Two Days in Paradise: Moreton Island
Video of my trip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGv4F3u_NOs&feature=youtu.be
My alarm went off at 6:30 AM on Saturday morning, I know, it sounds terrible. Except we were heading out to Moreton Island for two days of activities and sunshine. I hopped out of bed, grabbed my bag, and headed to the bus which would take me to the ferry. We traveled with a group called Sunset Safaris who primarily took care of everything for us which allowed us to sit back and relax. As the boat arrived at Moreton Island, it seemed as though I had entered a tropical oasis. From the deck, we could see four wheel drives coasting along the sandy dunes and kayaks exploring the Tangalooma Wrecks. The island stretched out ahead of us and was made up of various hills and cliff sides, some covered in sand and others in trees. The ferry slowly pulled up onto the sandy beach and we unloaded. In front of us were turquoise waters and a friendly looking orange van with the logo “Sunset Safaris” printed on the side. We boarded the truck, backpacks and all, and headed off to our first adventure: Sandboarding.
We drove up the uneven path in the van towards the center of the island. Driving on sand is an exciting and bumpy experience, to say the least, and trust me when I say seatbelts are your new best friend. We pulled into the sandy parking lot, using the term “parking lot” loosely since it was just a flat patch of sand, and headed into the desert. Armed with wooden planks we hiked farther and farther up until we looked over the edge and began to sweat, that is a FAR drop. One girl, a vertical drop, and a plank of wood: the headline of my obituary. Sand boarding ended up being a blast minus the gallon of sand that sprayed into my mouth on the way down, scream with your lips closed ladies and gentlemen. Next was snorkeling the Tangalooma Wrecks.
The Wrecks consist of purposely sunken ships that create a manmade coral reef, and they were teeming with life. We, looking like Muppets in our snorkel masks, wadded into the water and began the swim out to the wrecks. Despite the beautiful photos and video shots of turquoise water and the sunshine, it was FREEZING. As my legs finally numbed over, we reached the first ship where one of the tour guides threw a piece of bread near me. Suddenly, a swarm of fish came out of nowhere and attacked the food and subsequently me as well. I’m sure the kayakers enjoyed the muffled shrieks coming from my snorkel as a mass of gills and fins crowded my line of sight. Regardless, Snorkeling the wrecks was beautiful and most definitely worth the cold.
More activities filled the night and the next day. After the sunset on the first day, we went night kayaking in LED lit kayaks. We almost saw a turtle, except Allison and I upon hearing that it was nearby, got a little excited and paddled, at ramming speed, towards where it was, all the while splashing and crashing into other boats. Although the effort was there, we ended up scaring it away. On the second day, we hiked all around the north point of the Island seeing stretches of beach and turquoise water from hilltops as well as multiple humpback whales splashing in the distance. We stopped at the Moreton lighthouse to check out the view and ended up watching dolphins ride and jump through the waves crashing on the shore below. While sea turtles lazily floated on the surface to get some air. It was one of the more beautiful places I have ever seen.
Moreton Island should be on everyone’s list of places to go when visiting Brisbane; it’s not too far from the city, but it’s a tropical escape like you have never seen. I’m still daydreaming about sitting on the cliff’s that overlook the coast and watching the wildlife-filled waters crash along the store.