Moreton Island is a stone’s throw from Brisbane (~50km), and while it is always super-crowded on long weekends and holiday periods, I think many Brisbanites are oblivious to the awesome RAS that Moreton Island has to offer. It’s the 3rd largest sand island in the world – being pipped by Fraser Island to the north, which has the title, and North Stradbroke Island a bit to the south, which is 2nd largest – and it shares many of the same attractions: fantastic boating, camping, fishing and 4WDing. Perfect for a quick weekend getaway from the city.
Which is exactly what we did for the Australia Day long (long) weekend. We provisioned our sail boat and caught the breeze over to Moreton. First port of call: Tangalooma.
Tangalooma was originally the site of a whaling station in the 50s, but is now a resort village. The main attraction are the rusty bones of 15 deliberately scuttled vessels that offer a great place to dive and snorkel. They are close to shore, so resort-dwellers or beach campers can swim across to them easily, or like us, you can anchor right alongside.
While Tangalooma isn’t considered a “top dive site”, I’ve always had great dives on the wrecks and seen stacks of great marine life…
Anyway, as the weather warmed up on Australia Day, the Tangalooma anchorage got insanely hectic with 100s of jetskis and small boats buzzing around everywhere, so we weighed anchor and cruised down the coast a few nautical miles to another fantastic anchorage: the Big Sandhills. We spent the rest of the weekend exploring this little area of Moreton Island, and for a complete run-down of our shenanigans, check out the sister-blog: the Alpha Odyssey (which will chart our epic sailing adventure along the QLD coast and through Asia).
Early morning was perfect for stand-up paddling among the resident turtles, and during one of my paddles I spotted another tiny wreck. I returned with some snorkel gear to check it out and it turned out to be an old truck or something. But the big surprise was the colony of shovelnose rays and/or guitarfish hanging out around it!
All-in-all, some pretty bloody good RAS, or in this case “wrecks and sh*t”, to be found on Moreton Island!