Moreton Island: Choose your own adventure

Take the chance to spend a day or a weekend sandboarding, snorkelling, swimming and relaxing in paradise, just a 75-minute ferry trip from Brisbane.

Brisbane is lucky to call the world’s third-largest sand island its own, and when it comes to visiting Moreton Island, you must make a tough choice. Families and couples looking to relax can enjoy a peaceful time at the resort, while keen adventurers can explore the island on an action-packed tour.

Whatever you decide, the experience will be unforgettable. 

Option 1: Weekend escape to Tangalooma Island Resort

Tangalooma Island Resort is the complete package – offering a huge range of fun leisure activities within the natural, unspoiled beauty that is Moreton Island. The 3.5-star resort has six different types of accommodation, with something perfect for everyone.

Day 1

Arrive at Tangalooma

First things first, the Tangalooma Flyer leaves the Holt Street Ferry Terminal at 7am and 10am. Jump aboard and sit back – the next stop is Moreton Island.

Check into Tangalooma Island Resort and get yourself acquainted with the facilities. About half of all activities offered are free, while the resort also offers plenty of paid tours including a desert safari, helicopter joy rides, kayaking, scuba diving and plenty more. The hard part is choosing what to do!

Morning: hit the dunes

Why not start with a tour of the island? Made entirely of sand, the adventurous kind can join a quad bike tour or go sand boarding down giant dunes. Others may prefer a scenic 4WD tour to explore as much of the 37km-long island as possible.

Afternoon: relax by the beach

Playground - Tangalooma Island Resort

Spend the afternoon relaxing at the resort. The kids can enjoy free activities including tennis, squash, archery, basketball, cricket, beach volleyball, putt putt and more. The kids will love free kookaburra and fish feeding! Read our guide to Tangalooma's free fun here.

Evening: feed wild dolphins

Group feed wild dolphins at Tangalooma

That evening head back to the pier to help the eco rangers hand-feed wild bottlenose dolphins by sunset. The gentle and playful dolphins come right up into the shallow waters to eat fresh fish right out of your hands. All overnight guests at Tangalooma Island Resort have the opportunity to wade into the water and feed these amazing creatures. If you want to learn more about dolphins, stop by the Marine Education & Conservation Centre at 4pm for the Discover Dolphins Presentation.

By night, Whaler’s Bar is the place to be for a few drinks and a game of pool. The resort hosts trivia, bingo and karaoke nights too. During the school holidays, Tangalooma also runs a Kids Club with planned activities and a jumping castle every day.

Day 2

Morning: breakfast buffet 

Kick-start your day right by booking an accommodation package that includes the breakfast buffet at Tursiops Restaurant. While sipping your morning cuppa, make a decision on what you want to do that day.

Day: get out on the water

The beauty of staying at a resort is that you can do as much or as little as you want. Jump aboard the fish-feeding cruise or get up even closer by snorkelling around the Tangalooma Wrecks. The more adventurous can go parasailing or scuba diving, while the kids will love kayaking or a banana boat ride. 
If your stay falls between June and November, be sure to join the unforgettable three-hour whale-watching cruise.

Afternoon: treat yourself

For those who want to relax, the beach is on your doorstep and Tangalooma has a beachside massage hut to combine the two. Finish your relaxing island break with a massage, facial or manicure in paradise.

The Tangalooma Flyer leaves for Brisbane at 4pm and 7pm.

Book your stay with Tangalooma Island Resort on Visit Brisbane.

Option 2: Join a two-day adventure tour with Australian Sunset Safaris

Get back to nature with an adventurous two days like no other on Moreton Island with Australian Sunset Safaris. This all-inclusive tour gives you the chance to relax while burning off adrenaline and showing you all the best bits of the giant sand island. 

Day 1

MICAT

Meet the big red bus at Hotel Jen on Roma St. On board you’ll be greeted by a sea of young, fresh faces ready for two days of sun and sand. The bus travels to the Port of Brisbane where you board the MICAT along with dozens of 4WDs. The ferry takes about 80 minutes and there is an on-board cafe.
Day one is all about adventure, and the order of activities may vary dependent on tides and weather.

Morning: sand boarding

It’s time to visit The Desert! Climb into a 4WD bus – the ride is an adventure in itself as there are no bitumen roads. 

All of Moreton island is made of sand, most of which is covered in coastal vegetation. However, in The Desert the big sand hills shift and move so often that nothing grows – making the tall dunes perfect to launch yourself down at high speed! Once you get the courage, push yourself off the edge. The waxed boards can reach speeds up to 60km/h!

Afternoon: snorkel and clear kayaking

Australian Sunset Safaris

Australian Sunset Safaris is the first operator to pioneer transparent kayaks in Queensland and around the wrecks. See fish and coral like never before – and without having to get wet! The tour paddles out to the Tangalooma Wrecks – 15 old ships that were sunk more than 50 years ago – to view the coral and fish.
Wetsuits on, get even closer to the marine life by snorkelling around and through the old ships. Partway through, the guide will stop to feed fish – let them snatch bread right out of your hands! 

Flotation devices are available, and near the wrecks is often shallow enough to stand up.

Evening: night kayaking and a campfire

Board the bus and head north on Moreton Island’s No.1 motorway – the beach. Once you’ve settled into your accommodation at Castaways for the night (glamping tent, apartment or dorm room), dinner will be served at the local restaurant.

You will be given the option to go night kayaking – an experience not to be missed. Head back to the Tangalooma Wrecks in the dark and launch the clear kayaks. Sunset Safaris has had LED lights custom-built to fit the vessels. By night, kayaking is a completely different experience. Fish are attracted to the lights and will launch themselves towards the kayaks, and if you’re lucky a curious turtle or two may come to say hello. 

Finish your evening back at Castaways by the campfire toasting marshmallows.

Day 2

After breakfast your tour guide will let you know the exact plan – regardless, day two is for exploring the natural wonders of Moreton Island.

Morning: Five Hills Lookout, Champagne Pools & Cape Moreton

Start the morning with a short trek! The track to Five Hills Lookout is merely a few hundred metres from the road, but walking on sand makes it a whole lot harder. At the top you'll be rewarded with sweeping 360-degree views of the island.

Cape Moreton lighthouse

At the northern tip of the island is Cape Moreton and its historic lighthouse. The 23m-high red striped structure was built in 1857 and is made of local sandstone. The rocky outcrop that the lighthouse sits on is a great viewing point to spot dolphins surfing the waves, turtles in the shallows, sharks laying low, and humpback whales splashing past (June to November).

Down below lies Honeymoon Bay, a picture-perfect horseshoe shaped beach protected on one side by the lighthouse cliffs and on the other by the Champagne Pools.

Afternoon: Blue Lagoon

After lunch, the bus ride continues to the surf beaches on the eastern side of the island before turning inland to Blue Lagoon. Soft, pure white sand meets the cooling fresh waters of this giant natural tea tree lake – a great spot to cool off after a day in the sun.

Australian Sunset Safaris

A drive back through Middle Rd pops the bus out on the west side just in time for the afternoon MICAT ferry back to Brisbane.

Book your adventure with Australian Sunset Safaris on Visit Brisbane. The tour company also do a one-day tour.

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