After visiting many many islands this year, almost every major island around Australia in fact, this might be the ultimate adventure island of them all. Tangalooma Island Resort, sitting on the pristine coastline of Moreton Island, is without a doubt an adventure lovers paradise. Set in the most beautiful setting, amongst the sand dunes and the palm trees and overlooking the calm waters of Moreton Bay, Tangalooma offers its guests a stay like no other, with adventures to keep you going all day long.
Just 75 minutes from the heart of Brisbane, Tangalooma Island Resort will make you feel like you’re a world away. With incredible wildlife, beaches, sand hills and shipwrecks to explore, and activities on land, in the water and even in the sky to choose from, there is absolutely something for everyone. Here’s everything you need to know to plan your visit to Tangalooma Island Resort.
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The Tangalooma Island Resort Passenger Ferry is the easiest way to get to the island, a quick 75 minute ride connecting the mainland to the island. The Holt Street Wharf is just 10 minutes by taxi from Brisbane Airport, with 4 passenger services operating daily in each direction. There’s also a little café sitting on the waters edge – Anchorage Café, giving you a great place to wait for your ferry if you’re a little bit early.
Stay at Tangalooma
Tangalooma Island Resort offers a range of beachfront accommodation for you to choose from. There are hotel rooms, units, villas and apartments within the resort, surrounded by tall palms and overlooking the calm waters of Moreton Bay. If you’re visiting as a group or larger family there are also a handful of holiday houses on the island, which can be booked through the resort.
We stayed in a Hotel Deluxe Room in the Kookaburra building which was just beautiful. Our room overlooked the resort and the ocean, with a beautiful sunset view each evening from our balcony as the sun set amongst the palm trees and into the water. Also, the bed was so comfortable, it was the best to crash into after a long day of activities.
Things to do at Tangalooma
There is never a dull moment at Tangalooma Island Resort, with enough sites and activities to keep you busy from the moment you arrive until you leave. It really is an adventure paradise. Tangalooma offers endless options for activities to explore the island on land, in the water and from the sky, including an extensive list of free activities.
On the land, explore the Tangalooma Desert on an ATV quad bike tour or an exciting desert safari tour with sand tobogganing. For a unique tour of the beaches jump on a segway tour. Learn more about the island’s wildlife with kookaburra feedings and pelican feedings, or take a tour of the Old Whaling Station.
There are also plenty of activities to get you wet – including clear bottom kayaks, banana boats, stand up paddleboards and motor boats for hire. Tangalooma is famous for its wild dolphin feeding program, where you can hand-feed a bottlenose dolphin at around sunset each night. Or stay dry on a Marine Discovery Cruise, searching for sea turtles and the resort’s resident Dugong – Doughie. In the evening, take a sunset cruise around Moreton Bay for a spectacular way to watch the sun descend for the day.
During the winter months jump on a whale watching cruise to see the gentle humpback whale passing by the northern tip of the island on their migration.
To see the island from the sky, you can jump on a scenic helicopter flight over the island, or get your adrenaline pumping by parasailing over Moreton Bay.
To explore a little further than the resort, there are safari bus tours that take you to either the north or south of the island, getting off the beaten track and exploring some of the more remote sites around the island. The Northern Safari tour will take you through the townships of Cowan Cowan and Bulwer, before exploring the North Point and the oldest lighthouse in Queensland at Cape Moreton. While the Southern Safari tour takes you through the coloured sands of Middle Road, along the Eastern Beach, to the Big and Little Sandhills and the calm waters of Mirapool Lagoon. You can also jump on a tour to the Blue Lagoon on the eastern side of the island.
The Tangalooma Wrecks
Moreton Island is also iconic for the Tangalooma Wrecks, a cluster of 15 shipwrecks that were intentionally placed here by the Queensland Government between 1963 and 1984 to provide a safe anchorage place for boats staying in the area. These days it’s a great place for snorkelling, with a coral reef growing amongst the shipwreck debris. Explore the Tangalooma Wrecks on a snorkelling, scuba diving or sea scooter safari, there’s even an option for an illuminated night tour of the shipwrecks.
Eat & Drink
When staying at Tangalooma there are plenty of places to eat, with several different restaurants and food outlets open all day long. The Beach Café has burgers, salads, pizzas and light meals for lunch and dinner, the Beach BBQ offers open air dinners with pub favourites, and the Coffee Lounge is open all day for coffees and drinks, sandwiches, snacks and sweet treats. Fire & Stone offers traditional Asian dishes, designed to be shared, in a more formal dining setting. Before you head to dinner, make sure to pop in for a cocktail at the Wheelhouse Deck during the golden hour, the best place at Tangalooma to watch the sunset each night.
Tangalooma Island Resort offers plenty of day trip options to visit the island as well, with prices starting from $95 per adult for a beach day on the island. They have plenty of options to combine a day trip with some of their signature experiences too, including desert safaris, marine discovery cruises, snorkelling the wrecks, ATV quad bike tours and even whale watching cruises during the season. For an even longer day on the island you can also upgrade to include a sunset cocktail cruise and wild dolphin feeding experience before returning on the last boat of the day.
When to visit
A great destination to visit all year round, Moreton Island has an abundance of sunny days no matter what time of year it is. Autumn is considered one of the best times to visit, with blue skies most of the season and warm water for swimming and snorkelling. June to September is whale season, where you can see whales migrating past the island either from the northern tip of the island, or on a whale watching cruise.
Fun facts about Moreton Island
- Moreton Island is the third largest sand island in the world, after K’gari (Fraser Island) and North Stradbroke Island
- The island is made up of 98% sand and 2% rock at Cape Moreton on the northern tip of the island
- Tangalooma Island Resort was transformed into Spooky Island for the iconic Scooby Doo movie in 2001
- The island is home to Mount Mount Tempest, the largest sand dune in the world which stands at 285 metres tall and offers incredible 360° views of the island
- Gheebulum Kunungai (Moreton Island) National Park covers 95% of the island
- Moreton Island sits within Quandamooka Country and is known to the local Ngugi people as Mulgumpin, meaning the place of the sandhills
We had such a great time at Tangalooma Island Resort, it honestly blew our minds how much there is to see and do here. A great spot for kids and families, with so much to keep the kids entertained and busy for hours!
We visited Tangalooma Island Resort as guests of the resort. All opinions are, as always, our own.