Moreton Island

StartClick to Reverse the Dynamic Map and Driving NotesCowan Cowan
DifficultyDifficulty 3/5
Suitable For4WD 
Distance112.42 km
Minimum Days1
Average Speed32.94 km/hr
Travel Time3 hrs 24 mins
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.

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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.

TrekID: 62


MUST READ: You are strongly encouraged to read the following articles prepared by the knowledge experts at ExplorOz for your safety and preparation before undertaking any published ExplorOz Trek - Outback Safety, Outback Driving Tips, Outback Communications, and Vehicle Setup for the Outback.


Please refer to Road Reports published by the local shire and/or main roads for the area you intend to visit. Road/Track conditions can change significantly after weather events. Travellers must be responsible for their own research on current conditions and track suitability.


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 Usage

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


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Cowan Cowan to Bulwer
Driving: 5.58 km
Avg Speed: 32.89 km/hr
EST Time: 10:10
Bulwer to Comboyuro Point
Driving: 1.53 km
Heading: 339°
Avg Speed: 30.71 km/hr
EST Time: 02:59
Comboyuro Point to Bulwer
Driving: 1.53 km
Heading: 159°
Avg Speed: 30.71 km/hr
EST Time: 02:59
Bulwer to Eager Beach
Driving: 16.84 km
Heading: 139°
Avg Speed: 28.08 km/hr
EST Time: 35:58
Eager Beach to Jason Beach
Driving: 36.32 km
Heading: 192°
Avg Speed: 30.05 km/hr
EST Time: 01:12:31
Jason Beach to Toompani Beach
Driving: 11.67 km
Heading: 185°
Avg Speed: 38.79 km/hr
EST Time: 18:03
Toompani Beach to Sovereign Beach
Driving: 4.04 km
Heading: 175°
Avg Speed: 38.56 km/hr
EST Time: 06:17
Sovereign Beach to Tangalooma Point
Driving: 32.66 km
Heading: 332°
Avg Speed: 31.63 km/hr
EST Time: 01:01:57
Tangalooma Point to Tangalooma
Driving: 2.25 km
Heading: 19°
Avg Speed: 35.06 km/hr
EST Time: 03:51
Distance is based on the travel mode shown (Driving, Straight, Cycling, Walking etc), Direction is straight line from start to end, Avg Speed & EST Time is calculated from GPS data.

What to See

Sand driving, fishing, swimming and great scenery


Where to Stay

No Places To Stay available for this trek

Services & Supplies

No Services & Supplies available for this trek


Related Travel Journals

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