Sometimes we forget to look at the treasures in our back yard. A timely reminder when a mate said do you want to come to Moreton Island for a few days? A quick calendar check lead to an even quicker response yes!
Moreton Island or Mulgumpin which means the place of sands is the third-largest sand island in the world, located approximately 40 kilometres from Brisbane.
It takes only 75-minutes to sail each way on the ferry to experience crystal clear aqua waters, clean golden sands, spectacular clear starry nights, and unique adventures.
For interstate or OS visitors it is a quick 10-minute taxi from the airport to the passenger ferry docked at 220 Holt St Wharf, Pinkenba. The ferry operates seven days a week with four standard daily departure times from Brisbane that take you directly to the Tangalooma Island Resort. They include a late return for the sunset dolphin feeding for day visitors.
Parking is available at the Holt Street wharf with an option of taxi drop off and pick up or the JPT Tour bus group has selected pick up areas around Brisbane. All information is available on the websites listed below.
From the Brisbane side, you drop your luggage at the wharf and on arrival at the island, your bags are delivered to your apartment door. You can walk from the ferry to the resort but there is a pick-up buggy available.
There is another boat that takes you directly to the shipwrecks and a barge service from Victoria Point for campers to access the eastern side of the island where a 4WD is needed to traverse the rugged unsealed sandy roads.
It was the first time I stayed in accommodation at Tangalooma as previously I have camped or visited for the day. This time I did it in style staying at the Tangalooma Island Resort and I definitely will be returning. It was simple, easy, and inexpensive. A wonderful bonus is the Wild Dolphin feeding included in your overnight package.
As soon as I set foot onto the Tangalooma Wild Dolphins Resort ferry I took a slow deep breath and inhaled the clean sea air. My shoulders dropped and a smile crossed my face knowing I was having a temporary break from my normal routine.
Our skipper sailed us through Moreton Bay away from the maddening crowd to our paradise place of peace. What a magical sight it was to see in the distance patches of dunes stretched out between bushy hilltops that cascaded to the shoreline. I could see why sand tobogganing is so popular.
First point of call
After check-in, the first point of call was to visit the Eco Centre where manager Sue, with her warm knowledgeable, and passionate team of eco rangers, provided us with an up-close and personal look into the environment.
Our history lesson on the Tangalooma Whaling Station was confronting. Sadly, it wasn’t until 1962 when the whaling station closed. By then the east coast’s humpback whale population had been seriously decimated from an estimated 15,000 whales to less than 500. In 1965 humpback whales were placed on the Protected Species list,
Today, endangered animals frequent the area which is exciting as they skittle across the paved pathways during walks. And right on the shores, it is common to see whales, dugongs, turtles, stingrays, marine birds, dolphins and so much more. Feeding the birds can only be practiced by the eco rangers and you can witness their daily feeding of Kookaburras and Pelicans.
Things to do
I grabbed a What’s On Guide from the tours desk, it’s needed to plan your day if you don’t have a chance before you leave.
There are so many options such as scenic helicopter trips, snorkelling over 15 different shipwrecks, quad bike tours, clear bottom kayaking, scuba diving, stand-up paddle boarding, Segway tours, parasailing, bushwalking, 4WD hire.
Or if you prefer a chill-out day there are yoga classes and massage therapists but you need to book in advance. I always enjoy the marine sightseeing tours on boats that provide clear bottom viewing of marine life below. The boats are anchored just offshore and come to shore to pick you up. There is something for everyone.
Without a doubt, the sunset dolphin feeding is a memorable experience and people flock to participate. It is extremely well synchronised by the eco rangers and they have a specially designed marine wheelchair designed for water access so no one misses out feeding the dolphins.
All this is possible as the staff worked tirelessly within the present Covid restrictions to ensure our time was a memorable experience.
Apart from the tempting restaurant options and bar, room delivery is available for those too exhausted to go out at night after their action-packed day. Many apartments have cooking facilities perfect for families. I enjoyed sunset drinks on The Wheelhouse Deck located above B&B’s bar, a perfect location to capture breathtaking sunsets.
I didn’t make it to the resort pool as the enticing aqua sea beckoned like the last mango hanging from a tree, begging to be picked.
Not even the locals tire from watching the dolphin feeds at sunset, see the Kookaburras being hand feed by the Eco rangers, nor the flock of pelican’s waddle around the jetty, it is simply beautiful.
The best thing I enjoyed was walking across the lawn directly to the beach from our apartment front door. I didn’t need to set up camp in the heat, everything was waiting for me and all within walking distance.
The wonderful staff could not be more accommodating, nothing was a problem and we quickly embraced their passion for the island and its environment.
It is easy to see why Moreton Island is called The Gem of South East Queensland and Conveniently Remote, they make it infinitely easy. It truly is a paradise in our backyard.
Tours and activity information
On the birth of her two grandsons, Ruth Greening experienced an awakening in her life and entering Gen GP (Generation Grandparent) she was given the moniker Nanny Babe as her ‘grandmother’ title. She found things had changed since her child rearing days, and an adjustment to new parenting concepts was required. Hence the birth of the Nanny Babe blog from a baby boomers perspective.
Ruth holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology & Philosophy, completing this degree while working as a hairdresser and supporting her two children as a single mother. Ruth has worked in the corporate world for approximately thirty years and has recently retired to address her artistic passions.
She is experienced in senior management positions, marketing, modelling, commercials, film, community radio and writing.
Nanny Babe is active with her hobbies—fitness, writing, blogging, jewellery, crafts, singing, dancing, memoirs, mentoring and now faces diversity and self-discovery on her recent ‘retirement’ path. Connect with Nanny Babe on her blog – hit the link above!