Moreton Island and Tangalooma Resort

Moreton Island is a relatively short distance off the south east coast of Queensland Australia in Moreton Bay. It is the third largest sand Island in the world and has the tallest stabilized coast line sand dune at 280 meters high, called Mount Tempest. Moreton bay is a marine park and the island is a National Park. There are three settlements on the island including the resort ‘Tanaglooma’. It was a former whaling station. This Qld government web site seems helpful to learn a bit more about the Island. The island is about 44 km long by 13 km wide.

The island has a variety of very interesting scenery. It has beautiful ocean views with turquoise coloured water and pure white sand. Moreton Island is a great place to visit for families, nature lovers and thrill seekers.

Getting There

You can reach the Island by high speed catamaran in about 1 ¼ hours. It is about 40 km from the coast line. Leaving from Holt St wharf in Brisbane it arrives at the Tangalooma resort on the Island. There is also a four wheel drive barge that you can take your own vehicle to the island and it lands at the ship wrecks area about 5 minutes drive to the north of Tangalooma resort. I once traveled to the island by private boat but you must be aware of the weather in Moreton Bay.

Getting Around

The resort has four wheel drive hire available. Experience in four wheel driving is recommended before driving on the island. Permits are required to drive and camp on the island.

Activities on the Island include:

  • Walking on the beach
  • Snorkelling
  • Viewing the ship wrecks and tropical fish just off the beach
  • Sand tobogganing
  • Four wheel drive hire/drive yourself
  • Four wheel drive tours
  • ATV Quad Bike Hire
  • Scenic Helicopter flights
  • Segway tours
  • Beach push bike hire
  • Whale watching
  • Wild Dolphin feeding
  • Cafe and shops at the resort

Our one day trip to Moreton Island

We travelled on the catermeran from the Holt St wharf in Brisbane to the island. We arrived at the departure wharf at about 6:30am and left from Tangalooma wharf on the Island at about 4:30pm.

After arriving we went on a half day four wheel drive tour of the Northern part of the island. Travelling along the western side of the Island past the ship wrecks on the beach we could see the main land off in the far distance. We traveled on to North point light, Campaign Pools and around the point to Honeymoon Bay. The beach walk around the corner to Campaign Pools is a typical beautiful beach.

Next we traveled on to the Cape Moreton light house with it’s distinctive white and red bands.

The view from the lighthouse south is great. The view north through an interesting rock formation photographs well.

We traveled on to a local camping ground surrounded by native Banksia trees. It was pretty hot on the day when we traveled slightly inland although the temperature is not as hot as on the mainland.

Travelling along the eastern beach of the Island returning south we could see a vast expanse of beach with no humans in sight. The Island had recently suffered from the Australian bush fire season so you could see burned areas everywhere with the signs of new growth on the grass trees. The guide explained that the fire was very hot this year as the normal process of low heat burning off had not occurred before the fires and some native trees had suffered from that. The unique Australian trees on the Island need regular low heat fires to disperse and germinate seeds.

The road back through the inland area on the island was quite deep with soft sand and I am glad I went on a guided tour as driving would not have been easy.

Cormorant Bird - Moreton Island
Cormorant Bird – Moreton Island

I recommend a four wheel drive tour as you get to see a lot of the Island and it’s varied flora and fauna.

On returning to the Tangalooma resort we had lunch at the cafe overlooking the ocean. It was just pizza but very enjoyable.

After lunch there was time to relax and do other activities if you are still feeling energetic.

The boat trip back to the mainland was relaxing and food drinks were available.

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