Did you know that it is possible to escape to an island for a day of fun with your Brisbane Kids? Moreton Island is only a 75 minute ferry ride away from Brisbane and is the ultimate day trip location no matter what the season. Now that Tangalooma Island Resort has launched it’s Day Cruises it is even easier to experience all the Island has to offer without the added expense of staying the night. We had such a great time over there we will definitely be going back again very soon!
What to Expect on a Tangalooma Island Resort Day Cruise
You can expect island life at it’s best! Beautiful beaches, gorgeous views, amazing wildlife, delicious food and lots of fun island activities the whole family can enjoy together. All day cruises include a return transfers, lunch, resort access, free resort activities, eco ranger experiences and a beverage voucher. This means that dolphin talks, kookaburra feeding, beach volleyball, tennis, squash, playground,swimming pools and even a helicopter workshop are all included which is great. Of course there is also access to the beautiful beaches that surround Moreton Island so the whole family can hang out on the beach, make sandcastles and swim in the crystal clear waters.
If you upgrade your Cruise to a Classic Day Cruise you get to choose from a Desert Safari Tour , including sand tobogganing, or a marine discovery tour or a whale watching cruise which is only available if you head over to the Island between June and October. This is in addition to the above listed inclusions.
All 3 options are great activities, guided by Tangalooma Resort staff and guaranteed to add to the over all Island experience for the family. Sand tobogganing is great for families who want to experience a bit of a thrill! After a bumpy 4WD ride to the sand dunes, everyone gets the chance to climb the dunes and race back down on a toboggan at speeds of up to 40km per hour.
If staying on the water and looking at marine life is more your thing, then the Marine Discovery Tour or Whale Watching Tour will be the way to go. The Marine Discovery Tour takes place on a purpose built catamaran, where accompanied by an Eco Ranger, you can search for dolphins, dugongs, green sea turtles, sea cucumbers, rays and more with full commentary provided to explain the habitats and behaviours of local marine life.
If you are thinking of heading over for the day during whale watching season, which is June to October, you will have the option of heading out to see the whales frolicking in the water as you get an amazing view from the Tangalooma whale watching vessel, once again with commentary from an Eco Ranger on board the boat.
Upgrade to the Dolphin Viewing Day Cruise and you have all the inclusion of the Classic Day Cruise plus the chance to stay and watch the dolphins come in to be fed from the viewing jetty that evening before catching the last ferry home.
The most popular day cruise is the Premium Dolphin Feeding Day Cruise, which offers the ultimate Tangalooma Experience. Once again you get the choice of a Desert Safari tour, a Marine Discovery Tour or Whale Watching plus access to the VIP lounge and to top the day off a chance to feed the dolphins. Feeding wild dolphins at Tangalooma has previously been limited to guests who stay over night at the Resort so this inclusion on the Day Trips is an amazing addition everyone should take advantage of. Plus Tangalooma is one of only 2 places in Australia, the other being Monkey Mia, that you can actually feed wild dolphins so you really are getting a very unique experience that everyone in the family will love!
When To Go on a Tangalooma Island Resort Day Cruise
The whole family can chose to go over to Tangalooma Island any time throughout the year. Of course, if you wanted to include whale watching in your day trip then you would need to visit the Island from June through to October. But other than that, of course the warmer months would be better for swimming and the cooler months better for sand boarding so you are not in the heat of the day, but as a general rule any day of the year would be a great day to cruise over to Tangalooma Island Resort.
How much is a Tangalooma Island Resort Day Cruise?
The cost of a day cruise depends on the package chosen. Tangalooma Island Resort offers 4 Day Cruise packages including:
Beach Day Cruise ( includes return transfers, lunch, resort access, free resort activities, eco ranger experiences and a beverage voucher)
- $89 per adult
- $49 per child
- $235 per family (2 adults and 2 children)
Classic Day Cruise ( all beach day cruise inclusions plus a choice of Island tours)
- $129 per adult
- $89 per child
- $395 per family (2 adults and 2 children)
Dolphin Viewing Day Cruise ( all beach day cruise inclusions plus a choice of Island tours, plus a dolphin viewing experience)
- $149 per adult
- $109 per child
- $475 per family (2 adults and 2 children)
Premium Dolphin Feeding Day Cruise ( all beach day cruise inclusions plus a choice of Island tours, VIP day lounge access plus a wild dolphin feeding experience)
- $199 per adult
- $149 per child
Please note: these prices are based on the 2017 Day Cruise season and are subject to change at anytime. To get up to date prices and tour details click here.
Getting To Tangalooma Island Resort
The Day Cruise price includes your transfer to Tangalooma on their ferry passenger service that operates daily from Holt Street Wharf in Pinkenba, Brisbane, and arrives at the Tangalooma Jetty on Moreton Island. Travelling time is just 75 minutes each way, with 3 services operating daily in each direction and additional services daily from Saturday through Monday.
For the Day Cruise experience, you would need to leave on the 7am or 10am departure, to make the most of your day on the Islandmake any additional and any as the Whale Watch Cruise leaves Tangalooma Island Resort at 12 noon. If you are only staying for the day, the Tangalooma Ferry has 2 departure times to chose from to return to Brisbane – 4.00pm after the conclusion of the whale watching tour, or, if you would prefer to stay longer and explore the Island, a 7.00pm departure is also available.
Please Note: The 7pm departure time is an approximate departure time only. The 7pm launch from Tangalooma departs immediately after the conclusion of the nightly dolphin feeding program, which is approximately 7pm in winter, 7.30pm in spring and autumn and 8pm in summer.
Tangalooma Island Resort Day Cruise Review
We arrived early, eager to start our adventure even though there was a bit of rain in Brisbane. As we were arrived and handed over our Premium Dolphin Feeding Day Cruise ticket we were told that there is a certain magic that surrounds Moreton Island and while it maybe raining in Brisbane, the clouds part on the Island and the weather is beautiful.
So we boarded the 10am ferry to Tangalooma at the Holt Street Wharf willing the grey clouds away. The cruise over to the Island was an experience in itself, as we went past the port, saw cranes, large cargo ships and jelly fish, before leaving the river where the clouds parted and we arrived at the picturesque and sunny Tangalooma Island Resort – it appears the magic of Moreton Island seems to be true!
After getting off the ferry we explored the Island and had fun making sandcastles and playing on the playground before we headed off to grab some lunch. There were so many restaurants to choose from, but we finally I decided on the calamari while the kids had pizza and fish and chips all of which was included in our Day Cruise package. After eating our lunch with a view over the water it was time to head over and get ready for the Desert Safari.
The Desert Safari was in Master 10’s words “so awesome!” Even the 4WD drive to the sand dunes is an adventure with lots of bumps, laugh and great commentary along the way. The sand tobogganing was so much fun but be warned…climbing the dunes is a big job but worth it once you get up the top and slide all the way down! Master 10 loved it and went up and down with me 5 times. Miss 8 on the other hand went up and down twice but was happy to play in the sand and have some drinks that are supplied as part of the tour. The pro’s are on hand to give you tips about getting down, which doesn’t mean you still won’t eat a lot of sand but it helps! There was even a 4 year old boy there taking on the challenge and he loved it!
Arriving back at Tangalooma Resort after another bumpy ride home, we used the VIP lounge to get refreshed and have a quick drink before going and making use of the free resort activities. We played croquet, tennis, ping pong and boccie before heading off to see the kookaburra feeding. Kookuburra feeding was awesome and it was fun to hear from the Eco Rangers all about these amazing birds and see them fight over the food they were given- lets just say it was tug-o-war kookuburra style and one matched lasted well over 3 minutes! The kids really enjoyed watching this wildlife experience.
Finally the highlight of our trip was the dolphin feeding. No words can describe how amazing an experience this is. The kids and I loved ever minute of it even though it was a cold autumn night, you were unaware of the water temperature once the dolphins swim up to you and take the fish from your hand. You are not allowed to touch the dolphins, but you din’t need to- feeding them and watching them swim up close was truly magical!
On our ferry ride home, Miss 8 fell asleep with the rocking of the waves while Master 10 asked when we were coming back again. It is easy to forget the beautiful Island that is just a short boat trip away from Brisbane, how accessible it is and how much it has to offer. This was the perfect day trip to make memories with my Brisbane Kids!
If you would like to go on a Day Cruise with Tangalooma Island Resort, you can find out more at http://www.tangalooma.com/brisbane-day-trip-cruise
Brisbane Kids thanks Tangalooma Island Resort for sponsoring our writer and her family on their Day Cruise to the lovely Tangalooma Island Resort and Moreton Island. Costs were covered. All the opinions stated in this article are true, honest and genuine with the sole aim of providing enough information for families to make an informed decision about future holidays to this wonderful local leisure destination.