After leaving Queensland we made our way down towards Brisbane stopping in the Dayboro Showgrounds for the night before driving to the Port of Brisbane and getting on the ferry to Morton Island. I wasn’t feeling very enthusiastic about the prospect of going over there, mainly because I really wanted to see people in Brisbane but also because the weather forecast was gross but Matt was really keen to visit so off we went. Once we’d disembarked the ferry into the soft beach sand we drove up to the far north end of the island on the western side. We didn’t manage to get the whole way up as our progress was stopped by a raging tidal river blocking the beach, we turned around and made our way back to our campsite for the night. I spotted a dugong swimming just off the shore which was very exciting.
The next morning we woke up to rain so we took our sweet time getting ready. Once the showers had cleared we drove up to the Cape Moreton Lighthouse, the first lighthouse lit in Queensland in 1857. It was quite a striking building comprised of sandstone and decorated with red stripes. We completed the hike around the cliffs and popped into the Parks visitor information centre to learn more about the wildlife around the island. There were some stunning views of the ocean and we saw a number of turtles in the swell. We drove back to camp and tried snorkelling off the shore, unfortunately the currents were very strong and the visibility not very good so all we really managed to do was get wet and see some sea grass. It rained again but that made the most beautiful sunset which we watched while we ate dinner.
Unfortunately our third day on the island was also marred by rain, wind, and generally unpleasant conditions. We tried snorkelling again but there wasn’t much of an improvement from the previous day, we even went down to try and look at the wrecks but it was just way too choppy to even think about getting out to them. Instead we opted for a day of exploring the eastern beach and looking at the old ruins of the defence batteries that were constructed during World War II. The weather was looking a little bit better in the afternoon and we decided to hike to the top of the island up Mount Tempest. It was a nice walk but because of the soft loose sand we both ended up doing it bare foot. In the evening we walked along the beach making friends with a cute little crab and picking up rubbish along the way. I can’t believe the amount of trash there was both in the campsites and along the beach, no good.
Our final day was by far the best with the sun coming out for long enough that we both managed to dry out and enjoy the beach and the beautiful blue water. Would I recommend Morton Island? Yes, it was an interesting place and an almost perfect hybrid of Fraser Island and Stradbroke Island. I think with the right weather conditions it would be a wonderful place to visit with beautiful beaches, snorkelling, and wildlife. We were truely unlucky with the weather for the first time on this trip and just weren’t able to make the most of our time there but hopefully we will make it back one day.
Western Beach – We were very lucky to get the spot that we did, some people pulled out of a flat, sheltered camp, right on the beach as we were driving past. I’d imagine it gets a bit crowded during holidays. $6.75pp/pn – 8/10.