Boat Cruise to Stradbroke Island

When you add drinking, beach volleyball, a live band, kangaroos, parrots, giant lizards, boats and more drinking together, it all adds up to a university boat cruise over to Stradbroke Island.  A number of Griffith University students have organized a boat cruise for a few hundred or so of their closest friends. For $40 bucks a ticket you get a boat ride over to the island with bar onboard, a live band at the island, a BBQ, free kayaks, and a very competitive volleyball round robin tournament.

Who says you can't drink before noon?
Who says you can’t drink before noon?

It’s an early day with the boat starting to board at 10:15 am, which means by this point, most people have already been drinking for a few hours.
Everyone piles onto the boat after an extensive bag search and the party continues with music blaring from the speakers, cheap drinks, and a serious tournament of flip cup on the lower deck.  After about an hour and 15 minutes we arrive at Mclaren’s Landing, the main docking point on the island. The set up here is great – there is a large bar hut, as well as several others – one for the band, one for food and others just for getting out of the sun.

Welcome to Strathcona!
Welcome to Stradbroke!

The place is filled with wildlife.  Just moments after arriving a number of people start to gather around a small kangaroo who is happy to be fed whatever scraps are lying around.  A few moments later a giant lizard, bigger than anything I have seen before pops out from behind the bush undergrowth.  It looks like we are going to have a face- off between kangaroo and lizard.  They both eye each other nervously.  No one is ready to make the first move.  The lizard creeps closer but then with one swipe from the kangaroo the match is over and the winner is declared.

Just your normal animal encounter for Australia!
Just your normal animal encounter for Australia!

Andrew and I were both lucky enough to get on a volleyball team at the last minute – “The No Names” what a fitting title.  It’s a strict elimination competition, although the losers do go on to play a few more games against the others.  It turns out I am the only girl on the team which is an advantage for me because there has to be one girl on the court at all times so I never have to rotate off.  We smash the first team we play, but lose our second game.  Somehow another team doesn’t end up showing up for the game (probably due to too many beers at this point in the afternoon) and we end up playing 6 more games against various teams, both as The No Names and the other team we have inherited.  It’s great to get back into the game after not playing for so long.

After 5 hours in the sun it’s time to board the ship to head home. Cost of the ticket – $40, price of drinks throughout the day $30, cost to replace lost flip-flops $20, perfect day on the island with friends – priceless.

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