Moreton Island

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Moreton Island is a large sand island, 36 km long, covering 17,500 ha, only 35 km off Brisbane forming the eastern boundary of the Moreton Bay Marine Park.

Understand[edit]

Moreton Island is 98% National Park protecting its unique vegetation, wildlife, freshwater lakes and streams and its magnificent coastal sand dunes.

There are 3 townships located on the western side of the island each providing a different experience and facilities. [1]

Bulwer is a holiday village geared to deal with the travellers who arrive on the island and require food, bait and supplies. There is a small convenience and liquor store (licensed), taxi service, public phone and bait and tackle shop at the northern end of the township.

Cowan Cowan is a quiet residential township with several places to stay, mainly holiday houses and fishing cabins. The township has no through traffic in town and a vehicle free beach making it a popular spot for families with small children. It was originally established as a military camp in 1938 and housed approx 1000 soldiers during the military occupation of Moreton Island. Remains of military buildings such as gun emplacements and forts can still be seen on the beach in front of Cowan Cowan and are a reminder of Australia's involvement in WWII.

Kooringal is famous for The Gutter Bar and Toulkerrie oyster farm. The village consists of a number of private holiday homes and a few fishing clubhouses scattered along the beachfront and separated by sand tracks and Island vegetation. This township has its own airstrip and is serviced by a vehicular barge that runs from Amity Point on North Stradbroke Island.

Tangalooma is famous for the Tangalooma Island Resort (formerly known as Tangalooma Wild Dolphin Resort) but now there are private homes located atop the hill behind the resort. The resort was the site of Queensland's only whaling station, with humpback whales being harvested on their annual migration north between 1952 and 1962, The flensing plan of the station still exists as part of the resort.

Get in[edit]

Ferry[edit]

Most people access the Island via ferry. Ferries for vehicles and passengers run daily.

  • Amity Trader ☎+61 487 227437, [2]. From Stradbroke Island to Kooringal. 20 min transit, day return from $20.
  • MICAT Ferry ☎+61 7 3909 3333, timetable. From Port of Brisbane (Brisbane River southside) to Tangalooma Wrecks. Daily in peak periods, twice on Fridays and twice on Sundays. No service on Tuesdays in off-peak period.
  • Tangalooma Island Resort ☎+61 7 3268 6333, [3]. From Pinkenba (Brisbane River northside) to Tangalooma Resort. 3-4 runs daily. Return Day Cruises and Guest accommodation transfers.

Private boat access[edit]

It is possible to travel in your own vessel, although there are no public mooring available at Moreton Island. Tangalooma Wrecks can be a safe anchorage.

Get around[edit]

One of the most enjoyable ways to visit Moreton Island is by four wheel drive (4WD) vehicle. 4WD vehicles are essential for driving on the island. All vehicles must be registered and have a valid Moreton Island Recreation Area vehicle access permit.

For those who do not have a 4wd there is a 4WD Taxi Service [4] ☎+61 7 3408 2261, on Moreton Island, based at Bulwer that can take you anywhere in the National Park or to accommodation at Tangalooma or in the townships of Bulwer and Cowan-Cowan.

See[edit]

See dolphins, turtles, dugongs, plenty of fish life

  • North Point has "The Champagne Pools" a natural ocean pool hollowed out amongst the rocks,
  • Honeymoon Bay
  • The Cape Moreton Light House
  • Blue Lagoon a natural fresh water lake
  • The Tangalooma and Bulwer Wrecks deliberately sunken ships form incredible artificial reefs, featuring an ambundance of marine life and good snorkeling.
  • Tangalooma Island Resort was originally established as a whaling station
  • Cowan Cowan a coastal defence bases from World War II has relics as a reminder of Australia's involvement in WWII
  • Bulwer provides panoramic views back to the mainland and the Glass House Mountains.
  • The Grave sites still standing after over 100 years from people passing throught the bay.

Do[edit]

  • Humpback whale watching off Cape Moreton move through moreton bay on their annual migration from June to November.
  • 4WD down the Surfside, a long 40 km stretch of white sandy beach, pass trough the thick bush of the Moreton Island National Park. Go fishing, swimming in fresh or saltwater.
  • Snorkel or dive. The Tangalooma wrecks, Sherubs Cave, Hutchinson Shoal or Flinders reef which are full of marine and fish life.
  • Beach sports
  • Bushwalking campfires and star gazing.
  • Sand boarding down some of the world's highest coastal sandhills.
  • Feed the wild Dolphins.
  • Walk up Mount Tempest the highest sand dune in the world.

Eat[edit]

  •    Beach House Rotunda Restaurant, Beach Cafe, Tursiops Buffet Restaurant, Tangalooma Coffee Shop, Whalers Bar, Tangalooma Convenience StoreTangalooma. Beach House Rotunda Restaurant features fresh produce including MSA grade Black Angus steak, local seafood, vegetarian and halal options. Beach Cafe serves Fish & Chips, pizzas, burgers, salads, and light meals for outdoor beachfront dining or takeaway. Both are open daily for lunch and dinner servicing accommodation guests, and day-cruise guests of Tangalooma Island Resort. Tursiops Buffet Restaurant has casual buffet dining, and is open for breakfast & lunch daily (and dinner on most Saturday nights). Tangalooma Coffee Shop offers desserts, sandwiches, wraps, sushi, hot pies and sausage rolls, in addition to coffee, and is open daily. The Whalers Bar serves a wide range of cocktails and other beverages and has a pool table, with take away food available. There is also a convenience store in Tanglooma.
  • Gutter BarKooringal. Provides seafood, meat, meals and other services for the local area. Renowned across the island for their seafood that is fresh from the local trawlers and oysters from the clear local waters. A great way to end the day with a fresh beverage.

Drink[edit]

Sleep[edit]

There is a range of holiday accommodation on Moreton Island at all the towns.

Open fires

Open fires are not permitted at North Point campground.

Moreton Island provides a variety of coastal camping experiences, some accessible by 4WD, others accessible by boat or close to barge landing points. You will need a vehicle access permit to drive on Moreton Island. Preferably bring a fuel stove. Bring your own firewood,

Permits

All campgrounds and camping zones within the National Park and recreation area require a camping permit [5], which must be obtained before you arrive on the island.

  • Moreton Island Adventures Accommodation (Castaways Restaurant & Convenience Store),  +61 7 3909 3333, e-mail: . Moreton Island Adventures have multiple accommodation offerings available - units, glamping, camping and dorms. MIA also operate the 'Castaways Restaurant', [6] in Bulwer. It is a licensed venue which offers meals, coffee, drinks and desserts in a relaxed garden setting, under a thatched roof. There is a convenience store attached to the restaurant which stocks most island necessities. The store and restaurant are contactable on 07 3408 2202 or via castaways@moretonislandadventures.com.au.
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