – even more so because so close to Brisbane.

  • bbeingcool

    Oh – I need a holiday like that one! Looks heavenly!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Perfect for the family B x

  • http://twitter.com/26YearsCounting 26 Years & Counting

    I only went to Straddie for the first time a few years back – and that was for work unforutanely. Still, we stole away with a work car for a few hours and I’ve seen just enough to know I want to go back !!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      I know – amazing how good it is!

  • Lisa

    Hi Nikki – I love your blog – gorgeous clothes & a pleasure to read! A quick question for you – is the kaftan you are wearing the mini length or the short length? I’m the same height as you & wondered which one you have. Thanks !

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Good question! I’m wearing the “short” length.

  • http://www.sugercoatit.com/ Melissa Walker Horn

    Ahhh, where else but Queensland indeed. Just gorgeous.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      I know right!

  • Julie

    Ooh I love your travel posts Nikki! Last year we had a wee pre-Christmas family break and it was so nice to relax and take stock as a family before the main event. I’ve always wondered about Nth Stradbroke Is – we like Noosaville but Straddie looks even more laidback and even more like us. Thankyou for taking the time to list your to-dos too. I agree with the commenter below – your dolphin pic is amazing! I think your travel and capsule wardrobe posts are my favourites. Have fun in Sydney – maybe we’ll see more of that capsule wardrobe soon? xx

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Thanks Julie – yes, North Stradbroke is definitely more laid back than Noosa or Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast – even in peak times! It really is a case of just allowing yourself to just go with the rhythm of the place. The dolphin pic was a stroke of luck. We could see them having a ball but so lucky to capture it. I’m not really good on the capsule wardrobe but feel have excelled for this work trip to Sydney – all neon, black and white!

  • Amy @ Absolute Amy

    Wow. Stradbroke Island looks so idyllic! I’m not surprised that we share many of the same loves when it comes to holidays, great views, icy cold bubbles, crisp white sheets and big beds :) Love your outfits, you have perfected glam-casual. A x

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Not surprised at all Amy … we don’t ask for much, do we?! x

  • Nashuagirl

    I didn’t enjoy Straddie when I finally went a few years ago BUT that may have something to do with being accompanied by my MIL, who for her entire 6 week stay with us (10 days at Straddie) did SFA. She spolit the entire trip for us and we couldn’t wait to get home and ship her back o/s 2 weeks after that. Never, ever, ever again. I’ll never forget her sitting at the dining table waiting to be fed, each and every meal. Thought I was running a bistro there for a while. I was 5 months preggers too. Lovely lady she is.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Oh dear … that would ruin any trip! You need to go back to redeem the place!

  • http://twitter.com/JohannaACastro Jo Castro at Zigazag

    It looks divine :) What a fab mini break. And your pic of those dolphins is to die for!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      So beautiful and a very lucky shot with those dolphins – they were having a ball surfing the waves!

  • Christie-Ann

    Wow, You look fantastic in your i ALLURE Sea Green Kaftan! Beautiful with your mint necklace.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Thank-you!

  • http://www.redlandcityliving.com/ Janet from Redland City Living

    You were within spitting distance of me (not that I would of course!) in Cleveland! My brother was married on the beach at Straddie and the reception after was held in one of those fantastic beach houses with the magical views, we saw heaps of whales (it was early September). Just one of many fantastic places here in Redland City (I think the Council should hire me as an ambassador, don’t you?!)

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      I think yes, they should! Beautiful part of the world you’ve got there.

  • http://www.hereiamloulou.com/ Here I Am LouLou

    Hi Nikki

    My husbands family had a house on stradbroke island that they no longer own :(
    I followed some of your IG feeds and it looked gorgeous – glad you had a lovely time – you work hard!

    have a lovely day

    x L

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Noooo! How could they do that?!! :)

  • amanda

    Firstly, your blog is ‘cellent!!! I live in the middle of nowhere in country queensland, and your little bibs & bobs keep me sane!!! I look forward to them. You put a lot of work into each one. I’ve just come back inside from chipping weeds from my garden (bleh), and saw this post, and have just ordered the eb & eve dress in white for xmas day. Keep up the top work!!! P.S: “straddie” looks superb…………we usually holiday at nelson bay, nsw, which is an 11 hour trip from here, so the trip does my head in with two kids……….tis beautiful though, don’t get me wrong!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Oh thank-YOU, Amanda. I love hearing where you come from – love that Styling You readers live in such diverse places but we can all enjoy hanging out here. Cannot even imagine that 11 hour drive … Except for the reward bit at the end!

      • amanda

        We live 25kms south of Dirranbandi on a 10,000 acre cotton farm called Clyde…………google map us! it’s not a “lifestyle change” sort of place, but it is home and we have a lovely old Qld’er house and a garden & vege patch to keep us busy……………..

        • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

          Wow! I will – love this big, big land

  • Lisa mckenzie

    Oh you are making me so jealous at the moment Nikki,what i would give to go there I am tired, so over Christmas and just would like a relax by the beach.That house is amazing that is what my ideal beach house looks like….stunning with views by the ocean and big clean spaces…love,and I love all the things you can do there ,not too much but just enough,And yes you must have a daily gelato it is written in the holiday rules,my fave sort of icecream,cause of lactose intolerance it is a rare pleasure.I love all your outfits ,love me a Kaftan anyday I bought a stunning blue and white maxi one for Christmas day,cause it is a relaxed affair,with seafood salads and cold meats and I can swan around looking chic and be cool.Thank you for sharing your pics from the weekend they are beautiful.I have been to Straddie once quite a few years back and it was heaven ,must look at going back….heaven on earth we are so lucky in Australia to have such beautiful beaches and places to stay,I hope you are well rested and refreshed to resume the Christmas rush x

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      I am off to Sydney for one last work trip Lisa so can put pre-Christmas madness on hold for a few more days! Yes,
      Straddie is one of those places we’re lucky to have on our doorstep.

      • Lisa Mckenzie

        That’s good Nikki,But Sydney is madness at the moment so enjoy that rested and refreshed feeling!

  • http://twitter.com/RedcliffeStyle Rachel Wernicke

    I haven’t been to Stradbroke for years and it’s so convenient for me. I can feel a holiday coming up soon. Rachel x

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Quick drive down the Gateway, turn left to Cleveland and jump on the barge Rach! The girls would love it.

  • Tracey

    Oh it looks like such a beautiful place! I’ll definitely have to put it on my ‘to do’ list of places to visit :)
    xx

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      You won’t be disappointed, Tracey … one of those special places!