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Moreton Island, QLD

Located 57kms off the coast of Brisbane, in the northern part of the Bay, Moreton Island (see video below – 4:23) is only a short boat trip from Scarborough or Manly. Tangalooma Resort, located on the Island, offers a dedicated ferry service with regular departures from Holt Street Wharf at Pinkenba.

Known For

  • One of the world’s largest sand islands
  • Island fun, and a perfect day trip from Brisbane

This is Moreton Island – a sun-kissed, sand-swept Eden that lies just off the urban hum of Brisbane, yet feels a universe away.

Moreton Island is the third-largest sand island in the world, following its siblings Fraser and North Stradbroke, who share the same coast. This windswept isle remains predominantly untouched, with 95% of its land designated as a national park. The island’s natural beauty is at once robust and fragile, an arid yet abundant Eden, a symphony of high dunes, crystalline lakes, and sprawling, multi-hued coral gardens.

Moreton Island, Queensland

The sand on Moreton Island, fine as flour and just as white, is the island’s ubiquitous currency. It shapes the island’s sinuous dunes, some soaring over 280 feet tall, where the more adventurous might try sandboarding, a local pastime that involves surfing down the steep, sandy slopes.

The thrill of the ride is only matched by the vistas from the dune peaks, panoramic sweeps of cobalt blue ocean, emerald-green eucalyptus forest, and the distant silhouette of Brisbane.

But sand is not only above on Moreton Island, it’s also below. Take a plunge in the Blue Lagoon, a freshwater lake nestled in the heart of the island. Fed by rainwater filtering through sand, the lake is startlingly clear, its cerulean depths fringed with reed beds and home to a kaleidoscope of native fish.

While on land the island is an explorer’s paradise, under the water it’s a diver’s nirvana. The Tangalooma Wrecks, a collection of 15 sunken vessels, serve as a bustling marine ecosystem, their rusty skeletons teeming with vividly colored fish, and coral. On a good day, you might find yourself swimming alongside sea turtles, wobbegong sharks, and manta rays.

Beach at Moreton Island

Beyond the wrecks, the island’s waters hold even more wildlife wonders. Moreton Bay, a marine park that extends to the island’s western shore, is a sanctuary for dugongs, dolphins, and humpback whales. You can often spot these majestic creatures breaching and playing in the shallows.

Back on land, the humble beach is transformed into a starlit theatre come nightfall. Moreton Island is one of the few places left in the world where you can see the Milky Way in all its cosmic glory, free from the pervasive light pollution of the mainland. Under the grand canopy of stars, the sand cools, the sea murmurs, and the nocturnal wildlife stirs.

For all its rugged beauty, Moreton Island isn’t without its comforts. Accommodations range from luxury resorts to beachfront campsites, all with unspoiled ocean views. The locally-sourced cuisine is sublime, be it freshly-caught snapper or melt-in-your-mouth mango sorbet.

Moreton Island is, in essence, a reminder of the power and majesty of nature. It’s a pocket of paradise where the digital world becomes a distant memory and the greatest luxury is simply time – time to explore, to breathe, to become lost in the beauty of the wild.

Moreton Island Ferry

Every ferry ride back to the mainland feels a touch melancholic, leaving the serenity of Moreton Island behind. Yet, it’s in those final glances back, as the island shrinks on the horizon, that one understands: the magic of Moreton isn’t confined to the island. It follows you, a gentle whisper of sand and sea that lingers long after you’ve left its shores.

Things To Do

Travelling time is just 75 minutes each way, with 4 boat services operating daily in each direction (Brisbane to Tangalooma). Moreton is almost completely National Park, making it an excellent destination for nature lovers. It is famous as one of only a handful of places in the world where you can hand feed dolphins in the wild at Tangalooma Resort.

Moreton Island Day Trips

Towards the northern end of the island, the freshwater lake of Blue Lagoon offers a host of birdlife and wildflowers during spring – perfect for bird watching and bushwalking, both popular island pursuits. Several walking tracks are established on the island.

Moreton Island

Nearby at Cape Moreton, stands the oldest lighthouse in Queensland which was first lit on February 14, 1857.

Adrenalin seekers enjoy Moreton Island for the unique experience of sand-tobogganing down the world’s tallest stabilised sand dune – Mt Tempest. Guided tours are available; along with all the equipment you’ll need for a head-first, high-speed trip down the dune. Tangalooma also offers quad-biking tours around the island – their fleet of bikes is one of the largest in the country.

With mysterious wrecks and colourful coral reefs in the area, scuba diving and snorkeling are popular additions to the usual aquatic pursuits of swimming and surfing, which also happen to be world class offerings on Moreton Island. The famous Tangalooma Wrecks provide some of the best diving and snorkeling to be found on the east coast of Australia.

No time for the Great Barrier Reef? No problem, all this is right at Brisbane‘s doorstep!

Nearest Airport: Brisbane

Where to stay?


  • Active
  • Caravan and Camping
  • Cultural
  • Eco Tourism
  • Environmental
  • Historic/Heritage
  • Mountain
  • Nature based
  • Relaxation
  • Island

Popular Activities

  • Off Road Driving
  • Cruising
  • National Park
  • Adventure
  • Fishing
  • Wilderness
  • Wildlife
  • Beach
  • Diving
  • Reef
  • World Heritage

About Moreton Island

  • Locality: Rural locality
  • Moreton Island Postcode: 4025
  • State: Queensland
  • Region: Brisbane
  • Latitude: -27.14944
  • Longitude: 153.40645
  • Elevation: 102m
  • Population: 243
  • Median Income: $45396
  • Area (Sq/km): 172.84
  • Timezone: Australia/Brisbane

Accommodation In Moreton Island

Discover some of the accommodation in and around Moreton Island

Tours In Moreton Island

Discover some of the tours options around Moreton Island

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