One of the stops I really wanted to make on Australia’s east coast was to Moreton Island from Brisbane to see the iconic shipwrecks. The cluster of ships was actually put there ON PURPOSE by the Queensland Government between 1963 and 1984 to provide safe anchorage spot for recreational boat owners on the eastern side of Moreton Bay. Over time coral has started to grow on the shipwrecks bringing an abundance of fish and marine wildlife. The Moreton Island shipwrecks are an easy day trip from Brisbane, they’re amazing if you’re into snorkelling and also make a great photo opportunity for your drone. In this post I will share everything you need to know about the Moreton Island Shipwrecks and how to get there.
WHERE TO STAY
I stayed at the Brisbane City YHA, which is ideally located near the train station and also has a rooftop pool! Dorms start from only $22 a night and they have some super modern double rooms with ensuites for $98 a night.
GETTING TO THE MORETON ISLAND SHIPWRECKS
There are two possible ways to get to Moreton Island. One is with Mikat ferries, these leave from 4 Howard Smith Drive, Port of Brisbane (an Uber from Brisbane centre costs around 40$ or you can get the train to Lindum then an Uber to the port). Depending on the time of year you go there is only one or two ferries a day which take you straight to the shipwrecks. If you take the Mikat ferry make sure you bring your own snorkelling gear, food and drink as there is NOWHERE to buy things once you arrive on the beach (the ferry serves drinks and snacks tho). Tickets are $28.50 each way for pedestrians and start at $70 each way for vehicles.
Alternatively you can spend a bit more ($84 return) and take the ferry to the Tangalooma Resort on the island from 220 Holt Street, Pinkenba. These depart four times a day and will give you access to the resort facilities (and the restaurant), but you will need to walk 30 minutes each way to get to the shipwrecks.
You can see the paths of the boats below.
SNORKELLING AT THE MORETON ISLAND SHIPWRECKS
At the closest point the shipwrecks are only around 30m from the beach (see photo below). If you are a confident swimmer you can easily self navigate around the shipwrecks, just be wary of the strong currents between the beach and the shipwrecks. You will also need to bring your own snorkel equipment as you cannot hire anything on the island (unless you’re on a tour).
You can choose to book a snorkel tour for $80 or hire kayaks from $17.50 per person.
FLYING YOUR DRONE OVER THE MORETON ISLAND SHIPWRECKS
If, like me, you are an avid drone pilot, I’m sure you are bursting to fly your drone over Moreton Island Shipwrecks!
Can I fly there? app allows you to fly there, however you do need to be wary of helicopters.
We went to Moreton Island on a Tuesday in mid March and only saw 2 helicopters over the course of 5 hours, however I’m sure if you went on the weekend or during school holidays there might be more.
I flew my drone as soon as we arrived (just in case helicopters came later), which was during high tide. I then flew again before we left at low tide, which was better as there wasn’t as much light glare and the ships were more visible, however there were more tourist boats near the shipwrecks.
The Moreton Island shipwrecks are really unique and definitely worth a day trip from Brisbane! If you want to explore more of Moreton Island there are different tours available, such as sand boarding! Or you can bring your own 4×4 onto the island with the Mikat ferries (you will need to book in advance) and camp there.
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