Things to Do and See
There are many walking tracks on the island, ranging from short easy strolls to half-day hikes. Walking is one of the best ways to appreciate the island’s features and discover some of the various wildlife habitats. Take care when walking over sand blows or up steep sections of tracks, particularly on hot days.
Take care of yourself—carry a map, compass, food, drinking water and first-aid kit. Wear protective clothing, hat, sunscreen, sunglasses and insect repellent.
Blue Lagoon (Grade: easy)
Distance: 500m return
Time: allow 20 mins
Details: The track winds through heathland to the dune sand blow on the lake. Blue Lagoon is a window lake, created where the watertable is exposed at the land surface. Access to Blue Lagoon is from the ocean beach, north of the Bulwer–Blue Lagoon Road. Toilets are located before you reach the car park.
Honeyeater Lake (Grade: easy)
Distance: 60m return
Time: allow 5 mins
Details: Enjoy a short stroll to a viewing platform looking over this perched lake—created when water collects in a depression with a solid bottom which prevents rainwater filtering down to the watertable. Honeyeater Lake, a good place to see a variety of waterbirds, is surrounded by the sounds of the honeyeaters feeding on banksia flowers. Musk ducks are occasional visitors and are sometimes seen on the lake. Access to Honeyeater Lake is from Bulwer–Blue Lagoon Road. You can view the lake from a platform located near the car park.
Cape Moreton (Grade: moderate)
Distance: 1.5km return
Time: allow 1 hr
Details: See Queensland’s first lighthouse, built in 1857 of island sandstone. Access into the lighthouse, the grounds and the grave of the lighthouse keeper’s wife is not permitted, however Cape Moreton is a good viewing point for watching marine life. See whales (June–November), dolphins, sharks and turtles, as well as magnificent island scenery. The walk up the hill can be very hot in summer.
The Desert (Grade: moderate)
Distance: 4km circuit
Time: allow 2 hrs
Details: Walk along a track from the western beach south of the resort, over a large sand dune, and watch for wildlife that lives in this harsh environment. This walk has many steps and a moderate level of fitness is required.
Five Hills lookout (Grade: moderate)
Distance: 1km return
Time: allow 30 mins
Details: From North Point Road the track heads up through low heathland to the top of a large sand dune. Do this walk in the cooler part of the day. You’ll be rewarded with views of Heath Island, the Five Hills area and some of the island’s coastal swamps.
Mount Tempest lookout (Grade: difficult)
Distance: 2.5km return
Time: allow 2 hrs
Details: Walk up Mount Tempest—the highest sand dune on the island, 280 m in elevation. Expect many steps. Seats are provided along the way and at the lookout. After your steep climb, be rewarded with 360-degree views of the island, Moreton Bay Marine Park and, on a clear day, the Glass House Mountains. Read about Moreton Island’s indigenous people—the Dolphin clans. This walk is best done in the cooler part of the day or in winter. Take plenty of water.
Telegraph Road (Grade: difficult)
Distance: 16km return
Time: allow 6 hrs
Details: Discover interesting habitats and relics of the old telegraph line. The track goes through several vegetation types including heathland and eucalypt woodland. Look out for the perched swamp found on top of the dune ridge. In spring, the track is lined with heathland flowers. This long track is best walked in winter and spring, or in the early morning during summer. A one-way walk option is to arrange to be dropped off at the end of the Bulwer–Blue Lagoon Road and walk through to Mount Tempest, meeting your lift at the Mount Tempest carpark.
Rous Battery track (Grade: moderate)
Distance: 9.8km one way
Time: allow 3.5 hrs each way
Details: See the remnants of a World War II fort scattered around the dunes. The walk follows the old Rous Battery service road. This is the only walk on the southern end of the island. You’ll wander through scribbly gum forest and patches of the green, feathery ground plant called foxtails (Caustis blakei). Always carry sufficient drinking water. Bore water is available along the track near the ocean beach but should be treated before use.
Boating and fishing
All freshwater fish are protected on Moreton Island. Fishing or collecting bait in lakes and streams is not permitted.
Mirapool is a special protection zone and a marine national park zone, all forms of collecting including fishing are prohibited.
Moreton Island is surrounded by Moreton Bay Marine Park, a multiple-use marine protected area, which protects the high natural, cultural, recreational and amenity values of the bay.
Four sections of beach on Moreton Island are zoned as marine national park (green) zones under the Moreton Bay Marine Park zoning plan. All forms of collecting including fishing are prohibited in these zones.
Additionally two conservation park (yellow) zones overlap beaches as well. In these yellow zones fishing is restricted to a maximum of two lines and two hooks per person.
Tailor, flathead, dart, bream and whiting are often caught on the beaches and headlands. Reef and surface-feeding fish are caught offshore. Crabs are seasonal. Bag limits and size limits apply to some species. For more information about recreational fishing rules and regulations see Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.
When fishing in Moreton Bay:
- keep fish, bait and burley in sealed containers away from wildlife
- bury fish remains and unused bait just below high tide mark. Dig a deep hole and cover scraps with at least 50cm of sand
- dispose of used bait bags and unwanted fishing line in bins or take them home
- clean fish away from campgrounds and camping zones as it is prohibited in these areas
- if using a boat take care over seagrass beds and look out for ‘go slow’ zones.
Spearfishing is prohibited in all marine national park (green) zones. Refer to the Moreton Bay Marine Park user guide (PDF, 11M) for boundaries and restrictions relating to zones and designated areas. Spearfishing is also prohibited within the waters of the artificial reef area off Moreton Island. Approximate reef boundaries extend from Tangalooma Point to Comboyuro Point, with a 700 m offshore boundary out from the beach. For more information see Department of Agriculture and Fisheries or consult the Fisheries Regulation 2008 for exact boundaries.
Moreton Island provides great opportunities to view wildlife. Over 180 species of birds, including seabirds, waders, forest birds and birds of prey, can be seen. Avoid disturbing shorebirds on the beach by giving them a wide berth. Forty species of reptiles have been recorded on the island including blue-tongued lizards, goannas, major skinks, various snakes and marine turtles. Take care not to disturb nesting turtles in summer. Keep clear of any sea snakes washed up onto the beaches, and report them to rangers.
The island has a rich array of plant communities from stunted heathlands to open eucalypt forests. Freshwater lakes, creeks and swamps provide havens for frogs and native fish. For panoramic views of the island’s plant life and Moreton Bay take a walk up Mount Tempest. Cape Moreton is a good viewpoint for watching marine life such as whales (from June to November), dolphins, sharks and turtles.
Snorkelling and diving
The waters around Moreton Island provide a chance to discover some marine life, with a number of well-known snorkelling and scuba diving sites. Tangalooma Wrecks and Flinders Reef provide good snorkelling and diving. For your safety avoid climbing on or swimming through the Tangalooma Wrecks. Curtin artificial reef is also popular with divers. Strong rips and currents are often present; check local site information when planning your trip. Always take care in the water and never swim, snorkel or dive alone. There are no patrolled beaches and no measures to protect swimmers from sharks around Moreton Island.