A few weeks ago I had the privilege of exploring Moreton Island with my trusted Land Cruiser GXL 100. We drove right across the Island and visited all of the beautiful spots it offers.
In this post I will tell you where you can go and what the Island offers its guests. I can honestly say that this is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen in my live. If you have never visited this little piece of paradise you should make a plan. At least put it on your bucket list.
How does it compare to Fraser Island:
A lot of people ask me what the best 4×4 destination is, Fraser of Moreton. This is a difficult question because both offer so much. The short answer is you cant go wrong visiting either one of them. Or even better make sure you visit both. It is also imperative to explore both these destinations by means of 4wd. Hands on back to nature is the only way to really enjoy this.
I have a really soft spot for Moreton and will pick it as my favorite destination, with Fraser coming a close second. Reason for this being the diversity Moreton offers its guest. from beautiful crystal clear beaches and diving spots to fresh water lakes, sand dunes
Moreton Island Size:
The island covers a area of approximately 186 square kilometers. Its about 37 Kilometers from North to South and 13 kilometers wide at it’s widest. The highest point on the Island is Mount Tempest which is a 280 meters high the highest, stabilized, coastal sand dune in the word.
Compare this to Fraser Island who covers about 1800 square kilometers, 120 kilometers from North to South and 24 kilometers wide. You can see that getting around Moreton will be a lot quicker than Fraser Island.
What does Moreton Island Offer
Diving at Tangaloona wrecks
This is undoubtedly one of the best snorkeling spots around. Fifteen vessels were deliberately sunk in 1963 to create the artificial breakwall close to shore.
The Wrecks are home to a myriad of different species of reef fish, coral formations and marine life. Its easily accessible from the beach and will give you and the family hours of pleasure.
4×4 Driving Exploring
Four-wheel-drive (4WD) vehicles are essential for driving on the sand tracks on Moreton island. Four-wheel-drive vehicles with high clearance (lifted suspension) and low range function are esential. All-wheel drive vehicles without true 4WD function and vehicles with low clearance are not recomended for driving conditions on the island. All vehicles should be equipped with essential recovery gear (tyre pressure gauge, shovel, snatch strap, towrope or traction pads). We hire vehicles specially custom ed for conditions on the islands.
Please read driving on sand and driving safely before you drive on Moreton Island. The driving safely section also lists driving times between major features on the island. Please see our tips on safety page as well. Please have a look at Moreton Island go slow areas.
There are quite a few places you can explore on a daily basis and because the island is not too big it allows for more time spend enjoying and less driving.
Please make sure you have a tide guide as the tides are different depending on what side of the island you are.
To give you an idea traveling right around the island amounts to about 110 Km driving. I would not advice you to try and do this as you will need to time the tides perfectly. Rather endevour on dayly excursions which is more manageable and also more relaxing for every body.
Blue Lagoon is a picturesque spot to enjoy. The crystal clear freshwater lake is the spot to cool you down on a hot summer day.The lake was formed through the natural catchment of fresh water accumulated of thousands of years.
The water is infused with tea tree oils which is great for skin rejuvenation. Just add kids and you will have hours of enjoyment in the water or on the white sandy beach surrounding the main entrance to the lake.
Moreton Island is well known for its marine life and abundant fish. Its one of the better spots to try out if you are a serious or novice fisherman.
You can hire rods from Tangaloo Reef Resort.
Take your 4wd and head along the white sandy beaches until you find a nice gully and take your chances. Its a nice way of enjoying the beautiful surroundings and to soak it all in. Take the family allong and enjoy breakfast on the beach.
Cape Moreton Lighthouse
This is the only portion of the island that contains a rocky surface. It offers spectacular views over the whole Island and also the ocean.
It was build in 1857 to help direct boats around it dangerous waters. Not sure how great it worked (just have a look at all the wrecked boats on the island. Lol).
You will need a high clearance 4wd / 4×4 vehicle to take on the the terrain around the Light house.
Best time for bird watching is between April and September when various migrating birds visit the shores of Moreton Island from the Arctic Tunda, Eastern Siberia and other sport of the world as well. Some of these birds does not survive the ordeal.
Large sea eagles can be seen in abundance. The mangroes around the island is the ideal spot for residing wading birds species.
Over 180 species of birds have been recorded on the island including seabirds, waders, forest dependent birds and birds of prey. Thirty-one species of migratory birds have been recorded on Moreton Island. The pied oyster catcher and the red-capped plover are two of the more common resident waders of Moreton Island.
This must be one of the most diverse destinations on the island.
The Moreton Island Desert is one kilometre south east of Tangalooma on Moreton Island. These bare sand dunes with patches of mineral colous are surrounded by thick vegetation and provide the steep slopes for sliding down the dunes at exhilarating speeds Wind is constantly changing the shape of these dunes, covering all evidence of human traffic on a daily basis.
We are looking forward to assisting you with your 4wd adventure to the island. All our vehicles have lifted suspension oversize tyres and is stocked with recovery gear to ensure you have a safe and comfortable trip.
Looking forward to assisting you with all the detail you require to making your trip a memorable excursion. Dirk