Despite its name, Moreton Island is not officially part of Moreton Bay Region, instead falling under Brisbane Council jurisdiction. However, as the island is one of the major Moreton Bay Marine Park drawcards for holidaymakers planning a getaway to our region, it would be remiss of us not to introduce you to our sub-tropical island neighbour.
Moreton Island attractions abound – the sandy and sundrenched paradise is brimming with natural wonders offering numerous opportunities for exploration, adventure, active fun in the sun and relaxation. To help you out we’ve put together an exhaustive list of 20 things to do on Moreton Island.
There are a plethora of Moreton Island attractions to experience while on the island. Pick and choose from the 20 below to pack your holiday full of fun.
#1 Bring your 4WD, or hire one from Tangalooma Island Resort to embark on 4WDing scenic tours around the island.
#2 Take a quad bike, Segway or Desert Safari Tour courtesy of Tangalooma Island Resort for an adrenaline-pumping day of dune driving.
#3 Hire out a beach bike for your own solo-guided adventure.
#4 Visit Honeymoon Bay located between the rocky outcrop of Cape Moreton and North Point to enjoy a walk to Cape Moreton Lighthouse for great views and to peruse the lighthouse’s Visitor Information Centre filled with island facts and historical drawcards.
Honeymoon Bay is a gorgeous little crescent-moon shaped slice of 50 metre-wide beach. It is home to the very first lighthouse built in Queensland – a red-striped sandstone structure constructed by tradesmen and convicts in 1857. The cape is also worth a visit to spot migrating humpback whales, dolphins, manta rays, turtles, dugongs, and sharks.
#5 Explore Harper's Rock, the cluster of red sand formations on Moreton Island’s east side at the base of Cape Moreton.
#6 Climb to Five Hills Lookout found along the drive to Cape Moreton. It’s a nice and easy 1km stroll along the sands to this lookout which offers you 360-degree views across the water and the island.
#7 Conquer the sandy 285 metre climb up Mount Tempest to revel in 360-degree panoramic views towards the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast. Don’t forget to grab a selfie!
#8 Go bird-watching all around the island. Over 180 species of birds have been recorded on Moreton Island so bring your binoculars when venturing out and about.
#9 For adrenaline-pumping things to do on Moreton Island bring your own body-board (or join a Tangalooma Desert Safari Tobogganing Tour) to toboggan down the massive dunes found all over the island. You can reach nail-biting speeds of up to 60km/h!
#10 If you’ve booked a campsite complete with fire-pit or fireplace, the Park Rangers permit you to bring a roaring campfire to life. You’ll find fire pits and fire rings at Comboyuro Point, Ben-Ewa, Blue Lagoon campgrounds and at the other 5 camping zones.
Please Note: You must bring your own firewood as collecting firewood on the island is prohibited.
#11 Bask in the sea spray at North Point’s Champagne Pools, near Honeymoon Bay. The crystal clear rock pools are replenished regularly thanks to the surf which crashes over the volcanic rock and sandstone break-wall barrier band. You can sit down in the pools and relax letting the water foam and bubble around you, or snap some great photos from afar if you don’t feel like getting wet.
#12 Surfers head to one of the beaches on the eastern side of the island where the surf’s always up to spend a sunny day catching waves. Don’t forget the sunscreen and water.
#13 Must-do Moreton Island attractions most definitely include a swim in the fresh water Blue Lagoon found in the center of the island. This sand-bottomed lake is infused with tea tree oils, making it a great place to take a dip, rejuvenate and soak-up the serenity.
#14 Hire snorkelling gear or a kayak (amongst other gear hire options) from Tangalooma Island Resort or Castaways to explore the Wrecks.
#15 For fantastic diving serious scuba divers should head to Flinders Reef off the Cape Moreton shore. The habitat hosts around 175 species of fish, turtles, and whales during humpback migration season. Another great underwater site to explore is the Aarhus Dive Site north of the island, home to a 50 metre iron sailing vessel which sank in 1894 after a 122-day sailing trip from New York.
The island’s most well-known wreck site perfect for carefree diving, snorkelling and kayaking, is found by Tangalooma Island Resort – Tangalooma Wrecks consists of 15 shipwrecks, all deliberately sunk to form a break wall.
Another worthy wreck site great for sheltered swimming and snorkelling is Bulwer Wrecks – 3 vessels deliberately sunk by Robert Alexander Gow in the 1930s to shelter his 1-metre boat.
#16 Speaking of boats, why not hire one from Boating Planet Redcliffe if you’d prefer to tour the bay’s waters departing from the mainland, or, if staying on the island, hire a boat (or catamaran) from the resort to enjoy a spot of fishing.
#17 And while we’re on the subject of fishing, there’s no better place than Moreton Island to haul home a fantastic catch. This fishing paradise offers keen anglers numerous hotspots to enjoy beach, ocean and even spear fishing.
Please Note: As the bay is a protected marine habitat there are 4 sections of beach which are green zoned (no fishing) and 2 which are yellow zoned (restricted to 2 lines and 2 hooks per person). Please consult the Moreton Bay Marine Park User Guide and Zoning Map for more information.
Moreton Island operated as one of Australia's major coastal defence bases during both World Wars. 900 troops called it home at the peak of the war effort.
#18 Wartime Moreton Island attractions include the Rous Battery Track, a 9.8km hike through scribbly gum forest found on the southern end of the island which takes about 3.5 hours to conquer each way, as well as the historic grave sites, one of whom died at sea in 1883, and the other of whom passed away in 1895. They are 2 of the oldest historic sites in Queensland.
You may also come across remnants of concrete bunkers, shelters and gun batteries during your island explorations – bunkers are found at Cowan Cowan and along the Rous Battery Track.
#19. For more historical things to do on Moreton Island make sure to join one of the FREE Whaling Station Tours & Talks, running seasonally, operated by Tangalooma Island Resort.
#20 There are numerous FREE and FEE-incurring activities to get stuck into courtesy of Tangalooma Island Resort:
Please note you will need to pre-book a Casual Day Visitor Pass with Tangalooma Island Resort to use any of their facilities during your stay.