Trek Information Page - Moreton Island

Moreton Island, QLD.

Regional Map:
LandSat Image:

Pretty easy going with gentle sand tracks covering all the navigable areas of the island. As long as you leave it in 4WD and lower your tyre pressures, you won't have any dramas. You won't need low range at all, unless you decide to go through some of the boggier bits.

4WD Vehicle Requirements:
• Tyre gauge.
Extra jerry cans for fuel.
• Long-handled shovel.
• Extra spare tyre.

• Basic recovery gear.
Snatch strap, drag chains , gloves, etc.

• Toolkit.
Basic spare parts & filters.
Dual-battery setup.

• Radio.
With a 1W power output, you can hit the repeater from most places on the island. However, I recommend a 5W radio as we won't be using the repeater, and all communications will be simplex.

• Air compressor.

Road Car Options:
If you don't have your own 4WD, you can arrange to ride along in a spare seat in one of the participating 4WD vehicles. You can leave your road vehicle parked in a secure complex at Micat's headquarters. The rate is a very reasonable $10 per day, or $50 per week. You can transfer your stuff into a 4WD and away you go - pick up your car on your return to the mainland. If this is what you want to do, then obviously this needs to be arranged well in advance, and there are no guarantees of a spare seat. Contact me ASAP to do this.
Privacy Level:

Discretion is the better part of valour, and also making sure we that have a fun time. The cop on the island has a good job. He cruises around in his nice new 4WD and I think that if he's lucky, he has a whole hour of paperwork to do each week. I want his job. Please don't make his job harder (and ruin our time away) by generating paperwork for him because some fishermen driving up the beach saw you chasing your naked subby into the surf with a bull whip. Please keep in mind that although it's a large island, it's finite. There are other people about, and although we will most likely have an entire stretch of beach all to ourselves, play activities would be best carried out within the confines of our camp, which I will endeavour to make as secluded as possible. The same rules apply as if you were at home: you wouldn't chain your naked subby to the traffic lights at the end of your street without attracting some attention. The same applies for radio communications: keep it discrete, keep it vanilla. Not much happens on Moreton Island. We certainly don't want them to remember our visit. Having said that, I have waypointed one particular secluded camp site that has a very usable hitching rail behind it, useful for tying up subbies. If you ask me real nice, I just might give you the co-ordinates for it.

Fishing   Swimming   Bush walking
Sand dune tobogganing   4WD sand driving   SCUBA diving


If you don't wish to "rough it" camping, and want to see what sort of "civilised" accommodation is available, then have a look at these links:


Moreton Island Real Estate

Phone:        07 3408 0099

Moreton Island Accommodation

Phone:        07 3880 2235
Mobile:        0428 599 719

Moreton Island Holiday Rentals

Phone:        07 3410 0041
Mobile:        0429 612 203


Tangalooma Beach House

Phone: 0438446136

Tangalooma Villas

Phone:        0407 407 895

The Dolph Inn

Phone:        07 3711 5193
Mobile:        0414 594 318


Moreton Island Tree Tops

Phone:      0409 491 586



Note that I don't have anything to do with the above accommodation places; I have no idea what the charges are, or what sort of advance notice is needed. All I've done is listed some URLs.

If you want to book something, it's up to you to call, enquire, book, pay, and confirm. If you don't do this and you end up on the island without anywhere to stay, bad luck... you're on your own, kiddo. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that if you do choose to stay indoors, you'll need to make your own arrangements for travel to get to our camp site, if you don't have your own or a rented 4WD, and still wish to be part of our group.

Sealed roads right up to the point where you load your truck onto the barge. After that point, there's not one single millimetre of bitumen (or any other kind, for that matter) road surface on the whole island. There are no steep tracks, so soft roaders without low-range (Honda for example) would be able to manage it OK. Of course, low-range can be very handy on the beach, but you can get by without it here, as long as you keep away from the more soggy sections.

24 people or 8 trucks.


The largest single component will be the barge fee. If you're bringing your 4WD onto the island, you'll need to pay the appropriate Ferry Passage for the return journey. This fee also covers 2 adults travelling in the vehicle. If you're a standard passenger fare (ie: walk-on) or if you're an extra passenger in a vehicle that exceeds the cover charge of two people, then obviously you pay the Standard Passenger return fare. 4WDs also need a permit to drive on the beach. The least expensive is the 4x4 Monthly Vehicle Permit. There is also a camping fee, but it's minimal.

Vehicular Ferry Passage
(2 adults, 1 4WD vehicle)
Trailers under 4m in length $190*
Trailers over 4m in length

$190* + $25* for every additional metre over 4m


Standard Passenger Ferry Passage


( Includes 2 items of luggage )

4x4 Monthly Vehicle Permit $41,25
Camping Fee $5.45 per person per night

* Might be out-of-date so check MiCat web site for latest rates.

Meeting Point:

Micat, 14 Howard Smith Dr, Port Of Brisbane QLD 4178.

Departure Point:

Same as the Meeting Point above.

The ferry has the timetable shown below. If you're heading back to Brisbane as a passenger, you can gain passage on any trip; however if you're a vehicle fare, you need to book your return passage well in advance, same as you would on the outgoing trip. Select your intended return time and date, and notify me so that when I make the final bookings, everyone is taken care of. Otherwise, I'll assume everybody is leaving the island at the same time and will book accordingly.

Brisbane to Tangalooma Wrecks Tangalooma Wrecks to Brisbane
Monday 8.30am 10.30am
  1.00pm 3.30pm
Tuesday 8.30am - Brisbane to Bulwer 3.30pm - Bulwer to Brisbane
Wednesday 8.30am 3.30pm
Thursday 8.30am 3.30pm
 Friday 8.30am 10.30am
Saturday 8.30am 10.30am
  1.00pm 3.30pm
Sunday 8.30am 1.00pm
  2.30pm 4.30pm

Estimated Travel Time:
The barge journey from Brisbane to Moreton Island takes approximately 75 minutes.
North Stradbroke Island
General (vanilla)
Maleny - Sunshine Coast
General (vanilla)
4WD BDSM Getaway! traffic
Fuel is best obtained in Brisbane, prior to loading your truck onto the barge. Otherwise, fuel may be purchased from Bulwer or Kooringal, but hang on to your wallet, and availability is NOT guaranteed.
Cooking Cook over an open fire, or use a liquid-fuel cooker.

Any and all firewood has to be brought in. It's illegal to collect on the island (even if it's dead wood) as Moreton Island is Heritage Listed national park. What I did last time was bring in about 100kg of firewood on the trailer I'd hired. I just love camp fires at night. This is what we could do: about 250kg of firewood can be arranged for delivery to a local address in Brisbane. It's bagged, so handling it is easy. Each vehicle can take a share of the load and carry it along onto the island. Obviously, the more vehicles we have, the lighter the load will be for each vehicle, and also, the per-head cost will be less. The estimated cost for this quarter-tonne load of wood will be approximately $150. The cost per head then simply comes down to how many people we have.

An alternative is to just have every vehicle bring whatever it can carry, and contribute it to the reserve. Let's just work out what we're going to do when the time comes.

• Power
Whatever you can get out of the inverter in your 4WD, or from batteries.
• Showers
There are five camp sites on the island that have showers and toilet facilities. Should you so wish, you can take a shower at one of them if we're passing by one, or if you feel like driving up the beach to one. Otherwise, battery-operated showers or solar showers are the way to go, or you can take a swim in the pristine ocean.
You will need to be self-sufficient in everything. There is nothing, and I mean nothing, anywhere once you're on the island, with the exception of the few local stores, which operate on a strictly 0800 to 1700 hours basis, and there's nothing open at all on Tuesdays. Prices are island prices. Food isn't too badly priced, but unleaded fuel, for example, sells for almost double the price it sells for on the mainland. This information applies to Bulwer, at the northern end of the island. You can get food and fuel at Kooringal also (at the southern end of the island) but I don't have any information as to hours of operation for Kooringal.
• Toilets
Should you so wish, you can use the toilet facilities at one of the five serviced camp sites if we're passing by one, or if you feel like driving up the beach to one. Considering how far we'll be camping from them, however, it's shovel time for all practical concerns unless you're really good at keeping your legs crossed for extended periods.
• Water
At the same five serviced camp sites, water is available. During the course of our stay, we'll be doing water runs several times, so refilling our camp supply won't be a problem. The only thing is that the water is not potable, so boiling it before drinking it is mandatory. Of course, this is not a problem if you're using it for washing cookware or showering with it. Washing and cleaning of cookware can of course be done using seawater, of which there is certainly no shortage.
Trek Outline :

Moreton Island is located approximately 35km from the Redcliffe Peninsula, Brisbane.

From the tourist brochure:

"Long sandy beaches, clear freshwater lagoons, wildflower heaths and high sand dunes await you on unique Moreton Island. Only 35 kilometres from Brisbane, Moreton is one of the largest sand islands in the world.

The island is 98% National Park, protecting the balance between its flora, fauna, sandy coastline, freshwater lakes, wetlands and forests. Moreton is 38 kilometres long and forms part of the eastern boundary of the Moreton Bay Marine Park. A 4WD is necessary for touring the island.

Bulwer has a licensed general store, garage, hot food shop and bait & tackle shop with camping supplies and 4WD hire. An ambulance and registered nurse are available, although visitors should carry a basic first aid kit.

Surfers can ride the waves at North Point, Honeymoon Bay and along the untouched 36 kilometres of the island's eastern beach. Alternatively, enjoy a refreshing swim at Blue Lagoon, one of Moreton's beautiful freshwater lakes.

The offshore reefs around Moreton Island are great spots for experienced divers as they offer a vast array of fish life and coral formations. Curtin Reef, comprising some 20 vessels, and the Tangalooma Wrecks are major fish breeding grounds.

Walking is a challenging way to discover the island. Telegraph Road and Rous Battery Track offer spectacular wildflower displays. Hidden in the Big Sandhills are ancient lakes, buried forests and dune wildlife. Spectacular views reward those who climb Mount Tempest, reputed to be the world's highest sand dune at 280 metres.

Moreton is a fisherman's paradise. Tailor, flathead, dart, bream and whiting may be caught from the beaches and headlands. Reef and surface fish may be caught offshore. North Point is a popular fishing area, which has sheltered swimming with champagne pools.

Experience the thrill of tobogganing down some of the world's largest sand dunes.

Visit Queensland's oldest lighthouse, built in 1857 by civil prisoners from sandstone blocks quarried on the island.

Watch the seasonal migration of humpback whales from June to October. See a host of marine life including dolphins, turtles and dugong. Between October and April, Mirrapool at the southern tip of the island plays host to thousands of migratory birds."

Departing from Port of Brisbane at 0830 hours, this trek will take us across Moreton Bay on a voyage by vehicle barge. Landing at Tangalooma, we'll go on a relaxed circumnavigation of the island, heading north to Bulwer, across the tidal lagoons near Five Hills, across to North Point and Cape Cliff, down all the way along East Beach to Short Point at the southern end, take the bypass road near Kooringal to get to the West Beach, travel northwards up past Little Sandhills and Big Sandhills, back towards Tangalooma Resort, and finally cut across the island along Middle Road, where we'll drive south along the beach again until we reach our camping spot.

The rest of the afternoon will be spent setting up camp, and once that's done, your time is free to explore the bush, the beaches, or just sit around and relax.

And just to let you know what you'd be missing out on if you don't come along on this trip, here are a few photos I took in July 2003:


Morning at Jason Beach

Just after dawn near Eagers Creek

Camp at night under dramatic skies

Go for a swim in the massive Blue Lagoon freshwater catchment

Catch the setting sun at The Desert

Mangrove scene on the west coast

Crossing the marshland along Middle Road

Looking north from Eagers Beach, towards the lighthouse

Relax by the fire

Siesta along with the locals

Behind the dunes

Heading south along Braydon Beach