WHAT IT’S REALLY LIKE TO SPEND THE NIGHT ON MORTON ISLAND, QUEENSLAND (Part One)
When I spent a night in paradise!
When visiting the beautiful country of Australia, visiting some of its many islands is a must. You have probably heard of some of the more popular ones, like K’gari, (originally known as Frasier Island) and the Whitsunday Islands in Queensland, as well as Rottnest Island located close to Perth in Western Australia, with its friendly quokkas. But I’m going to tell you about a lesser-known place that doesn’t have the high price tag or hordes of crowds. Morton Island, just off the coast of Brisbane. When I arrived in the city, I decided to book myself onto an overnight camping adventure tour to check it out.
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The following morning, I headed to the bus station at 7 AM, where I met up with my tour group, an eclectic mix of locals and foreign backpackers. Then we were introduced to our guide Dan, who was your stereotypical fun-loving surfer bloke, who was super friendly and easy-going. I could already tell this was going to be a great adventure.
After a brief introduction, we hopped into the van, and we were driven to the ferry terminal to board the boats for the two-hour journey to Morton Island. The ferry took no time at all, and before I knew it, I could see the island come into view. I was completely blown away by its stunning natural beauty. I could see the pristine beach, which was just calling my name, with the rainforest in the background, which seemingly covered the whole island. The bright blue ocean wrapped around the beach, which was so clear and blue, and to make it even more dreamy looking, we sailed past a line of shipwrecks as we came into port. They were dotted around the shore, just a short distance from land, which had my imagination running riot as I pictured pirates, trying to smuggle away all of their booty, only to run aground so close to shore.
After departing the ferry, the first thing we did was to go for a swim. It was extremely humid, and the temperature was touching 40 degrees, so it was a welcome relief! The coolness of the water was the perfect way to cool down and a special way to take in your surroundings. While we were bobbing around in the sea, getting to know one another, there might have been an embarrassing moment when I glanced around and saw what I thought was a shark fin in the distance. I might; repeat, MIGHT have screamed in terror at the shark fin, which turned out to be a buoy (they show the tide indicators and depth of the water) – I totally didn’t Google that! Anyway, we all laughed. Probably out of pity!
After drying off, Dan took us on a tour of the island, showing us the beautiful lookout points and landscapes the island had to offer. One of the highlights was driving to the north of the island, where we discovered the Cape Morton Lighthouse. This is actually Queensland’s oldest lighthouse. Painted in cute red and white stripes, it is one of the best Instagrammable spots on the island. The views from up here were incredible. You could see the vast landscapes of the rainforest in the distance and the beaches beyond. It was incredible!
Driving back through the rainforest meant no more sealed roads. This meant we were tossed around and got jolted in every direction, like lettuce leaves in a salad! However, despite the lack of comfort, we passed by some fantastic scenery. Under the canopy of trees down here, we were also completely protected from the sun, and it was a welcome relief from the heat. I am a little bit in love with rainforests. After all, being from the UK, we had nothing even remotely close to anything this exotic! At one point, I happened to glance to my left and see the biggest spider I’d ever seen in my life, webbed amongst the trees. It had red glowing eyes and sharp fangs, and I’m pretty sure it had a knife too, just to look extra threatening! Great I won’t be sleeping tonight!
We made our way over to our campsite for the evening, and all mucked in to cook dinner, then we ate our meal around the campfire, cracked open a few drinks and sat back in our camp chairs. Heaven! After our feed and several alcoholic drinks later, Dan decided to bring out an Aussie icon – the didgeridoo! Some of us were actually pretty good, but the only sound I managed to make out of it was fart noises. After which, I couldn’t perform anymore, due to laughing so much.
Later that evening, most of the group had retired to their tents, but myself and several members of our group were still up, talking with Dan around the campfire when out of the blue, he asked us if we were up for a little adventure. Hell yes! So off we went. He wanted to take us to the beach, promising that what we were about to witness was something amazing, but that we’d have to keep our phones and camera’s switched off, as we couldn’t have any light pollution. (First time I’d ever heard “Light Pollution” was a thing!) It was pitch black as we walked through the rainforest, tripping up over rocks and branches, but we eventually arrived at the beach. Surprisingly, the moonlight provided us with some light, and with our eyes now adjusting to the darkness, we made our way over to the ocean.
Thanks for reading Part One of my visit to Moreton Island, just off the coast of Brisbane. Be sure to keep an eye out for Part Two next year. I still find it absolutely crazy that every time I ask people if they have heard of this wonderful place, no one has heard of it before! It really is an unspoilt paradise and I would love to go back in the future and see it again. For such a small island, it really does pack a punch with lots to see and do. Whatever your budget, get on the ferry and go, even if it’s just for the day, and take a picnic, honestly you won’t regret it.
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