experience Moreton Bay

28 JULY 2023

Where the Brisbane River meets the ocean there's a gigantic marine wonderland we call Moreton Bay. Protected from the Pacific Ocean by the world's second and third largest sand islands, North Stradbroke Island/Minjerribah and Moreton Island/Mulgumpin, this mammoth tidal lagoon with clear, calm and shallow seawater is one of the most significant marine habitats on the East Coast of Australia.

Dugongs, dolphins, loggerhead turtles, sub-tropical coral reefs, migrating whales and birds, manta rays, grey nurse sharks and plenty of fish call the bay home and add to its ecological significance. The local Aboriginal Australians call this beautiful land Quandamooka, and evidence of their lives here goes back more than 25,000 years. 

There are plenty of ways to experience, appreciate and explore the glorious beauty of Moreton Bay. We've listed 10 of our favourite things to do at Moreton Bay below. 

01. Spot marine life on an eco boat tour

Jump aboard an eco tour and explore the coastline of Moreton Island in search of dolphins, dugongs, green sea turtles and manta rays. The See Moreton day trip also includes fish feeding, a buffet lunch, bar and a snorkelling tour of the Tangalooma Wrecks. 

Snorkelling with fish in the turquoise waters of Moreton Island
Snorkelling, Moreton Island

02. Dive below the surface to meet manta rays, leopard sharks, turtles and fish

It's not until you go under the water that you can appreciate Moreton Bay to its fullest. Home to subtropical coral reefs with huge pods of giant manta rays, turtles, octopus to schools of fish and little leopard sharks. Whether you’re a beginner or qualified explore the Moreton Bay Marine Park with Manta Lodge scuba diving experiences on North Stradbroke Island/Minjerribah. 

03. See the bay from the air

It’s hard to appreciate the vibrant ocean blues and white sands of Moreton Bay until you’ve seen the meeting of sand and water from above. Tangalooma Heli runs scenic helicopter tours over Moreton Island, and once you get up high in the sky you’ll not only see the magic of the island but also the bay. Book anything from a quick 6-minute aerial view to a 30-minute scenic tour.

04. Sail the bay

We've already mentioned eco cruises, but what if you just want a day out the bay soaking in the sunshine and sightseeing along the way? Aria Cruises sails through Moreton Bay to North Stradbroke Island / Minjerribah or, more excitingly, Peel Island. It’s one of the few ways to reach this small, secluded, and uninhabited sand island. Enjoy swimming, snorkelling, fishing, beach cricket or just sit back and relax with a cold drink in hand.

An aerial drone shot of the Moreton Bay shipwreck and surrounding water with people snorkelling the Tangalooma Wrecks
Snorkelling the Tangalooma wrecks, Moreton Island

05. Snorkel the Tangalooma Wrecks by day

Fifteen vessels were deliberately sunk in 1963 to create a break wall for small boats stopping by Moreton Island/ Mulgumpin. Fast forward more than 50 years and the rusty ships have become home to colourful coral, tropical fish and, if you're lucky, turtles. Join Australian Sunset Safaris, Tangatours or See Moreton for tours and snorkelling around the Wrecks. 

06. Kayak the Tangalooma Wrecks by night

Paddle out into a moonlit ocean in clear bottom kayak fitted with LED lights. Illuminating the ships and reefs below you’ll attract plenty of fish, and if you’re lucky, a turtle or two as well. The friendly crew from Sunset Safaris offer a unique two-day adventure experience on Moreton Island/ Mulgumpin with the option to add night kayaking.

07. Eat fresh oysters

There are many oyster farms in Moreton Bay that produce freshly shucked rock oysters. At the southern tip of Moreton Island/ Mulgumpin you can visit Brisbane's most remote bar. The Gutter Bar in Kooringal is just a couple of sandy kilometres from the only oyster farm off Moreton Island and you can enjoy them fresh off the trawler.

08. Get your thrills with Tangatours

If the sensation of adrenaline pumping through your body is what you love, Tangatours has plenty of thrilling activities to try. Skim across the water aboard a three-seater banana being towed by a jet ski or try parasailing and fly as high as 150m with a parachute. Tangatours operates out of Tangalooma Island Resort and offers more chilled out activities like kayak hire and snorkelling or fishing tours too. 

09. Catch the humpback whale migration

Every year thousands of humpback whales migrate from Antarctic waters to the tropical South Pacific to breed. On the way they like to stop at the calm waters of Moreton Bay to splash and play. Join a whale watching cruise with Brisbane Whale Watching or Tangalooma Whale Watch Cruises.

10. Fly over in a Tiger Moth

You've never quite felt the freedom and thrill of flying until you’ve been up in an authentic open-air Tiger Moth. The perfect way to take in the blue water hues is with a scenic flight, and you can add exhilarating aerobatics to make it a moment to always remember. Antique Airways operate Tiger Moth joy flights around the Redcliffe Peninsula and over Moreton Bay and have more than 40 years flying experience. 

A distant shot of a couple sitting on a tree trunk on a beach