A day trip to Moreton Island
Where is it: Ferry departs from Redcliffe Jetty – 160 Redcliffe Parade, Redcliffe
Why we love it: We love days at the beach, so of course we will love a 45-minute ferry ride to a beautiful and relaxed island that is all beach!
Tell me more: Just 30 kms off the coast of Brisbane lies the world’s third largest sand islands – Moreton Island! We hopped on board the new Redcliffe2Moreton Express Ferry for a day trip to rival any holiday!
Leaving from the Redcliffe Jetty (about 45 minutes’ drive from Brisbane’s CBD), this pedestrian-only ferry service runs twice a week – on Fridays and Sundays, heading off at 10am and leaving the island at 4pm for a return into Redcliffe by around 5pm, so it’s a perfect choice for quick day trip or weekend getaway! The ‘Supercat’ is comfortable and perfect for the 45 minute trip across the bay and you can grab a free tea or coffee (before leaving), there are snacks and drinks available for purchase and there are toilets on board as well. The fully-enclosed lower deck provides ample and fully weather-proof comfort, while the upper and outer back deck are great for getting some fresh air and provide great vantage points if you are lucky enough to spot some of the magnificent wildlife that inhabit the bay – whales, dolphins or even dugong can sometimes be spotted on the ride over!
Upon arrival at Moreton Island (just near the tiny township of Bulwer), you need to transfer into a smaller tender for the transfer across to the island. It’s only about 30m, but you land directly on the beach and you will get wet feet so be prepared. It might be an idea to bag up any electronics just in case. You can carry one bag of up to 30kgs and you can take a pram if needed, however it is sand everywhere so you won’t really get much use out of a pram on the island.
The arrival point at Moreton Island is right next to one of Bulwer’s most distinctive sights – 3 rusty shipwrecks which were deliberately beached to provide a bit of a break many years ago! The old shipwrecks are now more of a fascination for the tourists and locals alike, and provide beautiful photo opportunities! Transfers to other parts of the island or activities should be arranged to meet you prior to arrival – it’s a short walk (maybe a couple of hundred metres) to Castaway’s Café and Store where you can grab a bite to eat (their burgers are delicious!) and it’s about 1km walk to the closest campsite. Bear in mind that this is a sand island, so the walking can be pretty heavy going! There are no paved roads or footpaths here! Another point to note is the main beach also serves as a bit of a highway – it’s reasonably obvious where the 4 wheel drives run, so make sure that you are aware and try to stay out of their path!
While there are a number of places to explore and things to do here on Moreton, our plan for the day was to do as little as possible! We carried a portable gazebo with us so we could stay a little closer to the water, however there are a few shady spots under the trees to be found. The beach is superb – the sand is beautiful and soft; the water is clear and there are small waves to excite the little kids (but not enough to surf in). The shipwrecks can be explored although they are quite deteriorated and shouldn’t be touched – one of them is totally in shallow water while the other two are about half in the water and half up on the beach. And another joy for us here on the eastern coast is we got to water the sun start to sink across the water in the afternoon, something we don’t always get to see!
We had a fantastic day over at Moreton Island – the trip was comfortable and easy, the staff on the boat were very friendly, helpful and knowledgeable, the beach was absolutely gorgeous and our meal from Castaway’s Café was really yummy! And the day wasn’t too long either – we had about 5 hours on an island beach from a 9:30am start and back by 5pm. Just perfect! But next time we visit we might just have to stop for a night or two!
Amenities: Amenities on the island are limited, however toilets are available for use at Castaway’s Café and you can purchase bottled water as well as prepared meals and general store items! 👍👍👍
Parking: Finding a park in Redcliffe shouldn’t be too much trouble, however take note of market times at Redcliffe – it can be a busy little spot! 👍👍
Access: On the mainland side access is easy! On the island side it’s a little trickier with the transfer vessel and landing directly on the beach – it’s not really that well suited for wheeled use! 👍
Best for: It’s a beautiful beach however it is definitely better suited to those who are more mobile – we travelled with a 2 year old but it might be a little trickier with a younger child! 👍👍👍
Summary: This really is a beautiful spot! The ferry is an easy trip over and the beach is so nice – we had a great time! 👍👍👍👍
Hints: Plan to stay for a couple of days so that you can explore more of the island!
Exploring the island
Walking to the shop
Brisbane Family Explorers