moreton island near brisbane


Hey everyone! Welcome to the second part of my trip to Moreton Island near Brisbane in Queensland blog post. I recommend reading Part One first if you haven’t done so already. If not, you might miss out on all of the fun adventures I had when my tour group and I arrived on the island, including the places we explored and what we got up to. You can access that post here.  

Moreton Island is just 37 kilometers long and located around 40km off the coast of Brisbane in Queensland, Australia. This underdeveloped island has very few amenities, just a handful of sealed roads, and is surrounded by white sandy beaches and lush tropical rainforests. While it’s not too far away from the mainland, you will literally feel as though you’ve stepped into another world.

So without further ado, let’s get back to part two of my adventures on Moreton Island. If you remember from my last post, Dan had just taken us to the beach at night and asked us if we were ready??? Read on to find on what happened next…

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Moreton Island near Brisbane

We stopped where the waves were lapping onto the sand, and we all looking over at Dan. 

“Are you ready?” He asked. 

Puzzled, we all looked at one another, then Dan lifted up his leg and scrapped a line in the sand with his foot. Where he’d disturbed the sand appeared luminous plankton under his feet! My jaw hit the floor! What was I seeing? At first, I didn’t quite believe my eyes, then I started drawing lines in the sand with my feet, and sure enough, the sand lit up luminously for a few seconds, then magically faded away. It was one of the most incredible things I had ever seen! So it’s safe to assume that I was walking around like a big kid for the next few minutes, just drawing lines in the sand and marveling at the glowing plankton. The glow happens through a chemical reaction that is produced to disorient prey. However it happens, it’s incredible to see and something I’ll remember forever.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means that when you click on a product I recommend through my links, I may earn a small commission at no cost to you. For more information, click here to read my disclosure page.


The following morning I was the last to wake up, so breakfast was nearly ready. Dan asked me to quickly run down to the beach and grab the girls, who’d gone down to see the wild dolphins! Whaaaattt??? Wild dolphins? I grabbed my camera and legged it to the beach.

Sure enough, they were just metres from the shore, and several members of our group were stood knee-deep in the water just inches from them! Could this island get any more incredible? I completely forgot why I’d come down to the beach in the first place and waded in to get a bit closer. I was so happy right now. Then I heard Dan’s voice behind me, telling us to hurry up at breakfast was ready. Whoops! I had one job that morning — one job. And I stuffed it up!… Totally worth it.


Our first stop in Moreton Island near Brisbane that day, was to head to the sand dunes in the desert, as we were going sandboarding. I was not convinced that sitting on a piece of plywood would work, but I was willing to give it a try. The only downside was having to climb the dunes first. It was another 40-degree day as we started our descent up them. Dan advised that we should step into the person’s footprints in front of you. After sliding down a few times, we all eventually made it up to the top!

Then we all had sandboard races, which was so much fun, despite the sand flying into your face on the way down. I went flying down on my flimsy bit of plywood at such breakneck speed. It was like being on a roller coaster! I laughed hysterically all the way down. When I got to the bottom, I was so pumped up with adrenalin that I decided to climb the dune again without a second thought!   


To finish off our epic trip, we went snorkeling amongst the shipwrecks. The marine life around them was absolutely amazing! There were fish in every colour, big and small, and we even saw a couple of small stingrays. Sadly, I didn’t see dolphins, but swimming amongst the wrecks was definitely a highlight for me.

Once we dried off, we boarded the boat back to Brisbane, where we stood starboard side and watched the shipwrecks and our beautiful island paradise fall away into the distance.


How do you get to Moreton Island near Brisbane?

Several ferry companies operate services between Brisbane and Moreton Island, and each company charges different amounts, depending on whether you are traveling by foot or taking a car with you. The journey one-way takes around 90-minutes, and at the time of writing this post, the ferry prices were as follows:
– Ferry $72 – $119 return
– Car Ferry $84 – $186 return.

To book your ferry tickets click here.

Do you need a car to visit Moreton Island?

Yes, you do, but more specifically, a four-wheel drive, due to mainly driving on the beach or on sandy roads not suitable for two-wheel drives, like my super old car ☹ Permits can be arranged through the Queensland Government’s Parks and Forests Department. Fee’s apply. Click here to arrange your Vehicle Access Permit.

Is there accommodation on the island?

Yes, there are several accommodation options on the island, but they all have to be pre-booked. A resort on Moreton Island called Tangalooma Island Resort has everything from simple hotel rooms to multi-room houses that sleep up to 16. If there are several of you, you can also rent a house and split the cost. The cheapest option is to camp here. I chose the latter as I was on a tight backpacker budget at the time, and went with a tour group, so everything was set up and taken care of before we arrived. You can book your overnight camping tour here.
Moreton Island near Brisbane
Do you need to book a tour?

No, you can just wander about the island, but again you’ll need a car. When I visited, I didn’t have a driver’s license at the time, so I booked a tour, so everything was taken care of.

How do you access the Tangalooma Shipwrecks?

You don’t need to hire a boat or paddleboard to see the wrecks; you just need the power of your leg muscles and a good pair of fins! It’s a little bit of a swim out to the wrecks, but you can explore them for free. However, when I booked a tour, I had a hot Aussie guy showing us around the wrecks, and our equipment hire was included. Personally, I think paying for a tour and having someone there to look out for you is a much better option.

What other islands are there to explore?

You really are spoilt for choice in this beautiful part of Australia. There are plenty of islands waiting to be explored, where you can have the adventure of a lifetime. The popular ones are Green Island, K’gari (Fraser Island), Stradbroke Island and the Whitsunday Islands.
Moreton Island near Brisbane
Thanks for reading my post on Part Two of my Moreton Island near Brisbane adventures. I hope I’ve inspired you to visit here in the future and got you thinking about different and less popular spots to add to your Aussie bucket list. It’s a great place to explore from stunning beaches and coves, beautiful rainforest, and even a desert in the middle of the island. For such a small area, this place really does have it all.

Are you planning a trip to Moreton Island in the future? Will you be winging it or booking a tour? Let me know in the comments section below.

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  1. I am so ready to snorkel around that stunning pirate ship, but sand-boarding sounds like more fun than snow-boarding. I am dying to try it out when I can and you bet I will be laughing the whole way down too. 🙂

    1. It really was so much fun! But walking up those dunes… oh my goodness! I thought I’d pass out lol. Yeah snorkelling around the pirate ship was epic, as there’s so much marine life. Defo one for the bucket list. Thanks for reading and commenting 🙂

  2. Wow! This looks stunning! I would love to visit one day and spend all day on the beach. Thank you for including so much helpful information about prices and accommodation. I’d love to book a tour and have a day just to wander around. Thank you for sharing Lindsay! This looks amazing!

    1. It really is an stunning as it looks. We did spend heaps of time at the beach, especially when we first arrived, but surprising we also did quite a lot in over the 2 days. I’d glad you found the info useless, hopefully it will help lots of other travellers looking to book a trip here too. Thanks for your lovely comment 🙂

  3. Sandboarding sounds like a cool thing to do. Does the island not have the usual things that want to kill you in Australia? No venous snakes or something living in the sand dunes? I also didn’t know there was a rainforest anywhere near Australia

    1. Lol there are a few dangerous things over here, but I’ve not really seen anything. We get heaps of cute lizards in our garden in the summer though 🙂 Yes Australia is full of rainforests, especially on the east coast. They’re so beautiful, and I love to wander around them, they are fascinating.

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