Tan­ga­looma Magic on More­ton

Surf sand dunes, spot whales and feed wild dol­phins on the world’s third-largest sand is­land. By Chris­tine Knight

Where Brisbane - - Contents - tan­ga­looma.com

TAN­GA­LOOMA IS­LAND RE­SORT is lo­cated on More­ton Is­land, only 40 kilo­me­tres, or a short ferry ride, from Bris­bane, mak­ing it one of the eas­i­est is­lands to get to in Aus­tralia. Take a day trip or a few days to ex­plore, un­wind and en­joy this lit­tle slice of par­adise.

Feed the wild dol­phins

Every evening af­ter sun­set, two close-knit fam­i­lies of bot­tlenose dol­phins ar­rive at Tan­ga­looma to be hand-fed by guests. The same fam­i­lies of dol­phins have been vis­it­ing the is­land for over 25 years. The re­sort own­ers, the Os­bourne fam­ily, im­ple­mented a reg­i­mented feed­ing pro­gram to pro­tect the wel­fare of the dol­phins af­ter they found re­sort guests to be feed­ing the dol­phins bits of bait and fish­ing of­f­cuts.

As these are wild dol­phins, they ar­rive of their own ac­cord. Each evening they are fed between 10 and 20 per­cent of their daily food re­quire­ment, which en­sures they still need to hunt for their food to sur­vive and don’t be­come de­pen­dent on hu­mans. As dol­phins have sen­si­tive skin, touch­ing them isn’t per­mit­ted.

To take part in the Tan­ga­looma Wild Dol­phin Feed­ing, you must be a guest stay­ing in Tan­ga­looma Is­land Re­sort ac­com­mo­da­tion or vis­it­ing on se­lected day cruises.

Snap a whale

From June to Novem­ber each year, around 15,000 hump­back whales make their way past More­ton Is­land dur­ing their an­nual mi­gra­tion. Whales can be spot­ted as close as 100 me­tres east off the is­land, but the best way to spot one of these ocean beau­ties is with a whale watch­ing tour to see the whales breach, feed and splash their tails in the ocean.

Snorkel the ship­wrecks

15 ships were sunk by the Queens­land Gov­ern­ment just off the shore of More­ton Is­land. They are now a pop­u­lar place to snorkel and see the rich sea life in the bay. Stan­dard kayaks are avail­able for hire to

pad­dle down to the wrecks, or you can go on a kayak­ing tour if you want to make a splash in a fancy trans­par­ent one. Take an il­lu­mi­nated night tour by kayak or boat to see the wrecks and ocean in a com­pletely dif­fer­ent light. The ship­wrecks can also be ac­cessed by walk­ing up the beach and swim­ming di­rectly out to them.

Speed up the beach

A unique way to take a beach stroll! Tag along on an ATV quad bike or seg­way tour to see the sights while rid­ing in style.

Spot ocean life

Lo­cated in More­ton Bay, Tan­ga­looma is home to a wide va­ri­ety of ocean life that live in the sur­round­ing More­ton Bay Ma­rine Park. Dol­phins, green sea tur­tles and dugongs live in abun­dant num­bers in the bay, mak­ing this the only place in the world where such large num­bers of dugongs can be found so close to a large city cen­tre. Take a Ma­rine Dis­cov­ery Cruise to spot some aquatic res­i­dents up close as the glass-bot­tomed boat sails over the dugongs’ much-loved sea­grass, and past the ship­wrecks where large schools of fish gather.

Watch the sun go down

Grab a bean bag from the bar and take a cock­tail down to the sand to watch some of the most spec­tac­u­lar sun­sets you’ll ever see.

Go surf­ing in the desert

A dif­fer­ent kind of wave to ride! Take a bus into the desert and climb 30-me­tre-high sand dunes, then race down the other side on your stom­ach for the ride of your life. Keep your mouth shut un­less you want to take home a sandy sou­venir! While you’re there, climb the tallest coastal sand dune in the world, Mount Tem­pest. At 285 me­tres high it’s quite the hike, but worth it for the re­sult­ing 360-de­gree view of the is­land.

Meet Aussie wildlife

More­ton Is­land is home to a wide va­ri­ety of ma­rine, rep­tile and bird life. Between Novem­ber and Fe­bru­ary, a large pop­u­la­tion of green and log­ger­head tur­tles come to nest on the beach, while year-round over 190 species of birds, in­clud­ing kook­abur­ras, cor­morants and other seabirds, can be seen. The is­land has an abun­dant rep­tile pop­u­la­tion too, with 36 species be­ing recorded on the is­land in­clud­ing blue-tongue lizards, goan­nas, bearded dragons, skinks and snakes.

Photo: Cour­tesy of Tan­ga­looma Is­land Re­sort.

Main photo: En­joy the spec­tac­u­lar sun­sets.

Clock­wise from above left: Meet the lo­cal wildlfe; ship­wrecks and starfish; surf­ing the dunes.

Photos: Chris­tine Knight.

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