Popular Moreton Island Shore Excursions
The Wild Dolphin Discovery Tour is extremely popular with first-time visitors to Moreton Island. It's one of the few places in Australia where you can get up close and personal with wild dolphins in the water and hand feed them. The tour includes information about history of the Tangalooma dolphin program, which dates to the 1970s. Then, you wade into the water up to your waist for the feeding (bring a change of clothes and a towel from the ship). You can't use flash photography around the dolphins, and there are other rules for participation, which include not wearing insect repellants, perfumes or sunscreens.
Also on your "don't miss" list should be the beach festival, which P&O Cruises puts on specifically for passengers when the cruise line visits the island. You'll see roving entertainers, live music, food stalls, dance classes and drummers, and it's in operation from morning to afternoon so no one on a tour misses out.
If you've enjoyed the land- and water-based activities before, treat yourself to a heliflight – it's one of the most spectacular ways to enjoy sightseeing on Moreton Island. Although you're airborne for only six minutes, you'll get a bird's-eye view of the key sites, including the island's highest point, Mount Tempest, which is also the world's highest coastal sand dune at 918 feet (280 meters) above sea level, and the wrecks of Moreton Bay. There are also options for longer flights of 12 or 18 minutes.
Closest to the Ship: Right at your doorstep is Tangalooma Beach, a 5-mile-long (8-kilometer) west-facing pristine beach that gently curves from the southern Tangalooma Point up to Cowan Cowan Point and the airstrip. Much of the beach has the exotic backdrop of vegetated sand dunes reaching up to 110 yards high. Next to the Tangalooma wrecks, you can climb two bare-faced dunes for a great view up and down the length of the beach. You can explore Tangalooma Beach on foot from the resort, but it's narrow and gets even slimmer if the tide is high.
Best for Families: Cowan Beach is closed off to vehicle traffic, making it an ideal for families with small children. The beach also has remains of war relics in the middle of the beach and collapsing from the foredunes.
Best for Swimming and Snorkeling: Bulwer Beach spans 5 miles (8 kilometers) from Comboyuro Point to Cowan Point and has calm, crystal-clear blue waters and a white sandy beach, making it safe for swimming and sunbathing. There is wide span of beach between the wrecks, which offers a safe area for children to play protected from waves. The wrecks themselves are also safe for swimming and snorkelling and are a great spot to watch the sunsets across Moreton Bay.
Best for Exploring: The northern tip of Moreton Island has two small headlands with lighthouses. Between the two is an open, northeast-facing bay with four small beaches. They offer steep access by way of tracks and have hidden caves in the rocks. Honeymoon Bay is the most famous and easy to access, but it's a hazardous spot for a swim because it's dominated by rip tides, hidden rocks and big waves.
Keep in mind no lifeguards patrol any of the beaches on Moreton Island, so caution should be used when swimming. Rip currents are common, particularly on the surf side of the island.