Island time is always a gentler pace. So close to Brisbane's bustling pace, but a world away lies North Stradbroke Island, or Straddie as it's known to locals.
We arrived with our itinerary... Highlights of Nature... Action Adventures... Indigenous Culture... And wow, did Straddie deliver!
Clear blue winter skies, starry nights and phosphorescent shores all added to the magic. Our nature walk called in migrating whales, kangaroos (complete with baby joey), a koala scrambling for cover, dolphins surfing the waves, rays, turtles, a Brahminy kite and (shhhhh!) maybe even a shark.
We busted out our newly acquired dance moves to the sound of the didgeridoo, freshly painted with traditional Quandamooka (Aboriginal) sting ray patterns familiar to the region. Some stories may even make it home on our painted boomerangs.
It's not a trip to an Aussie sand island if you don't get to check out the dunes from your own sandboard, or rip up the waves in the surf of the fringing waters.
And maybe a few more as we left the world's second largest sand island (what's the first??) having experienced a magic away from everyday city student life.