Before the summer heat disappears, I wanted to share a little photo essay I did during a camping trip to Moreton Island this summer. Moreton is a truly amazing place and it’s right on our doorstep in Brisbane, yet so many of us, especially local Queenslanders, have never ventured over to the third largest sand island in the world.

This is a snap shot of what I found on our first camping trip to the island.

As the grey Brisbane waters churned behind us, relaxation kicks in once the city looks like a spec on the horizon and the water begins to look green and blue.

Getting there

Catch the big MICAT ferry with Moreton Island Adventures and they’ll take you right up onto the beach next to the Tangalooma Wrecks. Be sure to let the air in your tyres out, otherwise you’ll get bogged in the soft sand as soon as you drive off. You don’t want to be the one blocking everyone else from getting onto the island.

The Desert

This is the big open sandpit where tourists come to play, or at least come to slide down the many steep sand dunes at break neck speed. When we arrived, no one was there, so we felt very alone in such a large open space. The sand dunes are quite high and as you climb to the top you can see just how big the area is. The wind slaps your face with more sand and forces you to slide, tumble or hop down to the bottom again. You’ll need a swim afterwards.

The Desert.

Tangalooma Wrecks.

We camped at the Tangalooma Wrecks. After everyone had gone home for the day, we had the whole place to ourselves.

Starfish are everywhere. On this particular morning hundreds washed up on the beach, as far as you could see.

Break away

To really see the Island, you’ll need a 4WD. There are some cool challenging tracks with lots of soft sand to churn through as you make your way to Northpoint and the Cape Moreton Lighthouse. We stopped at the Bulwer Wrecks for a swim and a snorkel. You can’t resist when you see the water.

The Bulwer wrecks.

Telegraph track, the long sandy road to North Point.

Cape Moreton Lighthouse

This is Queensland’s oldest lighthouse. It was built in 1857 using mostly prison labour and was then occupied by the Griffin family, pioneers who would have surely felt the isolation in those days. Thomas Griffin became the lighthouse keeper with his wife Mary Ann Griffin and together they raised 16 children on Moreton. In 1876, Mary Ann died during childbirth and it became mandatory for pregnant women to return to the mainland six weeks before the birth of their children.

The lonely Cape Moreton Lighthouse