Published: Wednesday, 30 November 2016 04:12
"I'm so sick of going to Moreton Island!"... Said no one ever!
Thomas and Aimee were the lucky winners of the recent EFS & All4Adventure Competition aired on series 7, but I couldn't possibly send them out onto that dangerous, bog infested all sand island without some help could I? (ok major exaggeration on my part, but I had to get it past the boss alright!).
So, after many emails between myself and Thomas, we set a date for the 24th of October and prayed for perfect weather. The weather gods were kind and as we pulled into the MICAT ferry carpark we were greeted with clear blue skies and a light breeze. It always brings a smile to my face boarding this vessel as I know I'm in for a good time on Moreton and mainly because I'm addicted to the MICAT's famous smiley face pie - a great tradition to uphold.
As I studied the itinerary that Moreton Island adventures had provided, I saw that we had two massive, action-packed days ahead of us including spending a full day with Jase from All4Adventure who turned up in his impressive 200 series dual cab equipped with all the bells and whistles as you could imagine! Thomas and Aimee would be staying on for a further 3 days enjoying a bit of a romantic glamping escape at Castaways (we didn't want to cramp their style the whole time!).
Now our first job on the itinerary if you can call it a job, was to go for a drive up the beach and familiarise Tom and Aimee with Moreton island. But as we drove up the beach and were about to take the inland road past Cowan Cowan disaster struck! Ok, not a disaster, but a bit of a setback occurred as a fellow 4wder in a BT50 towing a camper trailer was bogged to the diffs. Cue hero moment here! Out Jase hops, flexes his giant muscles and pulls out his trusty equipment. I would like to say we all jumped in to help, but the truth is that it was far more entertaining watching Jase in action! He hooked up the snatch strap and attempted to pull the vehicle forward but because of the trailer it was a bit awkward and he decided to try pulling him out from the rear. As he gently geared into action and the other driver engaged 4WD, out popped the vehicle just in time - crisis averted and we were happily on our way!
We continued north to Tailor Bight to scope out some fishing spots. Luckily the tide was out which allowed us to continue on the beach all the way to North Point and Honeymoon Bay where we checked out the amazing endless beaches and glistening waters. We were getting ravenous by this time so it was time to grab a bit to eat. Lunch did not disappoint with delicious salad & salami rolls with home-made Moreton Island Chilli Jam and a sneaky chocolate brownie (people come from all over the island for Leah's famous choccy brownies!). Of course, Jase had to sign a few autographs and pose for some photos so the rest of us had plenty of time for eating!
With the afternoon rolling out ahead of us, we decided to hit up the Eastern Beach. We pulled up a few hundred metres south of Cape Moreton inside the fishing zones and rigged up a standard issue surf rig with a size 8 ball sinker swivel, triple gang hooks and a dirty pillie.
It wasn't long till we had a few bites and landed a flathead. Now as we weren't prepared for actually catching fish it was released to enjoy another day, but I reckon he would have tasted pretty good in a beer batter (and with a beer).
After all out fishing excitement, we jumped back in the vehicles and hot footed it back to Castaways Cafe & Store in the Bulwer township to check into the awesome Glamping Tents available at Castaways. The wooden decks under the melaleuca trees beckoned and we put our feet up for a spell with a quiet cuppa as the kookaburras sang their tune - ahh bliss!
But no rest for the wicked as there are so many boxes to tick on Moreton - sunset over the ocean is one not to be missed! We headed to one of the most iconic destinations on Moreton Island - the "wrecks" as it's affectionately termed, which is 15 sunken shipwrecks on the Western Beach all dunked over the last 50 years to form an artificial reef environment for snorkelling and watersports. We had a cheeky beverage (or two for those of us not driving) while we nibbled on cheese and antipasto and watched the sun set over these picturesque ghostly skeletons.
But we weren't just here to feed our faces again - we were here for a bit of adventure! We were participating in one of the newest & quirkiest adventure activities available on Moreton Island - Night Kayaking in clear kayaks with LED lights fitted. You can amazingly see all the fish and coral beneath you as you glide over the dark water. So as the sun set, we set out with our Australian Sunset Safaris Tour Guide to explore! The fish and marine life were all attracted to the LED lights and came up for a look - amazing! This is a must do on your trip to Moreton Island.
We were all pretty tired by now so we headed back to the Glamping tents for a magnificent dinner (and to sneak in a few more brownies) before sitting around the campfire with - yes you guessed it, marshmallows! As I stared into the campfire, I wondered what tomorrow would bring. I could probably just read the itinerary....nah! We retired to the comfort of our glamping tents where a nice warm shower beckoned (yes they have beds & ensuites too with hot running showers - pretty fancy!). It could have been the sweet island air, nice cool breeze or the mass of food, adventure activities and laughing, but I was asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow!
We awoke to another magic day leading us to believe there aren't any other type on Moreton Island. Firstly and most importantly, a good feed was needed. Breakfast at Castaways Cafe did not disappoint and we tucked into a massive portion of bacon, eggs & hash browns - the much-needed energy for our next activity - snorkelling the shipwrecks we had kayaked around last night!
Our Australian Sunset Safaris guide Grant was waiting for us as we arrived at the wrecks and we kitted up quickly before heading out into the crystal clear turquoise waters. A very different experience to the night kayaking, but equally as impressive as we could see all the way to the bottom and all around the coral formations on the wrecks - it's an underwater playground! Forget the Great Barrier reef – this is the place to go!
A trip to Moreton wouldn't be complete without a bit of excess sand in your ears, so we couldn't let Thomas and Aimee miss out on sandboarding, could we? We drove along the bumpy tracks up to the famous Desert and waxed up our boards (which you can purchase for the princely sum of $8 on the MICAT ferry on the way over - free wax included!).
It's a bit of a hike up, but once you're up there you don't realise how high it is and you go down pretty fast as well - up to 35km per hour some say! We were on a timeline today as the rest of us, unfortunately, had to head home (boo, hiss) so after eating a lot of sand and getting it everywhere, we decided to head back to the wrecks for a spot of lunch, a bit of a swim (to wash some sand out!) and to board the mighty MICAT back to Brisbane.
I would like to thank Moreton Island Adventures & Castaways, Moreton Island for all their hospitality and, for the huge amount of great food prepared by Leah and the team. They made our stay a memorable one and put a smile on all our faces. Moreton Island is a slice of heaven that is so convenient for people that live in Brisbane to take quick "over the weekend" jaunt to "Escape the fake" or stay a few weeks and "forget the fake"