Is Moreton Island Worth Visiting?

Is Moreton Island Worth Visiting? Image | East Coast Tours Australia

Moreton Island is definitely worth visiting thanks to its dazzling marine life, diverse natural landscapes, and opportunities for adventure. Conveniently located right off the coast of Brisbane and the Gold Coast, this island paradise makes an easy day trip from the capital city of Queensland. Moreton Island beckons travellers with its turquoise waters and unique landmarks. If you're not yet convinced, here are some travel tips and recommendations for visiting the pristine Moreton Island near Brisbane!

girl kayaking up to Tangalooma Wrecks near Moreton Island

Is Moreton Island Worth Visiting?

With its lush natural beauty and wide array of fun activities, Moreton Island is one of the best day trips from Brisbane. But why is Moreton Island so popular? Not only is the island full of exciting things to see and do, it's also easy to access from Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast via ferries and guided tours. We're going to cover everything you need to know about visiting Moreton Island!

Note: Moreton Island's traditional name is Mulgumpin, as given by the Quandamooka community who are the Traditional Owners of the Land. 

travelers holding up coffee cups on Moreton Island Ferry

Top Things To Do On Moreton Island

The main reasons why travellers visit Moreton Island is for the unique attractions, sights, and activities. If you're thinking of visiting this beautiful oasis, you're probably wondering what you can actually do there! 95% of the island is national park, meaning there is lots of protected wilderness just begging to be explored. In addition, the warm waters off the coast are filled with marine life and attractions of their own! If you do visit Moreton Island, you'll probably check a few of these things off your bucket list. 

Tangalooma Wrecks

Tangalooma Wrecks is a fascinating landmark off the coast of Moreton Island. This unique site is home to a collection of fifteen ships that were deliberately sunk in the 1960s to create a breakwall for small boats. Over time, these wrecks have transformed into a vibrant artificial reef, teeming with marine life. Whether snorkelling, scuba diving, or kayaking around the Tangalooma Wrecks, you're sure to be amazed by this historic landmark and the thriving underwater ecosystem it has created. 

aerial view of tangalooma wreck off the coast of moreton island

Honeymoon Bay

A secluded bay of golden sand and sapphire waters, Honeymoon Bay is one of the most beautiful sights in Moreton Island National Park. You can access the bay via a 700m walking trail that includes historic WWII landmarks and artefacts. Honeymoon Bay is a glorious place for a swim and the views are even more spectacular at sunrise or sunset. 

Tangalooma Desert

An extraordinary natural phenomenon with its expanse of pure, white silica sand, Tangalooma Desert is a popular place to visit on Moreton Island. Contrary to its name, this "desert" is not an arid landscape but rather a vast sand hill system formed over time by wind and tidal movements. Visitors to Tangalooma Desert can have a blast sandboarding down the steep slopes and trekking over the soft dunes. 

travelers hanging out on the white sand of Tangalooma Desert

Cape Moreton Lighthouse

Perched majestically atop the rugged coastal cliffs on Moreton Island, the Cape Moreton Lighthouse is one of Queensland's oldest lighthouses. Constructed in 1857, the iconic lighthouse commemorates Moreton Bay's maritime history. It also provides sweeping views of the Coral Sea! If you head up here in winter, you can possibly spot whales in the ocean as they migrate along the coast. 

Blue Lagoon

The Blue Lagoon is a freshwater lake that boasts striking shades of blue, creating a stunning visual contrast against the surrounding sand dunes and vegetation of Moreton Island National Park. Mineral-rich sands beneath the clear waters of the lake help give it that gorgeous blue hue, and its waters are enhanced with natural tea tree which is known for its healing properties. Going for a refreshing swim here is one of the best things to do on Moreton Island!

girls swimming in a pristine freshwater lake in Queensland

See Marine Life

From whale watching from the Cape Moreton Lighthouse to snorkelling or diving in the Tangalooma Wrecks, Moreton Island provides lots of chances to admire wildlife. The crystal clear waters around Moreton Bay are a safe haven for creatures like dolphins, turtles, rays, sharks, and tropical fish. Moreton Bay is also a popular place for whale watching tours. No matter what activities you're doing during your visit to Moreton Island, there is a good chance you'll spot some marine life!

dolphins swimming through the blue ocean in Australia

How to get to Moreton Island

You can get to Moreton Island by catching the MICAT ferry from Brisbane. Whether you go on your own or book a guided tour is up to you! Many travellers may also be asking, "Do I need a car on Moreton Island?". Though you don't need a car, you can bring one to have more freedom when you explore the island. But you need a national parks permit and your car has to be 4WD to navigate the sandy landscapes. 

If you're visiting Moreton Island on a tour, all your ferry transfers and 4WD transport is included. Many tours are also flexible and let you choose your own activities. Here is a quick comparison of visiting Moreton Island on a tour or without a tour. 

Moreton Island Ferry pulling up to the island

Moreton Island Day Trip

Booking a Moreton Island day trip from Brisbane or the Gold Coast is the most convenient way to explore the island. Because all national park permits, transport, and activities are included, you can just soak in every minute of the action-packed day without worrying about logistics.

Every tour is unique, but most include snorkelling or kayaking and the Tangalooma Wrecks and a 4WD adventure out to the Tangalooma Desert for sandboarding. You can also look for scuba diving tours and flexible tours that let you choose your own activities. Tours are also ideal for solo travellers and backpackers who want a social experience!

tour group hiking up the sand dunes on Moreton Island

Visiting Moreton Island on your own

Travellers who want more freedom and flexibility may prefer to visit Moreton Island without a tour. This is also a good option for travellers who want to stay on the island for a few days and enjoy some privacy. You just have to organise everything yourself! You'll have to book national park permits, book your ferry tickets, and make sure your 4WD vehicle is ready to go. You can also hire a 4WD on the island at Tangalooma Island Resort, or explore without a car. 

Once you arrive on the island, Tangalooma Island Resort is where you'll want to base yourself. Here you can book any activities, or you can treat yourself and just stay at the resort. You can also go camping on Moreton Island if you want a real wilderness adventure, just make sure you're prepared with everything you need for that type of off-grid experience. 

man driving a 4WD vehicle on the beach in Queensland

So what is the best way to visit Moreton Island?

Given all we've just covered, it's up to you if you want to book a tour or explore on your own. Because Moreton Island is a remote national park, it's simply easier to book a tour because everything is organised for you. Most travellers in Australia have a busy itinerary, so you don't want to spend too much time planning and getting permits. If you're short on time, hoping to meet people, and looking to have an epic day without any stress, definitely book a guided tour. But if you have plenty of time and you'd prefer to plan your own excursion to Moreton Island, going without a tour is great too! 

turtle swimming through coral reefs

How long should you stay on Moreton Island?

The ideal amount of time to spend on Moreton Island is anywhere from 1-3 days, it just depends on your schedule and travel style! Day trips to Moreton Island are super popular, especially among backpackers. You can embark on an exciting day trip that includes all the highlights of the island including Tangalooma Wrecks, the Desert, and some water sports like snorkelling or kayaking.

But if you have time, you can also spend 2 or 3 days on Moreton Island and have more time to explore. Spend your extra days going for bushwalks, camping, or treating yourself at the Tangalooma Island Resort. Moreton Island is packed with pristine natural beauty and anywhere from 1-3 days allows you to soak it all in!

aerial view of Moreton Island coastline in Queensland

See our top Moreton Island tours from Brisbane! If you have any more questions about the island, feel free to reach out to our travel experts!

East Coast Tours acknowledges all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Traditional Owners of Country and recognises their continuing connection to land, sea, culture and community. We pay our respects to Elders past and present and extend that respect to all First Nations peoples.

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