Getaway: Straddie Beach Cabin (Shack 18) Review

March 10 – 14, 2014

What we had been looking forward to for a long time… 5 days and 4 nights on Stradbroke Island after our Paediatrics Rotation!

In order to get to Stradbroke Islan you can catch the city train to Cleveland station, where you can connect with one of 2 buses:

  1. The free shuttle bus to the Stradbroke Flyer Ferry ($15 for students) to One Mile Jetty
  2. Bus 258 to the Stradbroke Fast Ferry ($14 return for students) to Dunwich

Doesn’t really matter which ferry you take as you end up within minutes of one another and on the same bus towards Point Lookout.

We were lucky to find and rent Straddie Beach Cabin (Shack 18). A beautiful, privately owned cottage by Harry & Robyn on Allure Resort grounds (Point Lookout) that was within our budget and exactly what we were looking for.

A self contained, air-conditioned beach cabin that contained all the facilities we needed for a getaway.

Taken from their booking page:

The stylish architect designed high-set one-bedroom eco cabin offers a practical, inspirational design, with a mezzanine bedroom featuring a queen size bed & two mattresses for children. The cabin is air-conditioned with open plan lounge/dining. It is self contained with a modern kitchenette, fridge/freezer, dishwasher, washing machine, big screen plasma TV, DVD/CD & Foxtel service.

The resort is located right beside the bus stop, which is great.

Shacks 1 to 20 on Allure Beach Resort! Bright yet subdued colours coat the walls of each shack, very appropriate for the beach surroundings!

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This was our home for 4 nights, Shack 18. Bathroom is within the protruding structure beside the door.

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Note: The majority of the following photos were taken just before we checked out. We were too excited to move in to take any pictures of the original state of the cabin 😉

View upon entering the cabin.

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Kitchenette to the right, with fridge and cupboards (also containing washing machine and laundry sink) to the left. Dining table in the centre. Further ahead is the seating area with a coffee table facing the entertainment system.

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Looking back towards the front door

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Better view of the kitchenette with a small dishwasher, a 2 burner stove and a convection microwave oven with grill. Ample amount of dinnerware and cutlery, essential pots and pans, as well as cooking utensils.

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Couple of faux wicker chairs and colourful cushions

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One of the best entertainment systems we’ve had in rented accommodation. We even brought our Xbox as well as a USB full of TV shows and movies to watch.

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Some novels, likely left behind by previous tenants (I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Sinner), as well as a Chinese checkers set. There were also magazines lying around.

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View of the bathroom with the toilet behind the shower.

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Up the stairs

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Large comfortable bed with lots of closet/luggage space in front of it, as well as a large mirror.

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Lots of bright canvases adorn the walls of the cabin, adding to the atmosphere.

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Large deck, partly secluded by greenery.

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Also has a small BBQ with 2 potential gas tanks

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Although we were not official guests of Allure Resort, we still had access to their lovely heated swimming pool and gym

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The cabin had awesome natural lighting during the day, there’s even a skylight. However, once the sun goes down the cabin gets pretty dark, mostly because of these wooden shades. I wish the lighting within the cabin could’ve been brighter! It was the one thing we didn’t like about the cabin itself.

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Other things worth noting:

  • Cell phone reception is non existent for those with Optus. Can’t comment on other providers but you can get decent reception simply by crossing the road.
  • Wireless internet is not provided, however, is available for purchase from reception at reasonable rates. $30/week
  • This is not a serviced apartment, although all linen and towels are provided, including a complimentary change for stays longer than 7 days.
  • You are literally less than 5 minutes away (across the street) from Home Beach. From there, you can walk along the vast stretches of beach and stop anywhere to sunbathe and swim if you wish!
  • Tillers Cafe Pantry beside reception is fabulous for breakfast, a snack or gourmet/specialty items!
  • We brought all the wine and groceries we needed and cooked most of our meals in. Definitely doable if you want, however, there are a number of restaurants to eat at in the area. There is also a very reasonably priced bottleshop as well as a Foodworks nearby if you need to stock up.

The one and only major negative aspect of our stay: communication with the owners of the Shack 18, in particular Harry.

Below are screen shots of our texts with him shortly after we settled in.

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He never replied to our last text.

Firstly, we were simply enquiring about items that were promised to be provided.

In our confirmation email, it was stated: “WHAT TO TAKE WITH YOU: As we provide linen and bedding there is practically nothing else but yourself in holiday mood plus your personal items incl. beach towels.” We believe it was fair to assume that there would be sufficient toilet paper to last the duration of our stay. We would’ve been happy to bring some from home, but this should be explicitly suggested. Or even state “Initial supplies only” on the webpage.  As we respected that this was a private booking, we did not contact the resort for any additional requests.

We asked about milk, coffee and sugar because that was advertised as being included with the cabin. The answer we received left us with a bad taste in our mouth. We certainly did not ask about “grocery items,” simply what was promised. And why do you even have to mention a guest stealing your coffee in the past? Are you insinuating we will too? Should’ve just stuck with something along the lines of, “I’m sorry, those items are actually no longer provided and it was our mistake for not updating the online description.” Also, simply removing/changing what was written on the webpage at the time of our booking is neither appropriate nor a resolution.

Finally, we asked for simple resolutions in the last text, which we received absolutely no answer or follow up to. Most services, private or not, deliver on what was promised. We were polite in our communication and treated the property with respect. Cleaning up after ourselves and putting everything back in its place, even though there is a $90 linen and cleaning charge. To respond with silence, unfortunately, shows a complete lack of respect for your paying customers. Not to mention we couldn’t make use of the BBQ!

With all that being said, would we recommend Straddie Beach Cabin, Shack 18 to our friends? Absolutely. It was a wonderfully comfortable stay and perfect for a couple needing a few days of relaxation. The rate is reasonable and you have almost everything you need. However, I’d certainly recommend to bring extra toilet paper and maybe a lighter! And not to be too disappointed if there’s poor communication with the owner. The good thing is, you are given other numbers to contact in case of an emergency, so you should never be stranded.

Camping on Stradbroke Island: Day 02 & 03

Day 02: Sept 19

Woke up bright and early to birds chirping and the soothing sound of ocean waves crashing on the shore.

After breakfast, we decided that we would re-hike the same path as yesterday: East from Flinders Beach all the way to Main Beach and stop to swim along the way. Since we were walking through the same scenery as yesterday, I didn’t take as many photos!

Wee, wee, wee! Riding my invisible broomstick around Home Beach

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Marking our presence!

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Morning stretches

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I found lunch! Different kinds of molluscs!

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While I was hunting for lunch, Mike decided to claim a secluded section of Deadman’s Beach as his own private beach. Just for the 2 of us!

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That is my head, sticking out of the ocean

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Closer look at the molluscs I found

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New friends! Tickling my palm as they tried to slither away

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Sand dune! Too bad we didn’t have anything to use to slide down with!

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Bird of prey swooped down and stole an angelfish caught by a fisherman

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Super calm fisherman

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Lots of little crabs on all the beaches

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Little critters all around if you stop to take a look!

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Thought these flowers were quite interesting!

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We finally made it down to Main Beach! The wind was crazy today and the waves were too large to safely go swimming… neither of us are surfers, haha!

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Since we couldn’t swim at Main Beach, we walked back (so much walking) to Deadman’s beach for more swimming… and more crabs

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We made it sure to make it back to our camp at Adder Rock in time to watch the sunset! And to not only enjoy but see our awesome astronaut (read: freeze dried) dinner!

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It was actually REALLY tasty! Yum yum!

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We took our dinner bag onto the beach to eat and watch the sunset together. Aww, how much more romantical can camping get? Haha

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The wind had picked up quite a bit after the sun went down so we hid out in our tent for the evening. Yay!

Day 03: Sept 20

Our last day on Straddie! We decided to have breakfast, pack up and head back early in order to enjoy a whole day back in Brisbane.

This little fella never failed to show up and laugh at us in the mornings!

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Our next door camping neighbour (took this with my telephoto lens). SHE HAS A FRUIT BOWL and containers with drawers!

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Someone tied their bracelet to the fence

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This bird greeted us on our first day and followed us everywhere around the camp ground. On the last day, it landed on my shoulder while we were having breakfast! Very cute, especially the way it wiggled it’s butt, I don’t know what kind of bird this is though, does anyone?

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And that’s it! Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoyed it!

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CLICK HERE IF YOU’D LIKE TO VIEW THE COMPLETE STRADDIE PHOTO ALBUM

Camping on Stradbroke Island: Day 01

September 18, 2013

During this vacation, I did something I’ve never done before: I went camping!

Big thanks to Mike for the awesome first experience! Being an avid camper, he had everything we needed to make the trip as smooth as possible 😀

Our destination had long been recommended by numerous friends and boy were we glad we finally went! STRADBROKE ISLAND – definitely would visit again!

Getting to the island was incredibly easy and convenient, making us both really wished we’d gone earlier. Take the train out to Cleveland, hop on the complimentary bus out to the dock and on to the ferry! Ferry price is $15 return for students, pretty good! Once we arrived on the island (Dunwich), the island bus was waiting and it cost an additional $2.50 to get to our camping ground, too easy!

On the way there!

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Here is a map of Stradbroke Island so you can see the places I have mentioned and will be talking about in this post.

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We decided to camp at an unpowered site at Adder Rock for $28/night. Being low season, we got our pick of camping sites and decided to camp along Flinders Beach. Camping on the beach, what could be better right? They even had all the amenities we could need, including cooking and toilet facilities. From Adder Rock, we hiked East along the coast, scampering over rocks and walking through kilometers of pristine beaches all the way to Main Beach.

Setting up camp

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Done! Our home for the next 2 days

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… with the awesome beach view

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Settled in and having lunch! Yes, Mike has a portable stove, pots and pans, and everything! Sausages, hard boiled eggs, bread, strawberries… yum!

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First selfie of the trip!

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After lunch we headed out to explore North Stradbroke Island.

We started with walking along the roads where we passed by a skatepark.

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We sooned turned off the road to walk along the beach instead. First up, Home Beach (refer to map above!)

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Beaches were pretty much empty except for a few families scattered here and there

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We’ve reached Cylinder Beach! One of the few places to swim with lifeguards.

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Beautiful Cylinder Beach

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Leaving Cylinder Beach…

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Mike taking a break

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Looking back at Cylinder Beach

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Looking ahead to Deadman’s Beach

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We saw a manta ray cruising underwater while taking a break!

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Deadman’s Beach

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Really interesting to the see the variations in volcanic rock formations and colours as you go from beach to beach.

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Frenchman’s Bay!

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Heading up to the road because you couldn’t really continue onward by the beach

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Looking back down at Frenchman’s Bay

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As we walked along the road to the Gorge Walk, we saw humpback whales! Unfortunately, they were really far out!

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The beautiful Gorge Walk!

Breathtaking North Gorge

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We really kept our eye out for dolphins and sharks, but only saw sea turtles and manta rays unfortunately. Still amazing though!

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View of South Gorge and further ahead, Main Beach!

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Endless Main Beach as far as the eye can see!

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We didn’t swim at all today. Decided that we would hike the coast again tomorrow and go swimming and visit Main Beach then. With that we headed back, returning to Adder Rock just missing the sunset! Boo, but that’s okay, we’ll make sure to catch it tomorrow!

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Getting a fire going… just because 🙂

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Smoked out a huntsman spider!

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Easy dinner! With wine, fruit and other snacks on the side.

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We retired to our tent early with our headlamps and spent the night playing Monopoly Deal Card Game (thanks for that Vy!) and reading Dan Brown’s Inferno. Good end to our first day.