Tangalooma Resort is a popular resort for lovers of outdoor life situated on the western side of Moreton Island in Queensland, Australia. Tangalooma is known for its resort accommodation and white glistening beach sands. In the past, particularly in the 1950’s it was a thriving whaling station, but when whaling was banned in Australian waters in 1963, the whaling station land was sold and turned into what is now a thriving holiday resort destination for whale watching and wild dolphin feeding.
The local population is a mere 300 however; more than 3500 visitors come to the island each week as it is so close to Brisbane. The crossing by express catamaran takes only one hour ten minutes, alternatively you can fly in by helicopter.
Moreton Island is the world’s third biggest sand island and it also boasts the highest coastal sand dune worldwide. It is possible to take a 4WD safari out into the desert and then enjoy the thrill of quad biking, body boarding or tobogganing down the sand dunes. Sand forms 98% of the island.
What to see and do at Tangalooma
For those people who enjoy diving and viewing life under the water there is the availability of exploring the many shipwrecks scattered just beneath the waters surface. You can go on a dolphin feeding program or simply lie and sunbathe on the pristine stretches of sandy beaches of which there are ample to choose from. Go for walks and explore the island at leisure and when out in the open air listen to the calls of the seaside birds that inhabit the area.
Each evening as the sun sets there are a pod of as many as nine local bottlenose dolphins that swim up to the front of the Tangalooma Resort beach and guests are selected to feed them. This is an activity under the supervision of the Tangalooma Marine Education and Conservation Centre (TMECC).
The island is home to the three small townships of Kooringal, Cowan Cowan, and Bulwer. The sea water adjoining the island is protected and forms the Moreton Bay Marine Park.
History of Tangalooma
Traditionally the Ngugi people owned the island and the Aboriginal meaning of Tangalooma is “where fishes meet.” The name for Moreton Island is “Moogumpin” which translates into “place of sand hills”. In 1770 Captain James Cook named it Morton Bay after the Scottish Earl of Morton. However, in writings from Captain Cook’s journals it was incorrectly translated as Moreton Bay and the name has remained as such.
There is a choice of accommodation at Tangalooma Resort that ranges from deluxe rooms to single units, Villas on the beachfront or else apartments. Trips or private tours can be arranged and there is also 4WD hire.