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Moreton Island's an adventure oasis


Eerie yet enchanting night-time kayaking tours around shipwrecks, sea scooter safaris, quad biking and sand tobogganing are among the adventures on offer on Queensland’s Moreton Island.

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There’s something magical about shipwrecks. As a child I motored around Moreton Island’s famed wrecks in a dingy, while my grandmother hung on for dear life, hoping I wouldn’t steer us into rusty metal.

But never in my life did I think I would have the opportunity to tour around the same wrecks at night, in a lit-up kayak.

It’s a clear evening over on Tangalooma Island Resort, about 75 minutes by ferry from Brisbane, when our tour group takes off in illuminated glass-bottom boats.

As we head out towards the wrecks, fish of different shapes and sizes can be seen swimming underneath the vessel.

We pull up on the nearby beach, where we hop into our lit-up kayaks.

The boats looks so pretty – completely clear and lined around the rim by a strip of LED lights.

We push off the sand and head out towards the wrecks, travelling from the southernmost point to the north. The lights attached to our heads make it easier to see the sunken ships, as they peer out from the water.

As we make our way into one of the ships, the stillness is equal parts eerie and enchanting. We see a few fish but unfortunately miss out on spying the turtles that inhabit the area.

It doesn’t matter though, because kayaking around the wrecks is an experience in itself. It feels like I’ve been let in on a secret that few people know about and it’s certainly something I won’t forget.


The stillness of my time on the water is in stark contrast to the adrenaline rush I feel the following day when I join one of the resort’s popular quad-bike tours.

My inner rev-head starts out wondering if I’ll be able to reach speeds of 80 kilometres per hour.

I quickly realise speed feels very different in the open air and I’m thrilled when I make it to 30 kilometres while still being able to manoeuvre the bike.

We make our way through a series of sand tracks that are perched up behind the resort. The views of the coastline below are breathtaking, but I have to be careful to look only for a few seconds before I turn my attention back to the sand in front of me.

When the one-hour tour comes to an end I’m hot and sweaty and can think of nothing better than diving into the ocean to cool off.

Thankfully, the beach is just a stone’s throw away.

After a bite to eat at one of Tangalooma’s many eateries, it’s time to get back into the activities.

This time I turn my hand to squash.

But for people looking for more thrillseeking adventures, there is everything from sand tobogganing to parasailing and helicopter joy rides.

The sea scooter safari is also a relatively new addition to Tangalooma’s water-based activities. Swimmers grab hold of a motorised underwater scooter, which is used to navigate through the wrecks.

The island is truly an adventure playground, with an array of opportunities for the young and the young at heart.

So while Queenstown in New Zealand may be known as the adventure capital of the world, Moreton Island has plenty of activities to get the heart racing.

And it’s a lot closer to home.

Getting there: Moreton Island is 40km off the coast of Brisbane. A 75-minute ferry takes passengers to and from the island multiple times a day and departs from Holt Street Wharf on Brisbane’s north side. It’s a 10-minute drive from the domestic and international airports and 15 minutes from the CBD. The ferry costs $80 return for adults and $45 for children who stay at the resort. People wanting to visit for the day can pay $65 for adults and $40 for children.

For people wanting to arrive in style, there is the option to fly from Brisbane by helicopter. Private boats can also be moored at Tangalooma, or guests can take the Moreton Island Vehicle Barge. It is operated independently of the resort and is located about two kilometres away.

Staying there: There are various accommodation options available for visitors to Tangalooma Island Resort. Hotels rooms, resort units and family suites are located within the main part of the resort, however there are also a range of beachfront villas, holiday houses and luxury apartments.

* The writer travelled as a guest of Tangalooma Island Resort.


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