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Daytrips and Cruising on Moreton Bay

Daytrips and Cruising on Moreton Bay

From the southern tip of South Stradbroke Island to Caloundra, the Moreton Bay features ideal boating destinations like Moreton Island and North

and South Stradbroke islands. Just at the doorstep of Gold Coast and Brisbane cities, the wide expanse of Moreton Bay is dotted with other smaller islands, offshore reefs, internationally significant wetlands, seagrass meadows, and sandy beaches, making this a haven not only for marine and wildlife, but also for boating people.

Use this quick guide to island destinations, and take your family and friends on a journey through the waters of Moreton Bay.


With a countless supply of day trip options, start your journey at Deanabilla Bay, Myora and Horseshoe Bay off the majestic Peel Island. Peel Island is known as Teerk Roo Ra National Park and is managed by the Queensland National Parks. It is an ideal spot for swimming and snorkelling, or just exploring the small heritage-listed area, which was once used as a quarantine station for leprosy patients. Remnants of the lazaret are cared for by the Friends of Peel Island. They offer tours occasionally. Peel Island has limited camping availability and composting toilets. Camping permits are available online with the Department of Environment and Science.


Another day trip you cannot miss out on is one to North Stradbroke Island or Minjerribah, the second largest sand island in the world. Contact the Little Ship Club for the use of their pontoon, while having lunch or for staying overnight. Prices vary depending on length of stay and specifications around your boat size. Tremendous fishing and snorkelling opportunities exist around Minjerribah. Have a swim at Cylinder Beach, rated Queensland’s best beach by Surf Life Saving Queensland in 2018. You can also take a 4WD tour or have fun sand boarding and snorkelling. The whale-watching peak period is between June and November. One of the best land-based spots to watch the majestic humpback whales on their way north to breed and give birth is at Point Lookout. You may even spot a mother and calf on their way back!

Also at Point Lookout is the famous North Gorge Walk, a beautiful 1.2km boardwalk around the headland. It is a great vantage point to spot dolphins, manta rays, sharks, turtles, as well as the whales. Point Lookout area is the island’s hub for dining and shopping for supplies. When you are without a land vehicle, there is the option to catch public transport, such as the buses and taxis.


The Redlands Coast is also home to the southern islands – Karragarra, Lamb, Russell and Macleay Islands. They are only small islands, with few residents. Despite limited facilities for visitors, it is popular with those who wish to get away from the hustle and bustle of the mainland. Sail around the islands and discover the great fishing opportunities, or stretch your legs and explore the unspoilt bushlands. You can quench your thirst and play a game of lawn bowls at one of the local clubs.


Moreton Island is one of the least polluted and least disturbed coastal environments along the Queensland/New South Wales coast. The Tangalooma Wrecks, a cluster of ships scuttled by the Queensland Government between 1963 and 1984 to provide safe anchorage spot for recreational boat owners on the eastern side of Moreton Bay, are located just north of the Tangalooma Island Resort. Coral is now starting to form in and around the wrecks, providing a haven for over 100 species of fish and sometimes even dolphins, wobbegongs and dugongs.


You can download the Moreton Bay Marine Park User Guide. This guide details all you need to know about navigating the channels and shallow areas, including no-anchoring zones, go-slow zones, boundaries and more. It is a great resource to help boaters navigate their journey, also outlining the protected sensitive reef habitats, which are easily damaged by boat anchors. The Beacon to Beacon Guide also provides information on where to set down an anchor.

Supplies and maintenance facilities are available at Manly Harbour Marina. Fuel is available at the Royal Qld Yacht Squadron Manly and the Moreton Bay Trailer Boat Club.


The Queensland Government has established seven artificial reefs in Moreton Bay Marine Park, at a cost of $2.5 million. These reefs provide recreational anglers with a range of exciting fishing opportunities in the marine park. Artificial reefs attract and sustain a wide diversity of marine life by providing protection from predators, shelter from ocean currents, breeding opportunities, and a supply of rich food sources. The variety of habitats created by Moreton Bay’s artificial reefs sustain a diversity of fish species and have been designed to benefit a range of fishing techniques, including spearfishing, bottom fishing, and game fishing for pelagic species.


By Michelle Felton and Roselle Tenefrancia


(Published in the Oct-Dec 2019 edition)




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