A Weekend on the World’s First Slow Island

Another day in Queensland, another unspoilt island. While my northern hemisphere friends are shaking off their winter coats and welcoming some sunshine, I’m saying goodbye to summer for another year. To get one more beach holiday in before the temperature drops I spent a long weekend on stunning North Stradbroke Island, or “Straddie” as we know it, with my boyfriend. Stradbroke Island is only a 25 minute ferry ride from Cleveland, on the outskirts of Brisbane. Despite it’s close proximity to home, I hadn’t been since I was seven years old! Ridiculous, considering the amount of time I’ve spent travelling to lesser beaches on the other side of the world.

Point Lookout Beach Stradbroke Island
The World’s First Slow Island

In Praise of Slow by Carl Honore is one of my favourite books for introducing me to the Slow movement, founded by Carlos Petrini in the tiny town of Bra, Italy. The slow movement has spread across the world and is best known for the Slow Food Movement, encouraging real food grown locally and enjoyed slowly. The Slow Movement does not try to abolish modern life but focuses on preserving the traditions and lifestyles that enrich lives and local cultures. Mass globalisation or  “McBlanding” as it has been called, is staunchly opposed. I love it. Slow Cities must have less than 50,000 residents and must abide by the Slow City Manifesto, which contains 55  pledges in six categories upon which a Slow City is assessed. The categories are environmental policy, infrastructure, quality of urban fabric, encouragement of local produce and products, community and Citta Slow Awareness. It’s serious business!

Stradbroke Island is the world’s first Slow Island, and it shows. The pace of life is deliciously relaxed. The people we met were friendly and the local produce was displayed with a sense of pride, including the Island’s own magazine. You run into the some locals over and over again and you get the sense that everyone knows everyone (or close to it). This isn’t a destination that has sacrificed itself to the tourism industry.

Cylinder Beach Stradbroke Island

Stradbroke Island
Allure Beach Resort – Straddie Beach Cabin #18

I was so excited to stay in this modern, loft-style beach shack which I found via Stayz.com.  It is part of Allure Beach Resort but is owner-managed, so I dealt directly with Harry and Robyn via email, who were very helpful. Perfect for couples, this cute-as-a-button beach cabin has a loft bedroom, a small kitchen, laundry facilities, indoor and outdoor dining areas complete with a barbecue and private deck. We could have comfortably stayed for a week! We brought over a lot of our own food, but there is an onsite cafe which had amazing food and there are a few restaurants further up the road at Point Lookout. We were across the road from the beautiful Cylinder Beach and Point Lookout was only a fifteen minute walk or five minute bus ride up the road. I looked at heaps of places online, but this was by far my favourite – and the best value too.

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