We took our Toyota Prado, loaded with camping gear, on the Big Red Cat when we recently camped on Stradbroke Island.
I chose to use the Big Red Cat mainly because it had an on board cafe. I did not fancy spending an hour with my kids locked in my car with me, so being able to get out of the car and have some food and drink was a determining factor. There was also an outdoor observation deck above the cafe.
The Big Red Cat has four areas for transporting vehicles — a top deck that is raised and lowered, and a main deck that has low clearance height section (2.1 m, I think) under the top deck for cars, a medium height section (2.4 m) under the cafe, and a full height section down the middle of the boat for large vehicles — on the way over to Straddie, a coach was parked down the centre of the boat, as well as some high commercial vehicles, caravans and cars loaded with gear on their roof racks.
The trip to Straddie takes a leisurely 40 minutes. It took about 10 minutes to load or unload all vehicles — on both my trips the car decks were full.
Several people with dogs stayed with their cars, some even setting up camping chairs on the car decks. We went upstairs to the cafe, where these is also a tour desk.
To read more articles about our holiday on Stradbroke Island, please browse the Stradbroke Island tag.