This narrow, 21km-long sand island is largely undeveloped – the perfect antidote to the Gold Coast's busyness. At its northern end, the narrow channel separating it from North Stradbroke Island is a top fishing spot; at its southern end, where the Spit is only 200m away, you'll find breaks so good they have Gold Coast's surfers braving the swim over.
South Stradbroke was once attached to North Stradbroke, until a huge storm in 1896 blasted through the isthmus that joined them. South Stradbroke's isolation since has been a boon for its natural habitat. There are wallabies aplenty and pristine bush, sand and sea to explore. And, of course, no cars. If you don't wish to overnight (accommodation choices are limited), you can charter a boat or do a day tour with Water'bout.