THIS GREAT holiday destination is on Stradbroke Island, east of Brisbane. Access to this Moreton Bay island is via ferry, which makes it a special camping experience, and the fishing on Stradbroke Island is better than many areas on the mainland.
The Adder Rock camp grounds are operated by the Redlands Shire Council, which operates several excellent camping grounds on the island. To make a booking, phone 1300 551 253 and specify Adder Rock. If you want to book for the Christmas season you’ll definitely need to ring soon!
The Adder Rock camp grounds are on the main road to Point Lookout, the eastern-most part of this beautiful island. After departing the Stradbroke Ferries’ terminal at the town of Dunwich, simply follow the signs to move onto the main East Coast Road. After around 15 minutes of driving you’ll arrive at the main residential area of Point Lookout, with the Adder Rock camping grounds on the left, just beside the Backpackers and Dive Shop and general store. When you arrive at Point Lookout it’s easy to miss the camp grounds because they’re well shaded with lots of big trees, and because the main office is set back from the road. The Backpackers and Dive Shop sign is prominent though, and another helpful landmark is the well-marked Flinders Beach access sign on the western side of the camping grounds.
Wildlife is prevalent in this area and the names of some of the lanes and driveways in the park reflect that – names like Kookaburra Hollow, Kingfisher Retreat and Goanna Rest. Most sites have some grass to set up camp on and the area is, for the most part, quite level. Handy shelter sheds and barbecues are there for residents to enjoy, and the beach is just 50m away.
This is an informal, relaxed place to holiday and enjoy some quality beach- or rock-fishing. The only sign present at the Adder Rock office is a 'No Pets' sign, which is in stark contrast to many other camping grounds which have a ‘No…’ sign for almost every pursuit!
Point Lookout is a small community, with the island's main shopping and business area being back at Dunwich. Visitors seeking some entertainment during their stay at Adder Rock camp grounds can enjoy tasty meals and nice cold drinks at Point Lookout Bowls Club, and at Jim Lally's popular and very scenic Point Lookout Hotel. There’s no main shopping centre at Point Lookout but you can get groceries and a range of takeaway meals right next door at the general store, which also sells a good range of bait and some tackle. Other tackle is available at Dunwich, at the main sports store.
Fishing is the number one pastime when staying at Adder Rock. With the beach only just through the trees on the north side of the camping grounds it is no sweat to grab a rod at daylight or dusk and check out the fishing scene. Stradbroke Island's surf beaches are renowned for yielding big whiting at this time of year, but the various rock outcrops – and there’s one behind the camping grounds –also produce tailor, bream and dart.
The main eastern entrance to Flinders Beach runs along the western fence of the camping grounds. There are kilometres of beach to fish – just make sure you pick up a four-wheel-drive beach permit (you can enquire at the Adder Rock camp office). Beach worms are quite prevalent on Straddie's Beaches and are just as good bait here as elsewhere. Please note that Home Beach, the beach behind Adder Rock camp grounds, is closed to all vehicles.
There is also good rock fishing at Point Lookout's main headland, with some smaller outcrops between the Adder Rock and main headland also attracting anglers. At this time of year you can well expect to see mackerel making an appearance in the deep water abutting the main Point Lookout headland. A live bait is the way to connect with one of these tasty fellows.
To collect some livebait for a session on the rocks, just make a short trip back to the jetty at Amity Point (signed on the left on the way to Point Lookout) and deploy a bait jig at dawn or dusk. It's also worth trying for some livies with the bait jig in the main areas of white water on the headland, but bear in mind that if tailor are present they’ll home in on a jig and inflict some bite-off damage very quickly. Remember that a just-legal tailor makes a great mackerel bait.
There’s more great beach fishing on the main ocean beach south of Point Lookout. Access is via George Nothling Drive, on the right just past the Stradbroke Island Hotel. Beach access is good but, as usual, it's best to drive at low tide for safe travelling. Whiting and dart abound in the beach gutters along Main Beach at this time of year.
Travellers without a four-wheel-drive can still enjoy fabulous fishing on this island, as there are many useful access points. When my wife Denise and I stayed at Adder Rock we caught some decent bream and a pair of greenback tailor from the small rock outcrop at the back of the park. The fish came on the bite about an hour before full tide and I can tell you – that feed of fresh fish for dinner was as good as it gets!
Adder Rock? It's one mighty nice place to camp.
1) Adder Rock Camp Grounds has tidy rest areas and picnic tables.
2) This rock outcrop is just east of the Adder Rock camping area and within easy walking distance.
3) The Flinders Beach access is on the western side of Adder Rock camping area.Reads: 4231