Moreton Island, an Idyllic Escape From Brisbane City
Thursday June 4th, 2015
Do you ever long to take a relaxing break in a tranquil and unspoilt location, but are put off by the many hours you will need to spend travelling there? If so, then Moreton Island off coast of Brisbane is the place for you.
This beautiful island and nature reserve, with immaculate white sand beaches, is situated just forty kilometres from the city centre, making it accessible by ferry in well under one and a half hours.
Expect to find a stunning landscape of lakes and lagoons set amongst undulating sand dunes. The waters surrounding Moreton Island are home to dolphins, humpback whales and turtles, with old shipwreck sites, including the ‘Tangalooma Wrecks’, offering exciting diving and snorkeling opportunities.
The most popular way to travel to Moreton Island is by ferry. See the details below for operators and their timetables.
Private vehicles may be taken to, and driven on, the island but you must purchase a permit as the area is a national park. You will also need a four-wheel drive vehicle, as most of the roads are rough with extensive sandy tracks. It’s best to arrive with a full tank, as there is little fuel on the island itself.
The daily Micat carries pedestrians and vehicles from Whyte Island, Mouth of Brisbane River southside to Tangalooma Wrecks.
Tangalooma Launch is for day trippers and guests staying at Tangalooma Resort. It operates between Pinkenba, Brisbane River northside to the resort and carries foot passengers only.
Amity Trader is a barge service operating between Amity Stradbroke Island and Kooringal. It takes pedestrians and vehicles.
Staying on Moreton Island
If you want to extend your trip overnight, or even for a few days, there are many different types of accommodation available.
If getting back to nature is your thing, there are a number of campsites – although you will need to purchase a permit before pitching your tent. For those who want to sleep under canvas without sacrificing mod cons like queen size beds and en-suite bathrooms, ‘Castaways’, just 100 metres from the beach, offers a ‘glamping’ (glam-camping) experience. It also has a store and restaurant.
There are self-catering units at ‘Moreton Island Eco-Village’ orr, if you’re looking for a more luxurious option, try ‘Tangalooma Island Resort’.
Whether you’ll be cooking around a campfire, or dining in a five-star restaurant, you will be assured of eating well as Moreton Island’s fish and shell food is outstanding.
Things to do and see
Hiking: Moreton Island has many trails to suit all abilities from easy strolls to half-day adventures. Why not combine a walk with a visit to one of the island’s lighthouses or ‘Fort Cowan Cowan’, a disused World War Two bunker?
Dolphin feeding and whale watching: those staying at ‘Tangalooma Resort’ have the opportunity to hand feed wild dolphins. Even if you’re not a guest, you can watch the dolphins from the jetty. If you’re lucky enough to be on the Island between June and November, you will also be able to watch humpback whales migrating.
Bird Watching: due to its huge variety of habitats, including salt marshes, tidal flats and sandy beaches, the island is home to over 180 bird species. It is also an important resting point for thousands of migratory birds.
Fishing: the waters around the island provide some of the best beach, deep sea and reef fishing in the world. Expect to catch species including bream, mackerel and whiting.
Adrenaline rush: if you’re after high-octane excitement, there are opportunities to try dune tobogganing, quad biking or four-wheel driving in challenging, exhilarating deep sand.
Moreton Island is ideal for those seeking a welcome escape from city life. It’s also a reminder that, even in a dynamic city like Brisbane, you are never far from the beauty of nature.