How to Explore Moreton Island

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moreton michaelMoreton Island can be found 25km off the coast of Brisbane, and is the world’s third largest sand island. Here, you can marvel at pebble-smooth lakes and lagoons that are nestled amongst sand dunes, wildflower fields, and sprawling white-sand beaches. There is plenty to do on the island, from spotting native wildlife to exploring the rich history. Here are some of the best things to do.

 

Things to Do on Moreton Island

Sand Tobogganing

The entirety of Moreton Island is made up of sand, so there is plenty of opportunity to whizz down the numerous dunes on a wooden board. You can reach up to 60 km an hour, so if you want to get your adrenalin fix, this is the way to do it.  

Snorkel the Tangalooma Wrecks

In 1962, 15 boats were deliberately sunk off of Moreton Island in order to create a breakwall. Now, those boats have become a hive of activity and wonder for snorkelers, offering a glimpse back into the island’s past, as well as an array of colourful marine life to discover.

Feed Wild Dolphins dolphin michael

One of the most popular activities on the island is feeding wild dolphins at sunset. Almost like clockwork every day, ten wild bottlenose dolphins come in to feed at the Tangalooma Island Resort, where eager visitors wait to see these magnificent creatures up close.

Cape Moreton Lighthouse

Moreton Island boasts the very first lighthouse built in Queensland – and it’s still standing today. The iconic red-striped attraction was erected in 1857 on a rocky outcrop, and today forms a fantastic viewing point from which you can spot whales, dolphins, sharks, and dugongs. Inside, you can check out the Visitor Information Centre to learn more about the island and its fascinating history.

Climb Mount Tempest

If you fancy something a bit more adventurous, try your hand at climbing Mount Tempest – the island’s highest sand dune. At the top, you’ll be greeted by breath-taking panoramic views of both the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast.

moreton dolphin michaelGetting to Moreton Island

There are numerous ways you can get to Moreton Island, including by boat, plane, and even swimming (yes, it’s been done before!). The easiest way is by ferry or barge, both of which leave regularly from Brisbane throughout the day.
Moreton Island makes the perfect day trip from Brisbane, but you might want to extend your stay

7 Things to Do On Brisbane’s South Bank

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Set on the pretty southern banks of the Brisbane River, the South Bank is one of the city’s premier cultural hotspots, boasting tonnes of great restaurants, bars, shops, and events.Brisbane River Michael


Here, the Parklands provide the perfect place to relax, promising visitors an eclectic mix of rainforest, grassland, and plazas, as well as a number of great attractions to explore while in the area. South Bank and its parklands regularly play host to large city festivals, with around 11 million people visiting the region every single year.
What to See and Do in South Bank

1.    The Arbour
Formed of 433 impressive steel columns covered in colourful bougainvillea, the Arbour is a pedestrianised walkway that connects up Vulture Street and the Cultural Forecourt.

2.    Courier Mail Piazza
The Parklands has plenty of piazzas for visitors to enjoy, and the Courier Mail Piazza is one of the more popular. Boasting an open-air amphitheatre, it is regularly the spot for community events. When it is not being used for a festival, you can watch sporting events or the news on big screens that are suspended around it.

3.    Wheel of Brisbane
Discover the city of Brisbane from a different perspective on the Wheel of Brisbane, a 60 metre Ferris wheel that was put in place to celebrate the 20th anniversary of World Expo 88. While in the air, you can enjoy seriously stunning views of the surrounding area on the 15-minute ride.

4.    Markets
There are a number of markets held throughout South Bank including the Young Designers Market, which takes place on the first Sunday of each month. During this event, local creatives display their wares such as cutting edge garments and intricate accessories.

5.    Nepal Peace Pagoda
Originally found on the old Expo site, the Nepal Peace Pagoda was moved to the South Bank Parklands. It features traditional architecture and a meditation area that makes it a popular attraction in the area.

6.    Restaurants and Cafes
The South Bank boasts many local and international restaurants, featuring food from all over the world. It’s one of the premier dining spots in the city and includes tasty gems like Café San Marco, Gandhi Curry House, Wang Dynasty, Chez Laila, and The Plough Inn. If you want to try some seafood, head to the South Bank Surf Club where celebrity chef Ben O’Donoghue has created a menu filled with delicious fresh fish.

7.    Streets Beach
One major feature of the Parklands is Streets Beach, a manmade stretch of sand that acts as a picturesque backdrop for all sorts of fun activities. Kick back and relax with a book, try one of the surrounding cafes, or enjoy the lagoon. streets beach Michael

The Cultural Significance of Brown Lake

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On picturesque North Stradbroke Island, just outside of Brisbane, Brown Lake promises visitors a unique experience. Considered a perched lake (just like many of the other lakes on the selection of sandy islands around Queensland), it maintains its water levels via a thick layer of leaves lining the lake floor.


brown lakeThis is what gives Brown Lake its name – the tannin from the leaves of the surrounding Paperbarks and Tea-trees turns the water a rich brown colour that has been likened to tea.


The lake itself is a prominent part of the landscape for the people of Quandamooka, particularly the Dandrubin-Gorenpul and Noonucal Aborignal groups. They associate Brown Lake with women and children, where only women are allowed to speak for the natural wonder and are responsible by law to care for and manage the lake and its resources.


The History of Brown Lake
Brown Lake is one of the two largest and most culturally significant lakes on Stradbroke Island (it’s also known as Bummiera, alongside its counterpart, Kaboora). It is thought to be home to a large spirit snake called yuri Kabool, who can travel from one lake to the other without any hindrance.


Legend has it that the Quandamooka people warned visitors who swam in the lakes and, for the locals, the natural pools of water were to be approached with special acknowledgement. Elders would sing out before they got too close to the waters and stood back to wait for a sign that they could approach – usually, this took the form of the waters being calm.


brownlakeTo the local community, this ritual of stopping, singing out, and waiting for a sign became common practice when approaching either of the two largest lakes on Stradbroke Island, including Brown Lake, in order to show respect for yuri Kabool.


Today, the lake is still imbued with a fascinating cultural history that spans generations, but it is also a popular hotspot for visitors looking for the perfect place to picnic or soak up the spectacular scenery that this part of Australia has to offer.


The picturesque backdrop that surrounds the lake lends itself perfectly to a day spent kicking back, relaxing, and enjoying some food. Then you can explore the local area, enjoy the other sights on Stradbroke Island, and learn more about the Aboriginal legends that run deep through the ground on the island.

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The Top 5 Things to Do on North Stradbroke Island

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Stradbroke islandSet off the coast of Brisbane, North Stradbroke Island is a place full of adventures, whether you’re looking to explore the underwater world of Australia or simply take a stroll around the spectacular coastline that edges the island. Here are some of the best things to do.


1. Explore the Wildlife
The wildlife on Stradbroke Island is second to none. Throughout the island you can spot kangaroos on the North Gorge walk, koalas resting up the high trees, and even dolphins that come right up close to Amity Point’s popular jetty.


2. Whale Watching
Continuing on the wildlife vibe, you can also catch a glimpse of the whale migration as it takes place between June and November. Grab one of the many vantage points between Cylinder Beach and North Gorge and keep your eyes peeled for these magnificent creatures.


Stradbroke Island I3. Get to Know the Cultural Heritage
North Stradbroke Island boasts a fascinating cultural heritage, and you can dive into it on a tour with a local Aboriginal guide. While on the walk, you can learn about the Quandamooka people, their artefacts, including the traditional hunting methods they use, and the range of bush medicines they produce.


4. Scuba Diving
Explore the spectacular marine life off Stradbroke Island with a spot of scuba diving. In summer, visibility is around 15-20 metres, so make the most of the clear waters and the life it holds. For the best experiences, head to Shag Rock or Flat Rock to see the Manta Ray pod, leopard sharks, ancient turtles, and hundreds of species of colourful fish. 


Stradbroke Island II5. Take a Stroll
Getting to know Stradbroke Island by foot is one of the best ways to discover everything it has to offer. The most popular walk, the North Gorge Walk, takes you 1.2 kilometres around the island, where you can soak up views of the rocky outcrops and the ocean. Keep your eyes peeled for sea creatures, like dolphins, manta rays, and the occasional shark.


North Stradbroke Island really does have a little something for everyone. There are the adventurous pursuits, like scuba diving and hiking, as well as more cultural endeavours that take in the local wildlife and the fascinating history. If you’re in the area in winter, be sure to keep a look out for the whale migration, which really is one of the best things the island has to offer.

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