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