Moreton Island is situated off the coast of South East Queensland, Australia. The island, which is only 8km wide extends for 38 km from South to North and is the start of the Moreton Bay Marine Park In the year 2000 3.36 hectare was declared The Cape Moreton Conservation Park as protection for its vegetation, wildlife, fantastic beaches and coastal sand dunes, freshwater lakes and streams, all quite unique. 95% of the island is National Park.
History of Moreton Island
Aborigines were the earliest settlers on Moreton Island and today the island resident population numbers only 300 living in the three small island townships of Kooringal, Cowan Cowan, and Bulwer. It was Queensland’s only whaling station during the 1950’s and beginning of the 1960’s. It closed after the banning of whaling was declared in Australian waters in 1963, and becoming uneconomical, the site was sold for developing houses and hotels, to encourage tourism. The Cape Moreton Lighthouse built in 1857 was the first lighthouse built off the coast of Queensland.
At Bulwer, a little convenience and liquor shop flourishes with supplies for visiting campers and a taxi service and passenger ferry point are there as well. Cowan Cowan is famed for the Toulkerrie Oyster farm and with a barge that operates between them and Amity Point on North Stradbroke Island.
Out and about
The best way for getting around the island is with a 4WD or else by foot as there are no proper roads. Visitors come to watch the whales pass the island on their migration in the months from June until November. Explore the Champagne Pools, which are natural foamy seawater pools among the rocks. View the Blue Lagoon, a fresh water lake infused with tea tree oils, and go to see the many shipwrecks at Tangalooma.
Some dolphins are resident in the bay and they swim for a regular nightly feed at the beach in front of the Tangalooma Resort where they are hand fed by selected hotel guests. Dugongs and turtles reside in the shelter of the bay as well.
Moreton Island has become a tourist destination with over 3500 visitors a week coming to stay or else for taking a day trip from Brisbane. A good spot for scuba diving is on the north side of the island at Flinders Reef, and snorkelling to admire the sea life beneath the ocean surface in the crystal clear water is also very popular. Moreton Island is full of the most amazing scenery with its high sand dunes, and white sand beaches that seem to stretch forever. It also boasts the tallest sand hill in the world at Mount Tempest, 285m high. Moreton Island is a perfect place for a short getaway from urban living.