Straddie is still a classic holiday destination
JUST like that Golden Breed T-shirt from the Seventies that was so cool and comfortable to wear, Stradbroke Island is a classic.
It's the family beach holiday idea that can be pulled out of the cupboard at a moment's notice and everyone will be happy with the choice.
That's because Straddie, as it is affectionately known, never wears out its appeal for the surfer, the foodie, the nature lover, the beachcomber and even the "lazy bones" who simply enjoys relaxing and taking in the spectacular scenery.
And what you see is what you get, year after year.
Sitting on Brisbane's doorstep, just a 45-minute vehicular ferry ride across Moreton Bay from Cleveland, the great majority of Straddie's 27,530ha has barely changed over the decades and has always remained true to itself.
Locals and visitors have vehemently resisted the idea of a costly bridge link to Brisbane, so the world's second-largest sand island hasn't been loved to death.
To the casual observer, Straddie remains largely undiscovered.
The wide variety of accommodation isn't dominated by hotels and resorts, but rather by house and apartment rentals (even original beach shacks) and camping and cabin facilities (including glamping tents at Adder Rock Campground).
Long beach walks on sandy stretches of pristine beach and over weathered rock pools barely encounter a soul on weekdays.
The bush, ocean and suburban townships (Dunwich, Amity Point and Point Lookout) still teem with birds and wildlife all-year round.
The clear, pristine waters are naturally refreshing for humans and a favourite haunt for frolicking humpbacks during the annual whale migration from late May to early November.
Classic Straddie is the 20-minute drive from Dunwich to Point Lookout and pulling up at the surf club carpark for that first panorama of 32km Main Beach.
It's pinpointing the perfect patch of sand to park the 4WD, setting up the gazebo for shade under a cloudless sky and settling in for a day of unadulterated bliss with no one else within coo-ee.
It's battling ferocious shore dumps to get out the back amid the turtles, colourful fish and dolphins while waiting for a 6 to 8ft beauty to catch back into shore.
Classic Straddie is hotfooting it across golden sand to bodysurf Cylinder Beach, followed by fish and chips or a cold seafood lunch straight off the trawler.
It's the 7km drive inland from Dunwich to Brown Lake for a lazy, wet loll before a picnic at Amity Point.
Classic Straddie is a cold ale under a huge outdoor umbrella in the Stradbroke Island Beach Hotel beergarden, overlooking the water.
It's the cheeky male kookaburra perching himself on a patio railing, hoping for a free dinner, and playing fetch with your dog on Home Beach.
Classic Straddie is taking the North Gorge Walk and encountering a family of kangaroos on dusk, or waiting for turtles in the washing-machine-like gorge to come up for air, or the camera-shy echidna concentrating on an ant dinner under a fallen log.
It's taking a seat on the vehicular ferry deck outside the cafe, drinking in the Moreton Bay views and reflecting on another great weekend away that you should do more often.
So what if you wear Old Guys Rule T-shirt these days?
Just like Straddie, you're still a classic.