Moreton Island

StartClick to Reverse the Dynamic Map and Driving NotesCowan Cowan
DifficultyDifficulty 3/5
Suitable for4WD 
Distance112.43 km
Minimum Days1
Average Speed32.94 km/hr
Driving Time3 hrs 24 mins
Article By: ExplorOz Team
Page Updated: 25 Oct 2011


Moreton Bay Island is a real city escape, located off the coast of Brisbane and accessible by vehicular barge. It is 4WDer's heaven with no sealed roads and sand driving all the way. A great place to enjoy unspoilt beaches, fishing, swimming and an island that is still 98% national park.

How to Use this Trek Note

Click the "Map" tab below to see the route we've provided. Icons on the map are the POIs you'll need for navigation purposes. Be sure to check the list of Nearby Places on each POI page.

If you'd like to save this information there are a couple of ways to go about it, depending on what you're actually after:-
  • Ideal solution - download the ExplorOz Traveller App from Google Play or the App Store. The app enables you to carry the ExplorOz Places, Treks, & Maps data offline in your mobile device ready for your adventures. It is a complete mapping, navigation and tracking app. For more details, read our ExplorOz Traveller page.
  • You can print a paper copy of the text using the print icon button shown above, near the social media buttons. For the best output it is advised to open each tab/section to load all images and artwork. You will still need to click open each Place page (listed in Where to Stay, What to See) to print off all available information.
  • If you have a Hema Navigator or use Mapping Software such as OziExplorer, or TrackRanger AND you are an ExplorOz Member, then you can click the Download Trek button at the top of this page to obtain the raw data files (eg. GPX) for this Trek.
  • If you're not a Member, or you'd like to batch download the entire Treks database you can obtain this by buying a product called EOTreks Route Files from our online shop.


It is also advisable to collect your own firewood beforehand as there is no firewood collection on the island for environmental reasons. Alternatively, carry a fuel stove.


Moreton Bay Island has its fair share of history. Once occupied by the Ngugi Aboriginal people, European settlement began in 1848 with the building of a pilot station near Bulwer. This was followed by a lighthouse positioned on top of the cliffs at Cape Moreton, which is still standing and in operation today. During World Wars I and II, Moreton Island became an important part of protection for Brisbane from enemy ships. Ruins of the gun emplacements and fortifications built during the war can still be found at Cowan Cowan and Toompani Beach.

Queensland's only whaling station was also built on Moreton Island and remains of the station can still be found at Tangalooma Resort. Like Fraser Island, Moreton Bay was subject to sand mining (on a smaller scale), which ended in 1992 when the mining leases were added to the Moreton Island National Park.



Permits must be sought prior to landing on Moreton Island. All vehicles must have a current Moreton Island RAM (Recreation Areas Management) vehicle access permit, purchased before entering the island and fixed to the lower left side of the windscreen. Unregistered vehicles are not permitted on Moreton Island.

Fees valid from 1 July 2009
Ensure you obtain your permit before entering a recreation area. Permits may be purchased online.

Moreton Island Recreation Area

  • 1 month - $38.25

  • 1 year - $191.50
They can be purchased from most Qld National Parks Office or on-line or by phone (see above). If you book by phone or on-line, you will be given a reference number and you will still need to call in to a National Parks office to actually pick up your Permit.

For Moreton Island, Vehicle Entry Permits can also be purchased from the barge operators, which is probably the simplest method.

Camping fees

Before camping in a park, forest or similar reserve, you must obtain a camping permit and pay your camping fees.

Camping fees are $5.00 per person per night or $20.00 per family per night. A family group is up to two adults and accompanying children under 18, up to a total of eight people. Children under five are free.

School children on approved excursions are charged $2.75 each.

You can purchase permits for Moreton Island on the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service website or click here to go there directly.

Fuel Supplies & Usage

Fuel Symbol There is no longer any fuel available on Moreton Island. If you are bringing your 4WD over you will need to bring fuel with you. You can buy fuel at Kooringal and limited amounts from the MiCat barge.
4cyl 16 litres4cyl 18 litres4cyl 22 litres
6cyl 17 litres6cyl 20 litres6cyl 20 litres
8cyl 17 litres8cyl 19 litres
Usage is averaged from recorded data (* specific to this trek) and calculated based on trek distance.

Best Time To Visit

Closest Climatic Station

Cape Moreton Lighthouse
Distance from Trek Mid Point 16.35km NE
Mean Max. °C26.926.826.024.221.719.618.919.721.423.024.726.0
Mean Min. °C21.922.
Mean Rain mm149.5156.3177.6146.4169.4136.3114.676.565.179.694.1126.3
    Best time to travel      Ok time to travel      Travel NOT recommended

Services & Supplies

The following locations have various services And supplies:Bulwer, Tangalooma
There is also supplies available at Kooringal.


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Embed Map
Embed this trek map directly into your website or page. It is easy and free, click the button to retreive the embed code and copy and paste it to your website or page.

What to See

Download Trek
Save time and download all digital map data for this trek (all places are included in the trek download).
This list may not be complete for the entire region. Places listed here are directly located along the plot file associated with this Trek Note. You can locate other nearby Places by browsing the map or searching Places.
Sand driving, fishing, swimming and great scenery

Showing 6 Places

Where to Stay

Download Trek
Save time and download all digital map data for this trek (all places are included in the trek download).
This list may not be complete for the entire region. Places listed here are directly located along the plot file associated with this Trek Note. You can locate other nearby Places by browsing the map or searching Places.

Showing 2 Places


LocationsDistanceDirection Time
Cowan Cowan to Bulwer5.58 kmN10 min
Bulwer to Comboyuro Point1.53 kmN339° 2 min
Comboyuro Point to Bulwer1.53 kmS159° 2 min
Bulwer to Eager Beach16.84 kmSE139° 35 min
Eager Beach to Jason Beach36.32 kmS192° 1 hr 12 min
Jason Beach to Toompani Beach11.67 kmS185° 18 min
Toompani Beach to Sovereign Beach4.04 kmS175° 6 min
Sovereign Beach to Tangalooma Point32.66 kmNW332° 1 hr 1 min
Tangalooma Point to Tangalooma2.25 kmN19° 3 min
Cowan Cowan to Tangalooma112.43 km  3 hr 24 min
Distance is GPS recorded driving distance (not straight line), Direction is straight line from start to end, Time is calculated from actual GPS driving data.


Nearby ExplorOz Treks

Travel Journals

The following are links to Members' Blogs that contain the words Moreton Island. Creating Blogs is restricted to Members only. Not a Member? Join here.

Showing 1 blogs.


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