- Have you ever wished you lived on an island? Ahhh island life, sipping a cocktail on the beach, snorkelling, not a care in the world, sounds dreamy, doesn't it? The simple phrase 'Island Life' can conjure up thoughts of international tropical destinations such as Fiji or Hawaii.
However such places are not always accessible or time achievable if you only have a couple of days off right? So let me reshape your imagination and thoughts when you are bombarded with images of tropical destinations that just don’t seem affordable, or doable; two words – Moreton Island.
Moreton Island is the third largest sand island in the world, initially named by James Cook as ‘Cape Morton’ and then renamed by Matthew Flinders ‘Moreton Island’. Making this island rich not only with adventure and relaxation but rich with Australian culture and history.
Tangalooma Island Resort and adventures have many packages and activities, ranging from ‘relaxation’ ‘animals lovers’ to ‘thrill seeker’; there really is something for everyone. Or if you can’t decide and have a fear of missing out, why not do it all over a few days.
I decided to do what any rational adventure seeker would and cram as much as I could into one day, WARNING: This is not for the faint-hearted! I took along one of my oldest adventure buddies, my big brother.
Upon arrival, we were greeted by the most inviting clear blue waters, palm trees and pelicans on poles. I walked upon the wharf thinking about how many happy travelling feet it would have held. My second thought was how on earth is this slice of paradise only 75-mins from Brisbane?
It is so surprising how many people who live on the Gold coast and surrounding areas have never heard of, or even know that just a short 75 mins from Brisbane lies a mostly untouched little island.
The staff at Tangalooma are more than accommodating and knowledgeable of the island and all it offers. I felt in such good hands having my whole day printed out for me, complete with a lounge room, shower, bathrooms and coffee all for day visitors. Starting the day off with a quick swim in the calm waters of the bay was most relaxing and tranquil! Next on the list was a Jet boat ride.
Going at ridiculous speeds around the island listening to ‘Danger Zone’ from Top Gun was almost too corny, but I embraced the hilarious playlist designed to accompany a thrilling, spinning, and speedy jet boat ride. Seeing the sand dunes at such a speed and through whipped hair across my face was fun, but not as fun as whipping circles in the boat at high speeds.
After recovering from Jet boating with some fresh island sushi and pizza, I was ready for adventure number 2! We hired some Stand-up paddle -boards and snorkels and started the journey to the wreck! Yes, we could have walked there, but Stand up paddle boarding is so much more fun and a great way to exercise off all that pizza! We arrived at the Shipwrecks and parked the boards on the beach. Flippers and Snorkels on we ventured into the water. Just a friendly reminder; even when excited, walk-in backwards with flippers or you’ll end up with a mouth full of sand as I did!
When I go snorkelling I like to play this game, I haven’t come up with a name for it yet, so I’ll take some suggestions later. The game is, you make up a point score for each type of fish, coral, creature of thing you find in the sea, at the end the loser buys the winner a prize. Safe to say my point score was huge; fish, coral, turtles, starfish and even a small wobbegong shark. The great thing about having shipwrecks to snorkel is not only do you get to feel like you are on a movie set or a treasure hunt, but fish love them too, making it a win-win for all animal lovers and adventure seekers.
Speaking of adventure, we paddled back as fast as we could to get to our quad biking tour. This really was the highlight of my day! Jumping on the quad bike, I couldn’t wait to let loose on the sand dunes. Moreton Island has some amazing tracks in the dunes, so you can race, spray sand through the tracks and enjoy the view from up high of the island below.
Winding down a little for the day, we washed the sand stuck in our ears, mouths and hair from quad biking off. Watching the sun go down over the water is something on the Coast we don’t get to do. It really is a treat to watch the golden glow of the sunset over the water and disappear below the horizon of Brisbane city. That’s something you won’t get anywhere else!
Now if you have dinner, or lunch for that matter on the Island, you must try Moreton Bay bugs. I’m a huge seafood fan, and I can attest that the bugs are better at Moreton! So for Dinner, we had a mix of Bugs and Chinese, odd mix yes, however, when there are so many excellent food Cuisine types and food options, it’s hard to settle on just one. Most of the restaurants even have seats outside so you can wine and dine with the view of the sun setting over the water.
To finish the day off almost the whole island’s guests and staff come down to the water’s edge where the famous wild dolphin feeding happens. This has been a long tradition now for many years that started in the early 1980’s by the Tangalooma resort owner and his family.
The family would come to see the local dolphins come into the jetty, which had newly installed lights that attracted baitfish for the dolphins. The story goes into a lot more depth which you can read on the Tangalooma website, but in a nutshell, they began hand-feeding the wild dolphins and allowing guests to feed them as well. Seeing a dolphin in its natural habitat is pretty amazing, it is as raw and authentic as most people come to being so close with a dolphin or any sea creature for that matter.
The trip really couldn’t have been made easier going through Tangalooma resort and adventures. In terms of accessibility, affordability, options, experiences, and professionalism, there really is no comparison. Adventures really do make Moreton Island a destination to put right at the top of your bucket list. I know for sure that I will be back!
If she doesn't haver her nose in a book, or pen to paper, you'll find her in nature or the ocean with her surfboard! A true lover of health and well being, with a creative spark for storytelling in all it's different forms" - writer, actress and author Olivia Siebel