Camping on Moreton Island
Located just a 75 minute barge ride from the Port of Brisbane, Moreton Island is an idyllic camping retreat for families. The North West Camping Zone is located on the north-west side of the island and is only a 10 minute drive along the beach from the barge drop off point located at the Tangalooma Wrecks.
When booking your Moreton Island campsite permits, you book for a ‘zoned’ area, which gives you the flexibility of finding a site suitable for you needs. We camped with a large group of friends and family and found a large vacant area that was located just off the beach. It also had plenty of shade overlooking the water.
We camped for seven days in total and had brilliant weather for our stay. We spent our time relaxing, swimming, reading books, playing cards, snorkelling, 4WDing and exploring the island. The kids had a wonderful time, although they were most often black in colour thanks to the mineral sand which really stuck! This is definitely not a place for your children to stay clean. Bathing occurred only moments before bed for our children and, even then, we barely managed to keep them clean. We’d advise you not to bring any good clothing, instead taking only items that you are happy to get dirty. This also applies to shoes.
In terms of catering, our camping experience was probably more like ‘glamping’ style, whereby we enjoyed a few roast dinners, abundant seafood, cooked breakfasts, BBQ lunches and even celebrated a birthday with a campfire baked rainbow cake and party bags!
Facilities at Moreton Island North West Camping Zone
- There are no facilities within the North West Camping Zone, so you must to be well prepared and self-sufficient.
- The nearby Ben Ewa campground, located only a short drive to the south, has a hybrid toilet block, rubbish bins and also water taps, so each morning a trip was made to dispose of our garbage and refill water storage for showering and washing up. If the water is to be used for drinking it is recommended that it be boiled (or treated) prior to consumption.
- All camping is on the sand.
- Alternative accommodation is available on Moreton Island and you can even ‘glamp’ at Bulwer or be a little more upmarket and stay at the Tangalooma Resort.
Activities to enjoy at Moreton Island North West Camping Zone
- There are many walking tracks located on Moreton Island, which range from short easy walks to moderate and difficult walks. The walking tracks are well maintained, however it is essential to be an experienced walker if you intend to undertake the more difficult and challenging walks.
- You must carry your own water and it is recommended that you take a map.
- There are 4WD tracks to all the main tourist areas across the island and we visited the sand dunes south of Tangalooma for sandboarding, Kooringal, Cape Moreton and the Eastern beach and Blue Lagoon.
- We spent a day snorkelling at The Wrecks at Tangalooma, where we saw much of the aquatic life. We saw hundreds of sea stars washed up on the beach and saw dolphins each afternoon frolicking a short distance off the beach.
- Having not camped on the western side of the island previously, it was lovely to be so close to the water and not have to contend with rough seas, treacherous gutters and stingers when swimming. The calm side was much more relaxing with so many young children swimming and enjoying themselves.
How to make the most of your stay at Moreton Island North West Camping Zone
- No pets are allowed as the island is a National Park.
- Mobile phone service is unreliable at best.
- To make the most of your stay, you should be well prepared and you must bring all supplies.
- Ice is available for purchase at the nearby Bulwer township, but it is expensive. If staying for an extended period, it is recommended that you have a portable fridge/freezer to keep your foodstuffs cold.
- There is no longer any access to fuel, so you must also bring jerry cans of diesel if you expect to stay for a period of time and to do some 4WDriving.
- For camping where there are no facilities, you must bring drinking water and a portable toilet. You cannot dump any chemicals or treated waste on the island, so be prepared to dig a large hole and set up a little seat.
- Mosquito spray, suncream, towels, and your own camping equipment and cooking supplies are highly recommended and necessary.
- The island can only be navigated by 4WD vehicles and there is no vehicle recovery service or mechanic on the island. The sand can be soft and most recently because of the warm dry conditions with insufficient rain, the tracks are difficult to traverse. It is recommended that you carry your own recovery gear including tyre gauge, air pump, snatch strap, ‘D’ shackles and shovel, we also carried two sets of Maxx tracks for the car and camper.
Moreton Island North West Camping Zone is located on the western side of Moreton Island, between Ben-Ewa and Comboyuro Point campgrounds. Some sites are within walking distance of Bulwer township. Please visit their website for more information – http://www.nprsr.qld.gov.au/parks/moreton-island/camping.html#north_west_camping_zone
Thanks to Kelly-Jane for this camp site review!
Take a look at the Brisbane Kids list of Your Favourite Camping Spots for lots more recommended family camp locations to explore, like Teewah Beach Camping Area. We will have many more campsite reviews coming in the very near future.