Need some ideas for this year’s getaway destination? Why not explore your own backyard and escape to Moreton Island…
ESCAPE THE FAKE
It’s the ‘getting there’ in the ‘getting away’ where so many holidays go wrong. By the time you brave the crowds and the traffic, you’re wound more tightly than a cat in a bathtub. That’s where Moreton Island comes into its own. Often neglected because it’s right in our own backyard, Moreton Island is quietly emerging as Brissie’s local island and, at a mere 20 minutes’ drive from Brisbane CBD, you can be on the boat and kicking back with a beer while some of those other ‘adventurers’ are still stuck in queues at roadside stops with hours of “are we there yet” ahead of them. MADE JUST FOR 4WD’S Moreton doesn’t just have a 4WD track, it’s a whole 4WD island playground! With just over 200km of 4WD accessible tracks and beaches, there is plenty to explore. So whether you’re after the thrill of seemingly endless, smooth open beach horizons, or you prefer the challenge of tracking overland and inland, you can test your 4WD skills as little or as much as you like. While Moreton is perhaps not the most challenging 4WD location at all times, it definitely can trip up the most experienced of sand drivers and it pays to come prepared. Conditions change regularly and sand can get very soft and boggy at times – we definitely recommend having the basic recovery gear on hand and the knowledge to use it safely. Always run your tyres around 18 – 20 psi – there are air hoses on the MICAT ferry to re-inflate them on the return journey to Brisbane. If all else fails, there are plenty of friendly faces to lend a hand if you get in trouble.
MILLION DOLLAR VIEWS FOR PEANUTS
Where else can you get an ocean view minus the Gold Coast high-rises and tourist rubbish these days on a middle class income? Sure you could fly to Bali, but you’d have to get the kids immunised for botulism and rabies and keep them away from those mangy dogs – or you could go camping at Moreton! At only $5.95 per person per night, and with a view of crystal clear water right from your tent flap, you’d be mad not to try it at least once. Depending on what you’re after, there are campsites ranging from beach camping (BYO toilet) to sites with eco toilets and cold showers and the best place to do your research is to head to the NPRSR website and check the maps – or give Moreton Island Adventures Experts a call. Alternately, if you love the idea of getting out into the great outdoors but can’t stand the creepy crawlies, sandy bed or cold showers, Glamping is probably the answer! Moreton Island Adventures has recently launched their Glamping at Castaways in Bulwer. With 9 furnished tents complete with queen sized beds, private ensuites and veranda overlooking the giant Melaleuca trees, it is a fantastic way to experience Moreton without sacrificing a little bit of luxury. Glamping is also a fantastic option if you’re just looking for a short break, or if you have a family and can’t be bothered lugging the required ‘kitchen sink’ that seems to be a requirement of family camping. Of course Castaways isn’t just for the Glampers, if you get fed up of dad’s burnt sausages or just want to treat the kids to some chips, drop by this casual restaurant for great breakfasts, fish and chips, burgers and pizza all under a thatched roof – shoes optional!
WORTH TALKING ABOUT
So what’s the big deal about Moreton, isn’t it just like Straddie or Fraser? Well it is an awesome East Coast Island, but it’s free of Fraser’s dingos and Straddie’s roads and mines – so it’s actually quite unique to this part of Australia. Moreton also has its very own set of shipwrecks which are set in crystal clear waters and teaming with countless varieties of fish. We would go as far as to say it’s Brisbane’s answer to the Barrier Reef minus the crowds and nonsense that goes along with major tourist destinations.
Along with Moreton’s unique ecosystem of desert, lakes and wildlife, what really gets people talking is:
- Reaching speeds of up to 35km/hr with Brisbane’s closest sandboarding
- Visiting historical WW2 bunkers at Rous Battery and Cowan Battery
- Comparing your catch to some of the records set in the Moreton Island Fishing Classic
- Visiting Queensland’s oldest (and prettiest) lighthouse at Cape Moreton
- Seeing countless whales pass The Cape (minus the seasickness) July to October
- Watching the sunset (with a drink or two) set over the water just steps from your tent
- Climbing the world’s tallest coastal sand dune and drinking in the 360 degree views
- Soaking in the tea tree laden waters of Blue Lagoon
- Unplugging the kids (and yourself) and getting them back to what holidays are really about
While we can’t responsibly encourage you and your mates to break drinking records, we can encourage you to enjoy some of Australia’s best nature based activities right here in Brisbane’s back yard. So if you’d like to answer that eternal holiday question – “are we there yet?” with a resounding YES, then why not explore your own backyard this year and give Moreton Island a go – we’re sure you won’t be disappointed with Brisbane’s secret slice of paradise. Head to www.moretonislandadventures.com.au for more information on how to get there and everything else you need to know, or call one of the Moreton Island Adventures Experts if you prefer to talk to a real (yes REAL) person.
The Nitty Gritty – what you need to do to get going
How to get there:
Book your MICAT vehicle transfer via www.moretonislandadventures.com.au
Where to stay:
Book Glamping or Castaways Units by calling Moreton Island Adventures
(07 3909 3333). Book your camping or accommodation, available through Moreton Island Adventures or head straight to www.nprsr.qld.gov.au/parks/moreton-island/camping.html
Permits: Book your vehicle permit available through Moreton Island Adventures or directly through NPRSR along with your camping fees – available
in 1 month or 12 month increments.
Supplies & Fuel:
Available year-round at Castaways
Store and Café, Bulwer.