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.
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.
Most people access the Island via ferry. Ferries for vehicles and passengers run daily.
- Amity Trader, ☏ . From Stradbroke Island to Kooringal. 20 min transit, day return from $20.
- MICAT Ferry, ☏ . 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, ☏ . Passenger-only services from Holt St Wharf Pinkenba (Brisbane River northside) to Tangalooma Island Resort. 3-4 runs daily. Return Day Cruises and Guest accommodation transfers.
Private boat access
It is possible to travel in your own vessel, although there are no public moorings available at Moreton Island. Tangalooma Wrecks can be a safe anchorage.
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.
- Moreton Island Tourist Services, ☏ . For those who do not have a 4wd there is a 4WD Taxi Service, 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 dolphins, turtles, dugongs, plenty of fish life
- 1 North Point (Personal 4WD or 4WD Bus Tour from Tangalooma). Protected cove at North-west side of Cape Moreton - Home to "The Champagne Pools" a natural ocean pool hollowed out amongst the rocks, and "North Point Light".
- 2 Honeymoon Bay. North facing beach surrounded by rocky headland. One of four pocket beaches on the Cape Moreton peninsula on Moreton Island.
- 3 Cape Moreton Light House. Queensland's oldest lighthouse opened in 1857.
- 4 Blue Lagoon. A natural fresh water lake infused with tea tree oils. The lagoon is filled from underground springs.
- The Tangalooma and Bulwer Wrecks. deliberately sunken ships - scuttled to form a breakwall protection for boats in westerly winds. They have subsequently formed incredible artificial reefs, featuring an abundance of marine life and good snorkelling.
- 5 Fort Cowan Cowan. a coastal defence bases from World War II has relics as a reminder of Australia's involvement in WWII
- 6 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 through the bay.
- 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 through 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.
- 1 Gutter Bar, 21 Kooringal Esplanade, Kooringal. 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.
There is a range of holiday accommodation on Moreton Island at all the towns.
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,
All campgrounds and camping zones within the National Park and recreation area require a camping permit, which must be obtained before you arrive on the island.
- Moreton Island Adventures Accommodation (Castaways Restaurant & Convenience Store), ☏ , email@example.com. Moreton Island Adventures have multiple accommodation offerings available - units, glamping, camping and dorms. MIA also operate the 'Castaways Restaurant' 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 1 Tangalooma Island Resort (Passenger ferry from Holt St Wharf Pinkenba (Brisbane)), ☏ . The site was originally established as a whaling station, but was opened as a resort in 1963. It is now the second largest island Resort property in Australia with an array of accommodation, tours and activities catering for domestic and international travellers. At sunset each evening a pod of wild bottlenose dolphins arrives to be hand-fed by guests under the guidance the Tangalooma Eco Centre's Dolphin Care Team, consisting of Eco Rangers who run the program which operates to strict guidelines to ensure the protection of the dolphins. There are also several restaurants and a bar onsite: 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.