Set just off the coast of Brisbane, Moreton Island is a haven of wildlife that’s renowned for its pristine sprawling beaches and impressive sand dunes. Throughout the island, there are plenty of wildlife watching opportunities, from spotting the unique marine life in designated dive sites, to dolphin feeding spots, and birdwatching opportunities in the lush forests that sit further inland.
Moreton Island is home to over 180 bird species, making it a popular hotspot for keen birdwatchers. As well as plenty of seabirds, there are forest birds and birds of prey. Between September and April, wading birds take to the shores after migrating from other countries, and the influx of eugaries and beach shellfish attracts numerous unique species of birdlife.
You might be able to catch a glimpse of the pied oyster-catcher as they hunt in pairs, or the masked lapwing, eastern curlew, silver gull, and the pelican in and around the shoreline.
Elsewhere on the island, bandicoots, bats, and gliders form the majority of native mammal life, and can be found in the forests surrounding the beaches. Keep your eyes peeled if you head inland on a hike for some of the island’s best-loved native species.
When it comes to reptiles, Moreton Island seems to have it all. There are more than 40 species of reptiles that live on the island, including rare and unique species that are endemic to Australia. See if you can spot blue-tongued lizards, bearded dragons, major skinks, numerous species of snakes, and marine turtles that have resided in the region for centuries.
Between November and February, large populations of Green and Loggerhead Turtles nest on the beaches of Moreton Island, making it the perfect time of year to get to know the animal lifecyles.
The mixed nature of the landscape on the island means there are plenty of other species to spot, too, including frogs and fish in the freshwater lakes, creeks, and swamps.
The sea surrounding Moreton Island is also a haven for wildlife. From Cape Moreton, you have the perfect vantage point for watching marine life, including the majestic humpback whales during their migration from June to November. As well as whales, you can also see dolphins, sharks, and turtles.
If you’re looking to discover the colourful array of wildlife of Moreton Island, there are plenty of tours that let you get up close and personal with the diverse selection of species that call the island home.