Moreton Island Beach Camping Guide | Everything You Need To Know

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If you want to walk through the beautiful white sand, smell the fresh breeze, and feel the sun’s warmth on your skin, a vacation in Moreton Island Beach is all you need. The range of the most majestic beaches in Australia lies on this island, and if you want to let everything go or already set for breathtaking adventures, this is the island for you. Also, the calm waters of Moreton will surely put you into a relaxing mood and give you peace of mind. So, what makes this island so distinctive? 

Moreton Island is a paradise situated offshore from Brisbane. It is a stretch of white sandy beaches and crystal clear blue waters that make the place ideal for swimming, surfing, fishing, and camping. Also, Moreton Island has a beautiful view throughout the year that’s perfect for people who love photography and beach camping. 

Here is an overview of beach campgrounds in Moreton Island:

  • Northern Beaches
  • Bulwer Beach
  • Cowan Cowan Beach
  • Eastern Surfside
  • Champagne Pools
  • Honeymoon Bay and Cape Moreton Beaches
  • Tangalooma Beach
  • Blue Lagoon Campground 
  • Yellow Patch Campsites

Are you interested in taking a day off to Moreton Island? Check out the entire article and find out more!

How Do I Get To Moreton Island?

There are three ways to get from Brisbane to Moreton Island by ferry, car ferry, and fly! 

The ferry is suitable for guests that are not bringing their vehicle with them, so you just have to choose your destination and book your ferry.

Via Tangalooma Jetty Moreton Island

  • Book your ferry ticket at Tangalooma Resort’s website.
  • Depart from Holt Street Wharf in Pinkenba, Brisbane 
  • Arrive at Tangalooma Jetty Moreton Island

Car Ferry is good if you’ll bring your vehicle along with your campervan and you can access this through the Micat Vehicle Barge.

  • Book your ticket at Micat’s website.
  • Depart from the port of Brisbane
  • Arrive at Tangalooma Wrecks

Flying is also an alternative if you want to take a plane from Brisbane just 15 minutes away from Moreton Island

  • Depart from Brisbane Airport
  • Arrive either at Kooringal or south of Cowan Cowan.

What Should I Know About Moreton Island?

Moreton Island is made up of 37-kilometre sand located 40 kilometres offshore from Brisbane, Australia. Moreton is 95% national park, declared in 1986 and also a protected area. Its unique vegetation for more than forty species of animals is well preserved and the colourful history of the island. 

Moreton is derived from the name Moorgumpin meaning sandhills. Ngugi was the first people who maintained and protected the island even before the European settlement. They used to sustain a marine-based lifestyle for thousands of years, so fish, shellfish, and crustaceans formed the major portion of their diet. 

The Archaeological sites of the island are significant to express its cultural diversity. There are over 330 traditional sites documented, including shells, large stones, and bone scatter. Ngugi people have a powerful connection with nature, and it strongly influenced their tradition and custom. They used to observe signs through nature to tell them certain events and for the arrival of the native species of fish. 

In 1770 during the European Settlement, Captain James Cook named the island ‘Moreton Bay’ after the Scottish Earl of Morton on the 17th May and later misspelled in the translation of his journals. The native Ngugi people were forced to relocate to Stradbroke Island in 1850, and its descendants are still alive today. 

In The Second World War, two large defence batteries were built on Moreton Island – one at Cowan Cowan and the second at Toompani, known as the Rous Battery. It still stands today and reflects the colourful history of Moreton.

Today, the island is a perfect getaway place, especially for tourists and people from Brisbane. Its magnificent blue waters capture anyone who visits the place, and the wide range of gorgeous beaches will stun you. Recreational activities and nature will truly satisfy your cravings for thrilling adventures, and you will enjoy learning and spotting the one of a kind history of Moreton.

4WD is also essential in the Island because of its sandy surface, bringing your 4WD would be perfect. You can also access more beautiful campsites in the area that are unreachable by an ordinary vehicle. It makes your Moreton Island experience more manageable, and it makes the track easy. If you can’t bring your trailers, there are a lot of places on the island where you can pay rent for a vehicle or campervans.

How Are The Campgrounds In Moreton Island?

There is a lot of beautiful islands that make a perfect place for beach camping along with your campervans, so school or group camps, a family outing is usually held on the island.

Northern Beaches

Northern Beaches is situated in the northern part of Moreton Island, and it stretches an approximate 11-kilometre shoreline. It is safe for swimming, but its dynamic coastline usually changes and commonly allows occasional rips. It is good for people who love thrilling adventures and has great scenic views for a campsite.

It is reachable by walking or 4WD and has a maximum of 76 sites for camping near the beach. Facilities in the beach camp are not present, and open fires are permitted only in the designated area. Generally, this campsite is a good beach camp for you and your camper trailers. 

Bulwer Beach

Bulwer Beach is a popular place for the family for its protected shores from winds and waves because of few shipwrecks close to the edge, which is a great alternative for Tangalooma Wrecks. The beach is also perfect for snorkelling for its crystal clear blue waters. It offers a wide variety of accommodation or your stay, but you can also bring your campers for your security and comfort.

Cowan Cowan Beach

Cowan Cowan Beach is a token of World War II since one of the batteries were sited here. The sandy remnants give a display of reminder for every visitor that this place was once a bunker for The Second World War. These bits and pieces of the ship made up a wonderful attraction on the beaches of Cowan. This beach is popular among young families because of its closed proximity from the parking area and making a safe place for beach camping. 

Eastern Surfside

Eastern Surfside is a 25-kilometre shoreline in the eastern side of Moreton Island and serves as the perfect stop for people who like to catch a wave. It is known as the surfside to the locals, and the endless beachfront is exposed, allowing the surfers to enjoy the beach waves. Also, you can park your campers and pitch your tent in the nearby parking area.

Champagne Pools

Champagne Pools is made up of volcanic walks that create pools along the shoreline. When the waves slam in the volcanic walks, the water resembles champagne as it goes down. The champagne pools keep on getting refilled as the wave bangs over the rock walls, so always be alert while swimming because waves may come over your head and it constantly fill the pool. This place is not suitable for kids. However, it’s great for people who like adventure.  

Honeymoon Bay and Cape Moreton Beaches

If you want an amazing view like in the movies, this beach is for you. Picture-perfect views with a beautiful half-moon shaped beach are approximately 50 metres, and good for swimming or bushwalks.  

Tangalooma Beach

Tangalooma Beach is one of the famous beach resorts in Moreton Island with wonderful facilities such as pool tables, swimming pools, restaurant, bars and many more. The area is well-developed, and there are remnants of shipwrecks nearby called the Tangalooma Wrecks. 

Blue Lagoon Campground

Blue Lagoon Campground offers a great beach style camping on the eastern side of the island between Middle Road and Cape Moreton. The open grounds offer easy access to surf in the ocean beach, and parking is available for your campervans, but not recommended on the soft sand and narrow road. You can access this beach campground through 4WD or bushwalking. 

Yellow Patch Campsite

Yellow Patch Campsite covers the campsite between Northpoint and Health Island, and it offers 14 good sites with easy access through the beach. It is less exposed than the other camps, and it is a short drive away so that visitors can take advantage of the facilities in the area.

If you want to know more about the beach campgrounds in the island, you can visit their website.

Where Can I Take A Bushwalk In Moreton Island?

Easy Walks

  • Blue Lagoon is a 500-metre walk return, and approximately 20 minutes to complete. It is a nice and easy walk, also satisfying because of the beautiful views of the lake. Also, if you want to take a quick swim in the warm waters, you’re welcome to Blue Lagoon.
  • Honeyeater Lake is a 60-metre walk return, and approximately 5 minutes to finish. You can enjoy a very short stroll with the view of the perched lake while taking this chilling trail. This trail is closer to the Bulwer – Blue Lagoon, and you can spot Musk Ducks while on your way.

Moderate Hikes

  • Cape Moreton is an adequate 1.5-kilometre return, and approximately 1 hour to get through. You can see Queensland’s first lighthouse ever built in 1857, and witness spectacular views. You can also spot dolphins, sharks, and turtles while on the track, and this trail can be sizzling hot during summer due to lesser shades present.
  • The Desert is a good 4-kilometre circuit, and approximately 1.5 hours to complete. This track is along the western beach of Tangalooma resort and has large dunes. You can enjoy taking this trail while observing the rich diversity of the Desert and you can access through the south of Tangalooma Resort. 
  • Five Hills lookout is an average 1-kilometre return, and approximately 30 minutes to finish. This track is situated From North Point Road the track heads up through low heathland to the top of a large dune. You can do this walk in the cooler days and appreciate some of the island’s coastal swamps.

Hard Hikes

  • Mount Tempest lookout is a difficult 2.5-kilometre return, and approximately 2 hours to finish. It has the highest dune on the island, 280-metre elevation, so expect numerous steps. But when you get to the peak, you will be pleased with the 360-degree view of the entire island.
  • Telegraph Road is a tough 16-kilometre return, and approximately 6 hours to complete. This track is probably the best one, especially during spring or early in the morning because you will love the wonders of the wilderness while you’re in this track. 
  • Rous Battery track is an awesome 9.8-kilometre one-way trek, and approximately 3.5 hours to complete. You will see the relics and remains of The Second World War and walk through the old Rous Battery service road. You can also stop at Gum Forest and in the feathery ground plant. This track is exhausting so you must bring drinking water.

What Are The Other Things I Can Do At Moreton Island?

See 

  • Beaches
  • Bulwer Wrecks
  • The Desert
  • Mt Tempest
  • Tangalooma Wrecks
  • Cape Moreton Lighthouse
  • Indigenous Culture
  • The Graves
  • World War II Relics
  • Lakes
  • The Sandhills
  • Flora & Fauna
  • Champagne Pools

Do

  • Bird Watching
  • Boating
  • Diving & Snorkelling
  • Dolphin Feeds
  • Fishing
  • Four-Wheel Driving
  • Hiking
  • Sand Toboggan
  • Surfing
  • Whale Watching & Wildlife Viewing

What Is The Best Time To Visit Moreton Island?

The best time to visit Moreton Island is by summer or autumn, and clear blue skies will greet you an awesome day. Also, the warm temperature is the perfect time to go swimming, camping, and all of the recreational activity that the island has to offer. However, expect a flock of tourists visiting the island during this season, and book your tickets ahead of time.

What Do Other Tourists Say About Camping In Moreton Island?

Great for a long weekend! The most expensive four day trip surrounding islands by a long shot but still worth the trip nonetheless. Don’t bother coming if you’re not planning on spending some time at the wrecks snorkelling or clear bottom kayaking because it is simply astonishing. We spent five days on the island and decided that when we come again, it will be for 2 or 3 days (as a couple) or would consider four if we were in a group. Do not get on the car ferry without a full tank vehicle because fuel on the island costs a little less than a kidney ($60 for 20L). Also if you have a 12v fridge, use it, because the price of ice was much worse than the surrounding islands too. Truthfully, I think you could jam everything on Moreton into an action-packed 3-day trip or a soother 4-day trip and still get to see everything. Blue lagoon campground was beautiful, the amenities there were exceptional, and the lagoon was a 2-minute walk from our campground and provided something to do in the warmth of the sun. Things are not as clearly signed on the Island as other Islands so keep a watch out. All in all, this is a great trip but would do it shorter next time! – Clay (TripAdvisor)

Related Questions

How Do I Book Camping On Moreton Island?

If you’re camping at popular resorts, you might want to check its website first so that you can book your tickets at your chosen venue. But, if you’re camping in remote places or anywhere on the island, permits are required if you will travel your vehicle in Moreton and fees apply. Always put your permits where it will be visible for authorities to avoid further questions and delays.

Can You Have Campfires On Moreton Island?

Campfire and open fires are strictly prohibited in the entire Moreton Island, especially during summer months where the temperature is hot and small fire may burn the forest. If possible, always check and ask if the locals allow campfires in their area.

Can You Swim At Moreton Island?

There are no patrolled swimming areas in Moreton so you must be vigilant when swimming and always be mindful of your children. Avoid swimming in the ocean, particularly during strong wind and waves.

Are There Snakes On Moreton Island?

Moreton Island is home to many species of animals including blue-tongued lizards, bearded dragons, major skinks, numerous species of snakes, and marine turtles. Snakes can be spotted in the area, but always be alert and calm. Do not attack the snake, and you’re invading his habitat so you should be the one to adjust, not the animals. 

Is There Phone Reception On Moreton Island?

Mobile reception is minimal on the island, specifically in standard Telstra mobile reception in almost entire beach areas, 3G and 4G coverage in a lot of beach areas. Phone reception gets better from Woorim on Bribie Island so you’ll get a better chance if you are close to these areas. There’s also a mobile repeater located at Tangalooma boosting the reception in the area. Also, there’s a public phone found at Kooringal.

Are There Great White Sharks In Moreton Bay?

Moreton Bay is a famous shark and feeding area, and there are a lot of different species of sharks visible to the area like Tiger, white and bull sharks.

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