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How to cheaply do: Moreton Island

As students, we are constantly looking for ways to save. This also applies to the weekend trips you’ll do around Brisbane – when you’re done with all of your studying for the week, of course.

Moreton Island is one of those places you HAVE to visit while at QUT. It is situated North-East from Brisbane and is the third biggest sand island in the world, with 95% of it being a national park.

I’ve been to Moreton Island twice. After going there for the first time and camping for one night I still felt I haven’t had enough time to explore and enjoy it fully and decided to go again last weekend.

I would even go back for the third time, only if there wasn’t so many other places around Brisbane I’d like to see before the end of the semester.

So, how can you make your weekend Moreton Island trip cheap?

A piece of paradise
A piece of paradise

1. Getting there. The only way to arrive on the island is to take the Micat ferry from the Port of Brisbane (unless you’re up for a helicopter).

To get there from Brisbane, you can either take the Cleveland train to Wynnum and then take a taxi to the port (regular taxi will be around $25-30, otherwise $15 with Uber) or take a taxi from CBD directly to the port and split it with friends – it will be a bit more expensive (ten of us paid $10 each for a maxi) but will save you one hour worth of sleeping.

When it comes to the ferry – the return journey costs $51.50 – however, this is going to be the most expensive part of the weekend, so don’t give up just yet!

The Wrecks seen from the ferry
The Wrecks seen from the ferry

2. Accommodation. There are two ways of doing it, depending on how much you want to spend and what kind of person you are.

Camping is one of the options – it’s super cheap at $5 per night, and you can choose to put your tent up at the Wrecks Campground, just in front of one of the best snorkelling spots in Queensland. You can register your tent online and printing the confirmation forms out is highly recommended as they are regularly checked.

The other option is to rent a villa – this is a little bit more expensive, but still manageable – ten of us paid under $30 per night each and we had a beautiful house in front of the beach with our own barbecue. We had less beds than people however, so taking a couple of inflatable mattresses could be a good idea for you too.

Sky blue Moreton villas
Sky-blue Moreton villas

3. Food and drinks. The advice I can give is to plan and do shopping on the mainland and bring it with you to the island – what I find works out best is pasta, bread, canned fish and meat for the barbecue.

There is only one shop on Moreton and so the prices are quite impressive. Same with alcohol – the island shop sells wine only, for $20 a bottle.

Avoid having starfish for dinner and shop beforehand!

4. Activities. Moreton Island will keep you busy the whole trip if you wish.

As I mentioned above, snorkelling is one of the things you can do while in Moreton. Best, if you get your own snorkelling kit before the trip – you may be able to get it for $30 in shops like Target or Big W, same price as renting for a day on the island.

Snorkel and discover many other fish at the Wrecks
Snorkel and discover many other fish, turtles and even sharks at the Wrecks

Also, as the island is quite big, to explore it more you could rent a 4WD car – $400 for a day is quite expensive though.

That’s why you could try and hitch-hike on the island – there are many people coming with their own cars for the weekend and if you feel adventurous enough you can ask someone to take you with them on to the North Point or the East coast. It’s a great way to meet some new people too!

Chasing the sunset on the car roof
Chasing the sunset on the car roof

Another thing you could do is sand tobogganing (fancy word for sliding) on the highest sand dune in the world.

You can either join a guided trip for $30 where you get a board, goggles and are taken to the spot in a truck (lazy version) or walk there (takes around 1 hour from the resort) and explore the surroundings in search of sliding boards left behind by other travellers – we found two!

Impressive Moreton sand dune
Impressive Moreton sand dune

Lastly, Moreton Island is famous for its dolphin feeding. This also can be quite expensive – around $65 – and you have to be a part of the resort to do it (meaning you have to stay in a villa).

However you can still sit on the pier and watch the feeding every evening – for free!

Dolphin selfie is a must
Dolphin selfie is a must!

Following these tips you should be able to do a two night Friday to Sunday trip to Moreton Island for under $150, which is not much for the piece of paradise you will experience there!

Let me know if you know any other tricks on how to save when going to Moreton Island and enjoy your trip!

A bit about the author of the post you've just read. My name's Marta. I'm Polish however I moved to London four years ago, when I was 19. I'm studying Public Relations & Advertising at University of Westminster and currently I'm on an exchange program at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Brisbane. Since I'm in Australia just for six months, I'm travelling around Brisbane quite a lot, as I'd like to see as much as I can before my departure in July. You can expect to read about my journeys and my Brisbane life in the posts, which I hope you'll enjoy! Also, if you have any questions or anything you'd like to say really - shoot me a comment! :)

13 Comments

  1. Wooo! thank you for this tips marta!!!! Me and some friends are actually planning to go to Moreton for the next weekend, and your advice will be really useful to plan the whole journey!
    Thank you so much! Hope the next post will be as great as this one 😉
    Cheers,
    F.

  2. Rohit Tharakan Reply

    Really extensive detail and informative. I’ve really learnt so much from your information on Moreton.

    Thank you so much! Keep up the good work!

    • There are cheaper islands to visit in Brisbane..Hey you should visit Russell Island which is only $4 each way with Gocard and you can BYO bike and ride around. Ferry between 4 islands is free! Easy trip from Redland Bay Marina..why not write a new blog about it?

  3. Hi there!

    Your blog was informative! However, i was wondering if you are able to advise how to get to the island from Gold coast? I was looking at the tours and they are crazily expensive. So your blog really helps!

    Thanks a lot 🙂

  4. Great article and great photos.
    Really would liek to go back there…

    Good memories (L)

  5. Thanks for your tips Marta! Moreton island looks like an awesome place to check out! Your photos are great 🙂

  6. Hey Marta! Im planning to go here with my mum, who loves snorkeling but has injuries, so cant walk a lot.. Is it possible/fairly easy to get to the shipwreck campsite + snorkeling spot from the ferry?

    Hope to hear from you, thanks a lot!!
    Sanne

  7. Visiting Moreton Island is a great idea! I actually just did some research on Tangalooma Island Resort and realised it is easier to travel over via the Tangalooma boats, and you can get lunch and dolphin feeding included!

    Thanks for the great idea!

  8. Thank Marta I am going to make my trip with your help. Very nice .

  9. Laura Walls Reply

    I was thinking of going to Moreton Island for my 23rd Birthday next month and this has my mind set! Thank you so much. I found this so helpful to know how I can do it cheaply while having a great birthday away!

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