Sandy Moreton Island, Queensland’s New Darling

Stradbroke may be their favorite getaway island but recently the Queenslanders have found another gem of an island which is fast becoming the darling of the state. It’s the Moreton Island north of their precious “Stradie” which has seen a rapid increase in the tourist traffic in the last few years. And the reason behind its fame is obvious, it has some of the sandiest beaches in the state and the place is a natural wonderland with abundant fresh water lagoons, blossoming wildflowers and some exotic birdlife. While the stradbroke is more of a day trip kind of island, Moreton needs more than a couple of days to be completely explored.

There are a few rocky cliffs inland and some part of its coast is rugged but mostly the island is made up of nothing else but sand, in fact it is one of the largest sand islands of the Pacific. The Australian government has proclaimed the 95 percent of the island as a national park with its center at the Mt. Tempest which is world’s highest coastal sand hill. Moreton island is one of the must see places for the tourist taking a cheap flight to Brisbane.

The cheapest mode of getting to the island will be through the boat that leaves at 10 am each day from Brisbane. The journey itself is enjoyable and provides you with some awesome sight seeing opportunities. Once in Moreton you can choose one of the many resorts and hotels in the island which provide quality services but at a slightly higher price than those in Stradbroke.

At the northern tip of the island you will find the Cape Moreton Lighthouse built in 1857 and is one of the oldest still functioning lighthouses around the coast of Queensland. The lighthouse is a must see place not only for its historical importance but also because it provides the best 360 degrees view of the whole island. There are a few vintage military sites here as well that were built during the World War 2 when the Moreton Island acted as the first line of defense for the harbor of Brisbane. But the real reason why people come here are the beaches of the island, they are soft, sandy and bone white perfect for a relaxing vacation.

There are a number of activities you can indulge your self in the island, but none is more famous than the awesome diving experience that the Moreton offers along its west coast. Tangalooma Wrecks are the most famous of all the diving spots where you can dive and observe these old ship wrecks real close. There is a resort here by the name of Tangalooma Dolphin Resort which offers a unique experience of feeding the wild dolphins. Each day around sunset, hundreds of dolphins head to the resort to eat fish from the hands of the volunteers.

There are no paved roads in the island, so you will need a 4wd for driving you around the island. You can arrange this by the help of your tour operator in Brisbane; otherwise there is no other way to move around than by foot which can be an exciting but sometimes a tiring experience.