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Tangalooma: Sand Dunes, Shipwrecks and Sea Creatures

Once a whaling station, Tangalooma is now a bustling resort town on Moreton Island surrounded by a lush national park and pure white sandy beaches. Visitors to Tangalooma have the choice of renting a wide range of accommodation within the resort or booking private villas sprawled across the beach and in the hills. Make sure to bring your swimsuit, as chances are you’ll be spending most of your Tangalooma holidays in the water or on the sand. From feeding dolphins to cascading down sand dunes, action is guaranteed under the sun, with extra offerings such as snorkelling and whale watching to complete your marine break.

Meet Marine Mammals On and Offshore

While holidaying on Moreton Island, visitors have multiple opportunities to get to know local marine life. And you don’t even have to get wet if you don’t want to.

Perhaps the most well-known attraction in Tangalooma, dolphin feedings next to the jetty, attracts young and old. All visitors have to do is step into the shallow waters on the beach for a pod of friendly wild dolphins to come right up. You can handfeed these social marine mammals or watch friends and family do so from the floodlit jetty.

From the end of June to the end of October each year, an estimated 17,000 humpback whales pass through the waters around Moreton Island. Fun for the whole family, tours depart the Tangalooma Jetty daily to view these majestic creatures in their natural habitat. Onboard each cruise is a certified Tangalooma Eco Ranger. On these tours, which guarantee whale sightings or your money back, travellers typically also spy dolphins, stingrays and sea turtles.

Explore the Tangalooma Wrecks

Scuba diving and snorkelling enthusiasts can get a closer look at Moreton Island’s underwater life on an expedition to the Tangalooma wrecks, which consist of 15 purposefully sunken ships. These vessels now create a break wall for smaller boats and give visitors the chance to visit a wreck as well as take in the area’s colourful tropical fish. Travellers can dive into the crystal clear waters by themselves or as part of an organised tour and all the necessary equipped is available for hire at Tangalooma Water Sports. If you’re after a full day of water sports, snorkelling tours can be combined with kayaking.

Plenty of Spots for Some Quiet Fishing

Tangalooma and Moreton Island are sufficiently uninhabited that it is easy to find a quiet stretch of beach or rock formation where you can cast your line and fish the day away. Fish directly off the rocks at North Point to reel in various species. A short distance away, you’ll find the Cape Moreton Lighthouse, from which some of the largest fish on the island have been caught. If you prefer deep sea fishing, you can do so along 40km of coast off Moreton Island, where tailor, among many other species, are known to live. The months of August to December are famous for their Tailor Run. Fisherman flock to these waters to try to bring in the mighty tailor that always fight vigorously when caught; if you prefer a more active and social fishing experience, just join a group of fishermen on the lookout for tailor.

Sand Adventures on Moreton Island

Moreton Island is home to several naturally formed sand dunes. Visitors can go sand tobogganing and sand boarding or rent a 4WD vehicle to explore the dunes more thoroughly. One of Moreton Island’s dunes reaches 285m above sea level. Those who like hiking challenges can walk to the top, where they’ll be rewarded with panoramic vies over the island, coast and ocean. Otherwise, rent a toboggan and slide down to the beach or, for an adrenaline rush, try to stay standing while ‘surfing’ down the hills. There are sand dunes to suit each age and experience level. Children and beginners can learn to toboggan on the Small Sand hill or in The Desert and those familiar with sand boarding can head to the southern end of the island from some thrills on the Big Sand hills.

Holidays in Tangalooma

As Tangalooma consists primarily of a resort, there is no shortage of activities for families, groups of friends, single travellers and couples. On the flipside, visitors wishing to cook their own food on holiday should bring most of their supplies with them, as the resort offers a few restaurants and a convenience store but no supermarket.

Tangalooma is within easy reach of Brisbane and can be accessed via ferry departing the city’s Holt Street Wharf. In 75 minutes, you’ll be on those pristine sands.

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