A week-long camping trip along one of Brisbane’s most beautiful coastal islands
Moreton Island a 37km long island located in Moreton Bay, off the coast of south-east Queensland. The island covers an area of about 17700ha, and extends for 38km from north to south. At its widest it is 8km across….Moreton Island is 95% National Park… has a colourful history, with evidence of early aboriginal history, being the site of the Queensland’s only whaling station from 1952-1962, to the Cape Moreton Lighthouse being the first to be built off the Queensland Coast.
A 4WD on Moreton Island is essential as there are no sealed roads… Go fishing, surfing or swimming in fresh and saltwater. Dive or snorkel…. Its natural scenery with high sand dunes, lakes, small creeks and a coastline of endless white sandy beaches is simply amazing.
Timetables: Please look at the monthly timetables for extra service times.
- Brisbane to Wrecks: 8:30 everyday (except Wed) + 12:30pm Friday + 2:30pm Sunday
- Wrecks to Brisbane: 15:30 everyday (except Wed & Sun) + 10:30am Friday + 12:30 & 16:30 Sunday
Travel Time: 75min-90min
- $199 (Standard 4WD inc. Driver & 1 passenger)
- $52 per extra adult.
Note: the only route to get past the Tangalooma Resort is behind on the Tangalooma Bypass.
Check out the Camping Zones Map
- Stay in camping zones around the island and just pick a site that you like as you drive past, OR
- Stay at designated campsite with access to cold showers (free) and toilets.
All camping permits must be pre-booked on the QWPS booking site for $6.50 per person/night. Just create an account and search for the site! Changes to bookings can be made on the same day if there is availability.
Bulwer is the main town on the island which only consists of a small (and expensive) convenience store, so take eskys and pack them with food and alcohol for your stay.
You must purchase firewood or bring your own with you. Using the native trees hurts the ecosystem and so Moreton Island rangers ask you not to use it.
See the Recreation Area Map for ideas
- Walking tracks
- Ship Wrecks
- World War 2 Relics
THE FERRY RIDE
We caught the MCIT ferry at 4:30pm on Sunday 4 September. After getting off the ferry we drove south down the west side of the island only to find out that cars are not allowed along the beach of Tangalooma resort and the only way around the resort is the Tangalooma bypass.
So we turned around heading north, past where the ferry dropped us off to turn right at Middle Rd, into surprisingly thick bushland. We then turned right onto the Tangalooma Bypass driving south around the resort to turn off towards the The Desert.
Here we were hoping to introduce Todd to sand tobogganing but we forgot to pack out boards and we couldn’t find any that people had left around.
We headed back to the Tangalooma bypass to continue south and after a short time it exited back onto the beach. There are a lot of Shipwrecks off Moreton Island, despite how big it is. and we firs passed Shark Spit.
It’s getting late so the tide is out and as we are driving along we spotted some boards near the Big Sandhills in hope that we could try to sandbagging. Unfortunately, it didn’t go so well :p
SOUTH-WEST CAMPING ZONE
Tonight we set up camp in the South-west camping zone near the bottom of the peninsula.
We drove around the bottom of the peninsula and north up the east side of the island to Blue Lagoon.
HONEYEATER LAKE LOOK-OUT
Then we head south and turn onto Blue Lagoon Rd, stopping at Honyeater Lake Look-out which is only 30m from the road.
TELEGRAPH WALKING TRACK
After delicious Rolls for lunch Todd and I were dropped off at the end of the Bulwer – Blue Lagoon Road to conquer the Telegraph Walking Track. This trail used to be where the old telegraph line ran.
We took the trail in direction towards Mount Tempest to meet at the Mount Tempest car park. The trail is 8km one way and goes both up and down along a clear path that can be seen along the trail. It recommends 3 hours but we completed in 2 hours at a constant pace.
MOUNT TEMPEST WALKING TRACK
Mum and Scott drive back to the east side of the island south to turn onto middle road and then north to Mt Tempest where the Telegraph track ends. While they were waiting they walked the Mount Tempest Walking Track.
The trail leads to a viewpoint at the top and is only 2km return but very steep and more intense than the telegraph trail. We wish we had done the extra section because the views from Mount Tempest are amazing!
NORTH-EAST CAMPING ZONE
Tonight we stayed in the North-east camping zone south of the Blue Lagoon.
Today we head north to Cape Moreton. This is where the Moreton Island Information Centre and lighthouse stand. The information centre is small and located in the old second lighthouse assistant house. It has some information on the wildlife and conservation efforts of the island.
CAPE MORETON LIGHTHOUSE
After about 100m up planked boardwalks we reached the Cape Moreton Lighthouse. From here we got a great view of the ocean and the island, even spotting a couple of Humpback Whales. There were signs talking about the early days of the island, whales and the history of the innkeeper.
Stand at the viewpoint in front of the lighthouse and try to spot the Humpback Whale pods.
FIVE HILLS VIEWPOINT
We headed back to the car, used the bathroom and continued along the Northern peninsula onto Bulwer-North Point Rd. We pulled over and walked 300 m uphill to Five Hills Viewpoint. There is so many different types of fauna on the island.
We continued west on North Point Rd and turned right onto Blue Lagoon Rd and then left into Bulwer. Bulwer is a very small town with a general store. The prices are pretty steep, but that’s to be expected, they serve delicious looking burgers, sandwiches and other hot meals, essential food, lots of snacks, firewood, alchohol and ice-cream. We made sandwiches out at the car and also snacked on some ice-creams to cool off.
COMBOYURO CAMPING ZONE
We set up camp for the night, cut some firewood for coffee and strolled along the beach. Then we admired the sunset, Mum made delicious Salmon Roast Dinner, we played card games and then watched as we made the fire turn blue.
LITTLE BULWER WRECKS
After packing up camp we head down the beach a little to the Bulwer Wrecks.
WORLD WAR II RELICS
Then we walked along the beach to the blocked off area of the World War II Relics.
We also drove down to Tangalooma Wrecks to check it out. The water was cold so we didn’t go swimming but there were quite a few people out on their boats, sunbathing on the beach and some snorkeling. Due to their proximity to Tangalooma resort this was the most people we had seen in one place.
NORTH-WEST CAMPING ZONE
Then we headed to North-west camping zone where we found a nice flat spot only 20m from the beach. We set up camp, made a fire, walked with the birds and admired another beautiful sunset.
We spent the morning at the campsite, swimming, laughing with the Kookaburras and taking some family pics.
Then we headed to Tangalooma Wrecks to catch the 3:30pm ferry back to Brisbane. It’s time to say goodbye to beautiful Moreton Island.