An impromptu assignment brought me for a short stint in Brisbane recently. Even though it was a last-minute trip, my good friend Elie was game to drive down from Sydney to Brisbane to catch up. We’ve heard a lot about the terrible wet weather and floods in Queensland, but I guess I was fortunate as my time there was filled with sunny skies and balmy weather. Unfortunately, working on the weekdays meant I only had one free weekend in Brisbane, so we had to seize the opportunity to enjoy the gorgeous weekend weather. A little google search online leads us to Moreton Island. There is so much to do there – 4WD, sandboarding, wild dolphin feeding, kayaking, snorkelling around shipwrecks, bathing in a blue lagoon etc.
We also tossed around the possibility of heading to the Gold Coast to one of the many theme parks. But eventually, my love for nature won out, and we decided to spend our Sunday at Moreton Island. Since we only made the final decision on Saturday, most boat operators for Moreton Island were already fully booked. We also didn’t want to pack every activity on Moreton Island in one day as we wanted it to be a relaxing Sunday. After all, we still needed to work on Monday! Eventually, we found one operator that took us to the Moreton Island wrecks for snorkelling and kayaking, provided breakfast and lunch on the ship and gave us free time to chill on the beach.
Getting to the jetty was an experience. We google mapped the journey to the departure pier from the apartment and happily decided that we could ride our electric scooters (beam) our way to the jetty. Fifteen minutes into our journey, we came to our first crisis. The Brisbane river cuts through most of Brisbane city, and our route needed us to hop onto a public ferry (Citycat) to get to the other side. The good news is that the ferry deckhand told us that electric scooters could go onboard. However, the bad news is that we could only pay for our trip via a GO Card. Since none of us had a GO Card, we scrambled to call for an uber to get us to the Rivergate Marina via the expressway before our Moreton Island ship departed without us. An Uber drive and a golf cart ride later, we finally got on board our boat!
We enjoyed breakfast while the boat whisked us away. Moreton is the third-largest sand island globally and only a 75-minute boat trip from Brisbane. Our first stop is the Tangalooma Wrecks, a cluster of ships scuttled by the Queensland Government between 1963 and 1984 to provide a safe anchorage spot for recreational boat owners on the eastern side of Moreton Bay. Coral life has taken hold in and around the wrecks, providing a haven for over 100 species of fish. You can even spot turtles, dolphins, wobbegongs, and dugongs if you are lucky.
I didn’t take many photos on this trip as we mainly spent our time in the waters. I wanted to enjoy the moment and were with people that are camera shy. The wrecks are home to various reef fish, coral formations and marine life. Despite the beautiful array of fish and corals, you need to be cautious when snorkelling because the currents are pretty strong. Even though we had our snorkel gear, flippers and even gloves (to push off the wrecks if we got too close), some of us still came back with cuts and grazes from the shallow shipwrecks and corals.
Lunch on board the boat was delicious! Of course, it helped that we were all starving after being in the cold waters. We spent the second half of the day doing a little sea kayaking and exploring the Tangalooma beach area. All in all, a wonderful Sunday. I’ll be back again someday for the other activities Moreton Island offers. Is this how you would like to enjoy your off day as well? Or would you have preferred spending the day at the theme park?