Moreton Island (Photo:mark higgins/Shutterstock)
5.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating

By Cruise Critic Staff

Port of Moreton Island

Although it's been a popular getaway for Brisbanites and southeastern Queenslanders for many years, in 2013 Moreton Island was firmly placed on the cruise map, thanks to a maiden call from P&O Cruise's Pacific Jewel on a sailing from Sydney. The ship visited the island six times in 2013, and since its debut, thanks to positive feedback from passengers, the island has regularly appeared on P&O SeaBreak short cruise itineraries. The cruises offer a full day of fun on the island, arriving early in the morning and leaving around 8 p.m., with a relaxing sea day each side to and from Sydney.

Moreton is the third largest sand island in the world and an ecological jewel, located about 22 miles off the coast of Brisbane on "Nemo's Super Highway," or East Australian Current. The island sits in the picturesque Moreton Bay and its Marine Park and is an ideal place to escape the traffic, crowds and hubbub of city and suburban life.

Moreton Island is also famous for spectacular marine life and impressive sand dunes; its balmy waters teem with dolphins, whales, dugong, manta rays and stingrays. The island is 23-and-a-half miles (38 kilometers) long, and just less than 5 miles (8 kilometers) at its widest point, with 95 percent of the land zoned as a national park to protect its unique natural qualities. There are no sealed roads on Moreton Island, so it tends to attract people with a sense of adventure, as well as a love of the great outdoors.

Bulwer, a small holiday village for local travellers with a handful of basic services and a passenger ferry terminal, is one of three townships on the island, while Cowan Cowan is another, famous for World War II relics and wrecks, as well as the Toulkerrie Oyster Farm and the private beach resort of Tangalooma.

The resort was originally established as a whaling station and is now a marine education and conservation centre; it's also one of the few places in Australia where you can enjoy the unique experience of feeding wild bottlenose dolphins. Tangalooma Island Resort has partnered exclusively with P&O Cruises to offer passengers a wide range of activities when the ship visits. The resort also is home to a beach festival when ships call, with music and food stalls.

About Moreton Island


Pro

Moreton Island has long been a popular vacation spot for locals thanks to its spectacular beaches

Con

If you want to see the island beyond what's near the port, you'll have to do it via organized tour

Bottom Line

Whether you plan to check out the sea life, relax on the beach or take a 4WD, this is an ideal destination


Find a Cruise to Australia & New Zealand

Where You're Docked

Ships anchor off Tangalooma Island Resort and use tenders to transport passengers to a pier.

Good to Know

If you decide to go on a tour involving quad-bikes, wear closed shoes, be careful when driving and pay attention to the safety drill before you start. If you visit Moreton Island in high summer, bring plenty of sunscreen and a hat because temperatures can soar, and it can get very humid.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money

The local currency is the Australian dollar. There are no banks on Moreton Island. There is an ATM at the Tangalooma Resort, however, and the resort also offers currency exchange. For updated currency-conversion figures, visit www.oanda.com or www.xe.com.

Language

Australians speak English with an Aussie accent, and on Moreton Island, the language is much the same as you'll find in the rest of the country. The majority of local tourists will be from Brissie, otherwise known as Brisbane, and don't forget your cossie, which is Australian for a swimsuit -- you'll definitely need one on a visit to this island with all the beaches and watersports activities.

Shopping

Moreton Island isn't a place for shopping. Besides buying a trinket or two from Tangalooma's Lucky 7 resort shop, your best souvenir could be a photograph of you feeding the dolphins.