A February 2005 trip
to Moreton Island by nmagann
Quote: Tangalooma Wrecks, the reason for destination, didn’t disappoint. What an excellent idea for retired or wrecked ships - an artificial reef. But these can be enjoyed by divers and snorkelers and right from the shore. Both the wrecks and the fish are worth the ferry ride. All this on an empty, undeveloped island?
Drip coffee doesn’t seem to exist, so choices are espresso, sticks (instant), and the fancy cappuccinos. Prices for a cup of instant range between and 4. Sodas are also about . Drinking water is provided free at most restaurants.
The climate near the ocean can bring cooling breezes in the evening. It is a good idea to keep a lightweight wrap with you. And in the summer, quick but hard drizzles can occur at any moment.
Hotel | "Moreton Bay Lodge"
Unaware I was about 3 blocks from the train station, I called for a pick-up, wherein the owner drove me around to orient myself to where things were in comparison to my location. At the end of the block was the bus stop that goes to the ferry harbor.
Utensils, cookware, and limited condiments are in the kitchen for use with signs requesting that you clean up after yourself. There are also a few tables at which to eat. A jar of instant coffee, sugar, and tea are also provided. Cupboards and a refrigerator are available for storage of your items.
Accommodations range from doubles to co-ed and same-sex dorms with exceptionally clean restrooms and showers down the hall. Soap is provided in the washroom, but no towels or hand dryer.
Although the office had a few brochures of tours that they would book, the staff had little knowledge of them personally and didn’t seem to want to do much research. Questions about other sightseeing that I knew existed but they didn’t have pamphlets on in their office were rather dismissed as not being a good tour. Whether that is true or not, I don’t know. The best person to talk to was Paul, one of the owners.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 17, 2005
Moreton Bay Backpackers Hostel
45 Cambridge Parade, Cnr Stratton Terrace Manly Harbour, Moreton Bay
Queensland, Australia 4179
The food was outstanding, with unique menu items using fresh ingredients and a very reasonable price. Each table has a number on it. You order at the cashier, and your food is brought to your table. And now for the food…
The dinner menu includes steaks, seafood, vegetable lasagna, lamb, pork, and roast chicken entrees, to name a few. Lunch items range from beef, prawn, and avocado salads to homemade soups and breads. Breakfast ranges from the light croissants and cereal to eggs Benedict with smoked ham. I continued to order from the available-all-day menu, which included nachos, pizza, quiche, and a variety of sandwiches and burgers. The veggie burger is not the strange tofu or rice patties you commonly find in a supermarket. Instead, it was a delectable mix of spinach and ricotta, lightly fried and served on lightly toasted bun of some kind (not a hamburger bun), along with some kind of tomato relish that I requested more of for my chips. The vegetarian lasagna began with homemade pasta layers filled with sweet red peppers, grilled eggplant, tomato, and zucchini, topped with feta cheese.
Hours are listed as 7am until late. Some items are only available during lunch, breakfast, etc., but there is also a menu of items that are available anytime. Large windows provide a partial view of the harbor and a great view of the tourists and the main street shops. It is very air-conditioned--so much so that I chose to take a wrap with me in the evenings. There is absolutely no rushed feeling if you care to read or write notes while lingering over your beverage. Although they have a bar in the restaurant and a wine list, BYOB is also an option.
Reservations can be made but are definitely not required. Large groups can be accommodated, as well. There are two televisions, usually turned down very low or the sound muted. Across the hall is a nice bar with good live bands and sports on the television when appropriate.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 17, 2005
The wrecks consist of a variety of vessels, currently totaling 15 in all. They are all in a row and a short swim from the beach. In the short distance from the beach to the wrecks I saw absolutely nothing. The pebble-free, sandy bottom was no place for fish. But as soon as I started nearing the wrecks I knew I was close, as fish began darting all around me.
The metal on the ship made it is for me to dive down and have something to hold onto while photographing an octopus that tried to conceal himself from me. I also dove down to take a picture of what I later learned was a woebegone shark that is aggressive when provoked. Fortunately, photography didn’t seem to be a threatening action.
It is difficult for me to say whether I enjoyed the partially submerged shipwrecks or the marine life more. The marine life offered creatures I hadn’t seen before, but the wrecks being so intact that I could swim through doorways. This made for a unique experience. I was able to explore all the wrecks snorkeling in about 1 hour. I popped my head to take photos of the wrecks as frequently as I did the fish.
A 15- to 20-minute walk from here leads to the Tangalooma Resort, where, in addition to accommodations, helicopter tours, sand tobogganing, and water sports are offered. There is also a restaurant, changing rooms with showers, and a souvenir store.
There is everything you could need, yet total peace and solitude.
Point Lookout is on the windward side of the island and offer dramatic cliff views and crashing waves. A path along the north gorge is quite breathtaking and only takes about an hour. I was able to see turtles swimming down below. Colorful lorikeet birds and goannas seemed to ignore my presence along the meandering path letting me loose myself completely in deep thought.
The path ends up on the main road again nearly across the street from the Stonefish Café, which I was told quite popular with the locals. After having an incredible vegetarian sandwich made with cheese, hummus and beets (which I would normally not eat), I realized what made this place so popular. Unusual menu items that are made with fresh ingredients definitely satisfied this hungry walker.
After enjoying a meal and watching the waves, I was ready for a walk down the path to Cylinder Beach which I had heard was the best swimming beach on the island. Indeed it was, a nice cove with fairly shallow warm was a nice break after another hour long walk along more bluffs. Shade trees and picnic tables made for a good place to snooze after showering off.
A short walk up to the main road, cross the street and here I pick up the bus that will return me to the ferry dock. I was so surprised to see how fast the time went. Now I realized why the ferries kept running into the evening. What a great way to spend my last day of vacation.