Moreton Island Remote Cleanup with Sea Shepherd Australia

Sea Shepherd Australia volunteers conducted a remote cleanup and microplastic survey on Queensland’s Moreton Island between July 16 – 22 to find out just how contaminated with plastic this remote coastal area is. 

The aims of the cleanup and microplastic survey were: 

  • To showcase to the QLD Government, industry and the public the impact that plastic pollution is having on our oceans and marine life.
  • To clean up as much of the marine debris as resources allow to create a safe and clean environment for wildlife.
  • To conduct science-based surveys to estimate the loading of plastic on Moreton Island beaches.

According to the Queensland Government, Moreton Island is one of the least polluted and least disturbed coastal environments along the Queensland – New South Wales coast, yet there continues to be an increasing number of marine wildlife found entangled in marine debris.

In 2018, two green turtles drowned after becoming entangled in rubbish at Moreton Bay, the stretch of ocean between Brisbane and Moreton Island. Green sea turtles are listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as endangered, with a decreasing population due to fishing gear entanglement and loss of habitat. 

Local resort Tangalooma has also reported an increasing number of dolphins found on the island with discarded fishing debris entangled in their jaws around the Moreton Island coast. 

Campaign Leader Rebecca Griffiths said, “In addition to turtles and dolphins, this area is also home to a large population of dugongs, many seabird species, and humpback whales migrate past here in the winter months.”

“We will remove as much deadly marine debris as possible to save the precious wildlife of Moreton Island.”

Marine debris is a globally recognised environmental issue as marine wildlife are increasingly affected by human-made refuse, much of which is plastic. This year, there has been an alarming trend of whales washed ashore with stomachs full of plastic. 

“Sea Shepherd is known to be on the front line of conservation and this remote marine debris campaign at Moreton Island is no different,” said Marine Debris Campaign Coordinator Marina Hansen.  

“Our oceans are being inundated with plastic and the impacts on our precious marine life are increasing at an alarming rate, we need to tackle the scourge head-on before it’s too late.” 

Sea Shepherd Australia’s remote cleanup at Moreton Island has been generously funded by a 2019 Team Grant from Santos Organics.

For more info about our Marine Debris campaign click here

We are awaiting more information about 2019’s cleanup and will update you as we have more statistics.

Friends of the Sea Shepherd help clean up Moreton Island.

GRIFFITH UNIVERSITY VOLUNTEER WEEKEND 2019

In response to escalating weed infestations across Moreton island, an enthusiastic team of Griffith University student volunteers from Master of Environment and Master of Urban and Environmental Planning, camped out at Comboyuro Point on the slightly wet weekend of 30th-1st April, 2019. This was the fifth return to Bulwer since initiation of the weed management program in 2017. Students participated in a range of volunteer activities as a contribution towards their professional development portfolio.

Prickly Pear Removal

As part of the field work we completed on Moreton Island, we completed a number of hours of volunteering involving removal of prickly pear from around the Tangalooma airstrip. This was a brilliant opportunity to help with controlling a significant noxious weed in Queensland, and ensuring it does not damage the fragile ecosystems on Moreton Island. What was probably the most valuable element of the experience, however, was being able to work alongside our classmates and teaching staff, and get to know them better through the process. This was particularly valuable considering most of our classmates are international students and so being able to spend time over on Moreton together. It was also fantastic to be able to participate in the field work because practical, hands-on learning is certainly extremely important in terms of solidifying the theory covered in our lectures. And being able to do so while experiencing and ensuring that Moreton Island remains a beautiful and healthy part of South East Queensland only adds value to this.

Asparagus Fern Removal & Revegetation

Thanks to continuing weed management efforts, re-establishment of the highly invasive Asparagus fern has been successfully prevented within the vacant state land, near Castaways in Bulwer, allowing our team to easily dig out juvenile specimens and begin revegetation. The team worked tirelessly to plant over 150 specimens of native flora which were kindly provided by the North Point nursery. This was a great opportunity for international students to get exposure to some important native species that contribute to the complex and fragile ecology of Moreton Island National Park. Students found this activity enjoyable and rewarding, having the opportunity to participate in the first stages of revegetation and help promote the natural aesthetic of the township.

Litter Pick-up

Between weeding and revegetation, a leisurely beach litter pick-up activity from the campground to Bulwer helped students unwind and relax. The team collected various netting, plastic bottles and discarded camping equipment amongst the dunes, to be used as data collection towards an honours research project.

Special thanks to Dr Peter Davey for providing free accommodation at Comboyuro Point campground and discounted student ferry fares care of Moreton Island Adventures.

Written by: Lewis Arnold and Kim Savage

Trip Report: Magical Moreton Island Holiday

Magical Moreton Island holiday

Author: Lachie Baker

Publisher: Bush N Beach

FIRST, can someone please tell me how time is going so fast? Christmas holidays are over and it’s back to work and school for everyone, with 2019 in full swing. Bad weather over the majority of the holiday period meant my offshore fishing was limited to one trip where smokings and bite-offs plagued us all day. In the end we managed to put a couple of nice squire in the box but really it was quite tough. Moreton Bay, however, has been fishing well for grass sweetlip, squire and cod. Offerings such as squid and pillies as well as small micro jigs have worked well. Mackerel haven’t really turned up in force yet, but after witnessing first-hand the amount of bait in the northern area of the bay, my guess is they aren’t too far away. In a lot of my articles I talk about how fortunate we are to have access to great fishing right on our Brisbane doorstep, but I have also discovered the amazing camping and offroad options that present themselves too. I recently spent a week camping on Moreton Island with close family friends, and this place proved exceptional for all three of the above options. The trip began by packing our Ford Ranger to the absolute rafters. There was literally no room for an extra chip packet. We had swags, gazebos,

tents, mattresses, tables, barbecues, eskies and fishing gear. Usually, whenever my family goes on a trip the majority of stuff is packed in the boat, but as it was my first time properly driving on the beach, the Bulldog stayed in the shed at home. It was a tight squeeze but we just managed to get everything in. The following morning was a Wednesday and we were booked on the 6am barge, so we got up at 3.30am, placed the last of the cold food in the Esky and set off around 4am. We arrived at the Port of Brisbane service station, met with our convoy and headed to the barge. We boarded Micat just after 5am and headed upstairs after letting our tyres down to about 18psi. We crossed a glassy calm Moreton Bay and arrived at the Tangalooma landing right on schedule.

Apart from excitement, there isn’t a word to describe the feeling you get as the ramp drops to reveal giant sand dunes and crystal-clear water.

Apart from excitement, there isn’t a word to describe the feeling you get as the ramp drops to reveal giant sand dunes and crystal-clear water. We left about five minutes after our convoy due to the positioning of the cars on the barge, but everyone driving off was being stopped by police for a quick breathalyser test and beach driving permit check. We didn’t get far before we ran into our mate Jason and his family, as they were bogged deep from the weight of the caravan on the back of his LandCruiser ute. Once we had the recovery sorted, we found the perfect spot to camp. We set up right at Cowan Point beside my good mate Tony Dummer, who had already spent two weeks on the island. After camp was set up, we ripped the Sea Jay 3.5 Nomad tinnie off the roof of the truck, rigged our rods and launched off the beach straight out the front of camp. We headed for the closest shipping channel beacons to see if we could spin up a few mackerel.

We found heaps of bait and good fish showing on the sounder, so I was quietly confident we might catch one or two. It didn’t take long for my mate Liam to hook up to what looked like a solid fish. After about 10 seconds of fighting, he pulled the hook and had an epic dummy spit, much to my amusement. We kept fishing and mucking around but the n a breeze came in and the conditions worsened, so we ran back in to the beach empty handed. I didn’t want to get caught out in bad weather in an 11’ boat. We took it pretty easy the following day, chilling around camp for most of the day and going for a quick run up to the Bulwer shops to pick up a few things.

It was good for me to have my first crack at driving a few tracks, as this year my old man couldn’t make it over due to work commitments, so I was designated driver for my mum and sister. I found the tracks a lot easier than expected, so had a lot of fun following the other boys all over the island. Once we got back to camp, we got dinner going. Soon we decided to soak a bait out the front of camp to see if we could tempt one of the resident shovel nose rays for a bit of fun on light gear. Sure enough, young Liam hooked up and began the fight in front of a large audience of about eight families from our group.

A few videos were taken and some of the drunken commentary that was recorded was hilarious. We eventually dragged the ray up the beach, shook the hook out, took a quick photo and sent it on its way. All the kids at the campsite soon returned with their own fishing rods in the hope of catching the huge ‘great white’ they had just seen. We didn’t hang around for much longer because it was getting quite late, so made plans to take the tinnie out in the morning. These plans were cancelled once we awoke to rain and wind the next morning, but the showers cleared quick enough for us to take a trip up to the Champagne Pools and North Point with the rest of our extended group. The track in was rough and soft but a lot of fun until I began to hear an awful noise coming from the front driver’s side wheel. Once we got to the beach we jacked the car up and rattle gunned the wheel off because I was worried I might have damaged something but it turned out it was just a small rock jammed between the disk and backing plate – easy fix. Problem solved, we went for a flick off the rocks. The incredible scenery at this end of the island never ceases to amaze me. It almost makes the bad feeling of catching no fish go away. We hung around for a bit longer, and once everyone felt like lunch we all made our way back to camp. After lunch, we set the tinnie up, threw the rods in and took off once again. Instead of going out to the beacons, I decided to try something else. We hugged the beach and ran up to Curtin Artificial Reef. I had never fished there before, so began sounding around for something to drop on. It didn’t take long to find a massive bait ball with big fish hanging around it. I dropped a 30g micro jig and hooked up almost instantly. I was running 20lb braid on a 4000-size reel and struggled to budge this fish off the bottom. Straight away I called it for either a jewfish or big snapper because I could feel what I thought were big headshakes and powerful runs behind a fair bit of weight.

But once I had it off the bottom and it kept fighting hard, I quietly thought it felt like a big golden trevally. Sure enough, a bright yellow tail and golden fins appeared about 5m under the boat, and it wasn’t alone. Another golden of 80-90cm had followed it up from the bottom, but we didn’t try to get a double, simply focusing on landing the one we had already hooked. This proved to be quite a challenge without a net because the fish was still green and wanted no part of coming into the boat. Eventually, Liam got a hold of its tail and swung it into the boat and we were bloody stoked! The brag mat showed it to be 70cm on the dot, and after a few quick pics the fish was back in the drink kicking off. We went around for another drift and I hooked up again, this time to a chunky goldspotted cod of 45cm, which was very lucky it didn’t come back to camp for the hot coals that night. We were almost at the end of our drift when Liam said he was snagged, except it turned out he wasn’t snagged and was instead connected to a monster. It felt the hooks and smoked off along the bottom, nearly spooling Liam on its first run. I started the outboard and chased it down until it started coming up the water column and a massive cobia surfaced about 100m away. It was so big I thought it may have been a shark until I saw its white underbelly and distinctive tail. We both got a good look at it before it smoked off again, straight down to the bottom and into the reef. Ping went the line and “f***!” went Liam and I. By this stage it was getting late in the afternoon, so we decided it was time for a feed and home we went. I had a classic stacker out of the boat when retrieving it up the beach, which sent everyone into hysterics – I’ll even admit it was good laughing at my own expense. We were treated to another cracking sunset over the bay and we all agreed the day had been awesome. We finished off the night keeping well hydrated while listening to classic tunes from decades gone by.

There may or may not have been some boot scootin’ and yee-hawin’ to a bit of Lee Kernaghan, but I don’t think we should discuss that in this article. The following few days were a blur of four-wheel driving, fishing, beer drinking and fun in the sun. My old man brought over his bigger Sea Jay on a day off work and spent the day in camp. I took the opportunity to take a young fella from camp out to try to catch him his first fish, and we succeeded in the form of a 30cm coral cod, which he was stoked about. There’s something about helping someone catch their first fish that makes me feel a sense of achievement, knowing it could be the start of an obsession similar to mine. We mucked around for a bit longer, and apart from seeing a kingy bash some bait up but not eat a plastic there wasn’t much action. We headed back to camp, where all the kids were keen on going for a ride in the big Sea Jay. After burning around for a bit, it was time to say goodbye to my old man and my younger sister who was a bit over the whole camping situation. It was hard going back to the tinnie after fishing out of the big boat with a Minn Kota iPilot and side-imaging sounder but we had to make do with what we had. A few more fishing trips accounted for a couple of squire and another coral cod, but all things considered it was very quiet.

One of the other boys at our camp hooked another big shovelnose off the beach but couldn’t manage to get it up the bank. We did another day trip, this time heading down to Kooringal and back around the Sandhills. We visited the iconic Gutter Bar and had a good feed of seafood and chips, then climbed the Sandhills before spending the arvo at Tangalooma. Unfortunately it was our last afternoon on the island because we had to go back to work and reality the following day. The next morning dawned and I was filled with sadness. How on earth can a week pass so quickly? I began pulling down my swag as well as the gazebo and all the tables. I had no idea that packup was such a depressing time. We went for one last drive up to the Bulwer shop before coming back, saying goodbye to everyone and parking at Tangalooma to wait for the 3.30pm barge. Just like that, our trip had come to an end. I have travelled to locations such as Hinchinbrook Island, Rockhampton and Turkey Beach in the pursuit of fish and the enjoyment they bring to me, but it was so relaxing just visiting a location right on our doorstep. I am already counting down the days until I go back. Hopefully the coming months see the return of our Moreton Bay pelagics, as I’m itching to get into a bit of surface action on speedsters such as longtail tuna and spotted mackerel.

Until next time, tight lines and sore arms.

Asparagus Fern Moreton Island

Asparagus Fern Moreton Island

Because Moreton is an island 40km off the coast of Brisbane, it is somewhat protected from invading species of plants and animals – but of course not immune! Invading pest species of weeds and the potential threat of cane toads (read more about how we tackle those here) are a serious problem and the island relies heavily on volunteer programs to control the influx. Special thanks to Greg Curtis for the article below which describes their recent attempt at removing one of the threats.

In response to escalating problems of weed infestation in the Moreton Island townships, and concerns by NPWS of encroachment into the National Park, the first Bulwer Weeding Weekend was held on December 2-4, 2016. Organized by the Moreton Island Protection Committee, with student volunteers from Griffith University Environmental Science and University of Queensland Doctors for the Environment, enthusiastic workers took to the northern block of Bulwer – north of the Glamping, about Castaways and the vacant state land on Marsh Street to Moreton Street.

Asparagus fern on moreton island
Photo courtesy of Griffith University

The Target

Asparagus Fern on Moreton Island is a serious threat to native bush land and rapidly becomes the dominant vegetation. Displacing native habitat and wildlife, seeds from it’s berries are spread by fruit eating birds. It is a Restrictive Invasive Plant under The Biosecurity Act 2014, which requires all persons to take steps to control the plant and not release it into the environment (GBO – General Biosecurity Obligation).The main target weed was Asparagus Fern (Asparagus Aethiopicus), originally brought into Australia from South Africa by the nursery industry as a garden plant. Infestations have become so severe in sandy soils in many parts of Australia, particularly at Noosa-Sunshine-Sunrise Beach, the Point Lookout headlands, and Burleigh Heads National Park, that it has become difficult to control.

moreton island asparagus fern
Photo courtesy of Griffith University

What it looks like

Asparagus Fern has low sprawling green, prickly arching above ground running stems to 2 meters plus. They flower into green to red berries 5-8mm across, and have an extensive underground weed mat with grape-like tubers. Able to withstand long periods of dry weather, Asparagus Fern grows rapidly in leaf litter.

Moreton Island Asparagus Fern
Photo courtesy of Griffith University

 

How we manage it

The best method of control is to snip off flowering and fruiting runners to stop seeds spreading, dig out the underground grapes and weed mat totally to prevent regrowth – and burn. Be careful with disposal as any part of the weed mat or berries can regrow.Council treatment in our target area by poison or herbicide appeared unsuccessful. Treated runners had died, but the underground weed mat was still flourishing with new runners growing. All weeds were dug out by hand. In total 81 bags of Asparagus Fern, 1 bag of Prickly Pear, and 1 bag of Nightshsde, Cobbler’s Peg and Lantana were filled and taken to the Green Waste Section of Bulwer Waste Transfer Station to be burnt.

Moreton Island Asparagus Fern
Photo courtesy of Griffith University

How you can help

The next Bulwer Weeding Weekend is scheduled for March 18/19. Any residents, members of the public or students who would like to assist are welcome. Phone Greg Curtis on 0427 754 192.

Special thanks to

Thanks should go to Dr. Peter Davey of Griffith University; NPWS for offering free volunteer camping at Comboyuro Point Campground; Tangalooma Resort for free student ferry travel under their Environmental Fund; Moreton Island Adventures for reduced student volunteer fares; and Virginia-Nundah Fishing Club for special price student accommodation.

moreton island asparagus fern
Photo courtesy of Griffith University

 

Why you should enter a fishing comp when you don’t like fishing

Why would I enter a fishing comp when I hate fishing you say?

Well, I’m about to give you the 7 best reasons to pack your bags and get yourself off to your nearest, daggiest fishing comp and go mingle with the locals (and sometimes the yokels depending on the area!). There are plenty of fishing comps near Brisbane to read on to find out more…

  1. You don’t have to catch a fish to win big

    beach fishing competition near brisbane

So this is a secret I didn’t know until I started organising the ARB Moreton Island Fishing Classic, but you don’t have to catch a big fish, or a fish at all in fact to take home the major prizes at a fishing comp, often worth in excess of ten thousand dollars!  For an entry fee that might range from $10 to $100 and usually not a lot of entrants, that’s better odds than last month’s scratchy spend.

  1. You might pick up a husband (or wife…)

fishing competitions near brisbane

No seriously ladies, lots of eligible bachelors who aren’t the type to head to the pub on the weekend, congregate here with their mates…ok so they’re not all a good catch (pardon the pun) but there is something to be said for that rugged outdoor bloke who can feed the family with his bare hands.  And blokes, you’d be surprised at the amount of fish friendly ladies out there who have worked out that the prizes are not just for the men – expect some serious competition!

  1. Massive prizes up for grabs – and anyone can win

    fishing competition near brisbane

So a fishing comp generally runs in this fashion.  You catch a big fish, you win a little prize.  You catch a bigger fish, you win a bigger prize.  You catch the biggest fish, you win money – hooray.  You don’t catch any fish, but are still entered into the daily and major random prize draw and you stand the chance of winning some of the $50 – $100,000 worth of prizes given away over the duration – and the prizes are not necessarily fishing related.  I’m talking 4WD gear, boats, kayaks, cars & holidays!

  1. Get rid of the missus

    fishing competition near brisbane

Want to hang out with your mates and have a boy’s trip, but that pesky wife (god love’er) is up for any holiday and always tags along?  I can guarantee if you spin it right, a fishing trip with the boys is NOT one of the holidays she will want to attend. Perhaps just don’t let her read reason number 2 or find out that actually the ladies often do better than the blokes (yup I said it.)

  1. Travel on the cheap

    fishing competition near brisbane

So another secret no one wants you to know, is that often companies are putting out specials for the event (we do!).  Whether they be accommodation specials or ferry specials depending on the location, you can jump on board just by entering in the fishing competition.  It’s a win win situation, you get the chance to win thousands of dollars in prizes, head to an awesome beach side location, and get some great savings on your travel.  Why not?

  1. Your kids will survive the zombie apocalypse

kids fishing competition

Ok, that’s a bit dramatic perhaps but, you do want them to be able to feed themselves if they need to right?  There’s something completely organic about hunting and gathering your own food.  Fishing with the kids is a great way to get them outside, and teach them a thing or two about feeding themselves.  The best part is, if you reel in a monster, you’ve got witnesses to attest to your awesome fishing skills!

  1. You’ll get brownie points with the boys

fishing competition

Nobody likes a soft cucumber right?  Well, organise the fishing trip, grab the beers and you’ll get untold brownie points with the boys.  A great way to get away with the mates, away from those poncy cafes & halfwit soccer dads and, at the very least you’ll avoid having to follow your wife around the shops this weekend holding all her purchases and sitting on those “I’d rather be dead” seats out the front.

If you’re keen to wet a line (or open a beer, no pressure) why not check out the best 3 fishing comps near Brisbane:

ARB Moreton Island Fishing Competition

Location: Moreton Island, 35km from Brisbane

Dates: 23 – 27 August 2017

Prizes: Over $65, 000 of cash & prizes including 4WD gear, fishing gear, camping gear, BCF vouchers cash & more.

Cost to enter: $85.00 for adults, $45.00 for kids, special discounts given on ferry fares for competitors.

Why it’s a winner: One of the only island fishing comps left. Super chilled out comp located on idyllic Moreton Island. Family friendly with great kid’s & adult prizes. Small number of entrants so a greater chance of taking home a cash (or other) prize.

Check out some photos here

Rainbow Beach Fishing Competition

Location: Rainbow Beach, east of Gympie

Dates: 21st – 29th July 2017

Prizes: $100, 000 worth of prizes (less random prizes)

Cost to enter: Adults $140, Cadets $80, Junior $35

Why it’s a winner:  Great if you live on the North Coast and want a longer competition to go to.  Boat fishing is included, as is a separate cadet’s competition.

Hervey Bay Family Fishing Competition

Location: Urangan, Hervey Bay

Dates: 2017 dates to be announced

Prizes: $10 000 cash prizes, $8000 boating package & more

Cost to enter: Adults $40, Juniors $10

Why it’s a winner: small family fishing club run competition.  Great for starters and kids to get out there and have a try.

If you would like to be kept in the fishing comp loop and receive updates about the ARB Moreton Island Fishing Classic, you can sign up to the VIP list HERE

fishing competition near brisbane

Eight Queensland hotspots to visit

Photo Credit: BMAG
Photo Credit: BMAG

Fed up with the “no vacancy” signs that popped up around Queensland this summer? Then you need to read this list from BMAG!

Source: Eight Queensland hotspots to visit in 2017 – bmag

There’s more to Moreton

There’s so much more to Moreton Island than feeding dolphins and exploring wrecks. Take a Bear Grylls-style adventure to this untouched paradise, where 48 hours of beachfront accommodation is cheaper than your weekly caffeine addiction.

A short 75-minute ferry ride from Brisbane’s doorstep, here you can unpack your campsite a stone’s throw from the white silica sand and crystal clear blue water, and don’t forget to BYO footy, snorkel kit, fishing rod and cricket set.

Set aside some time to witness an unforgettable sunset from the sand dunes. The journey up is tough – but still less heart pumping than the seven second sand surf back down.

If epic 4WD quests are your kind of thing, take the path less travelled and follow 420km of unsealed island tracks, revealing secluded shorelines skirted by rock walls.

 

book-now-button

 

Glamping, the only escape for me!

I have to confess. I’m an addict.

An email and social media addict. As the Chief Escape Officer (or CEO) for Moreton Island Adventures, I look at my phone when I wake up and throughout the day until I go to sleep. If my phone is there I will check it and, often my husband and I are sitting across from each other both engrossed in our phones; it really kills the conversation. That’s why I decided that the only way for me to “dry out“ is to go somewhere that makes it difficult to feed the addiction – off the grid.

So I began my search. I traveled far and wide including safaris in Africa and 5* hotels in Paris searching for this place that I could truly escape the grind. But I usually had to drive a long way, or check in at an airport which kind of killed the “relaxation” part of the escape.  It was around then that I happened upon this new option of Glamping, short for “glamourous camping”.

I found Glamping to be the best of both worlds, that escape from reality that Camping gives us (what is more heart-warming than toasting marshmallows around the fire…really??), without the drudgery of unpacking and washing all the camp gear – and with a comfy queen bed with proper linen and a doona!

I already knew the perfect location as we had old units situated on Moreton Island that I was wanting to upgrade.  So in 2012, instead of building a soulless resort where people don’t truly engage with each other or their environment, I decided to build 9 Glamping tents (now expanded to 11 due to their popularity) in amongst the tea trees at Bulwer. Here at the Glamping tents, people are able to have the camping experience, but without all the hassle.  You still have the comradery of meeting people in the “glampsite” as the on-site kitchen & firepit are communal. Since then I haven’t stayed in our unit accommodation at all, as I love the style of the Glamping and being able to listen to the birds as I lay in bed of a morning.

When you take a look at the glamping options around Brisbane, it’s amazing how close you can be to a destination that really does get you talking to each other, listening to one another and maybe doing a little bit more of the fun stuff as well, if you get my drift. They are mostly off the beaten track, so no or little mobile service. They have the luxury of your bedroom but so much different to your house, it’s more like a romantic cubby. They are often made just for couples and they are small intimate places where romance can flourish.

Since we have built our tents, others have popped up around Brisbane and the hinterland for couples and my goal is to sample every one of them that is “off the grid”. So if you have now concluded that you too are an “addict” do yourself a favour and dry out by going Glamping off the beaten track where the phone coverage is poor, the restaurants are few and your other half has only you in their sights.

Find out more about Glamping on Moreton Island & download our Moreton Island Glamping Guide here!

Cane Toad free camping near Brisbane?

Want to go camping near Brisbane with no nasty visitors? Check out beautiful Moreton Island then! Did you know that Moreton is one of the few locations in coastal Queensland where cane toads are not established? And we all want to keep it that way – check out how we can all help to prevent Moreton Island becoming one of the sad statistics in the fight against cane toads!

Check your load for toads

Cane Toads are hitchhikers. Before travelling make sure you check your firewood, fishing gear, camping gear and any spaces that a cane toad may hide. If you find one, make sure it’s disposed of humanely (see below).

Report sightings

any sightings on Moreton Island to QLD Parks & Wildlife Service on (07) 3408 2710

Know your native frogs

There are some native species on Moreton Island that could be mistaken for toads – see below the pictogram which shows how to distinguish these species. Generally, toads are larger than frogs and can grow bigger than 20cm – most native frogs are smaller than this.

camping-near-brisbane-cane-toad-free
Source: Brisbane City Council https://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/sites/default/files/20160310-keep-cane-toads-off-moreton-island.pdf

Dispose of Cane Toads Humanely

Did you know that there is now a RSPCA certified aerosol spray which is the most humane euthanasia method for toads? No more scaring mum with the frozen cane toad method! This spray is called HopStop and is widely available in hardware stores. Check out their website here for more info on where to buy this great product.

Dispose of Cane Toad eggs

Cane toad eggs develop in water as long strands of black eggs. Remove them from the water and place in sunlight to destroy.

Say g’day to the amazing cane toad detection dogs

Brisbane City Council enlists the help of cane toad detection dogs to regularly visit the island to sniff out the pests. During each visit, one of the dogs and its handler undertake searches in key habitat areas. They raise awareness with residents and visitors on what they can do to ensure the island remains cane toad free. The cane toad detection dog will be doing its next survey on Moreton Island on 9-15 December 2016.

 

To find out more about the great work Brisbane City Council do to protect Moreton Island, click here.

To check out some of the fantastic cane toad free camping sights on Moreton Island click below:

Camping on Moreton Island

Moreton Island Hiking | Snowys Blog

If you’re into hiking, but you don’t have time to stray far from Brisbane, why not try out Moreton Island’s hiking environment?  Head on over to Snowy’s Blog to check out the full report on his Moreton Island hiking experience. Moreton Island is only a 90 minute ferry trip from Brisbane on board the Micat and would have to be one of the most underestimated hiking destinations in Queensland.   There are so many different options available to make it the perfect option for seasoned hikers and for novices alike.

There are so many options for hiking on Moreton Island.  Less experienced hikers can spend an hour or two exploring various parts of the island.  More experienced hikers can plan a longer trip around and across the island, taking a couple of days to absorb the attributes of this beautiful landmass.

Taking in the sights on foot, is the ideal way to capture the unique flora and fauna on this amazing island which is the world’s third largest sand island.  There are countless opportunities to take that once in a lifetime photo.

Low tide provides opportunities to explore the tidal flats and catch a glimpse of the many sea creatures that make this place such a unique experience.  Waves of scurrying blue soldier crabs are a common sight on the sand and mud flats.  Their spontaneous arrival is triggered by the falling tide. If disturbed, they burrow into the sand, disappearing as quickly as they arrived. Moreton Island is also home to numerous different species of birds – so don’t forget your binoculars!

There are many tracks to explore on Moreton but among the more challenging is the Telegraph Walking Track.  As you walk you can spot telegraph posts from the old telegraph line built in the 1890s for the Cape Moreton Lighthouse. Relics can still be found along Bulwer–North Point Road and Telegraph Road.   Another track for the more experienced hiker to explore is the Rous Battery Track.  You will see the remnants of a World War II fort scattered around the dunes. The walk follows the old Rous Battery service road.

Moreton Island is the sort of place where, with planning, you can organise your own hiking itinerary to suit your level of expertise and interests.   Don’t forget, like any hiking expedition, you need to be well-prepared to make your experience on Moreton a success.

 

Source: Moreton Island – Brisbane’s Most Underrated Hiking Destination? | Snowys Blog

Isuzu I-Venture Club

How to get your new 4WD Isuzu (and yourself!) offroad ready with Isuzu I-Venture Club.  So you’ve purchased a new 4wd.  It’s awesome. So shiny and new, you can’t wait to take the kids to soccer practice and show off to the other dads.  But the thought of taking your new shiny Isuzu DMAX onto a sand island and risking being one of those statistics? No thank you!  But then that really hardcore bloke (we’ll call him Bazza) down the road keeps asking you why your cool new hardcore 4wd is so clean…you’re running out of cover stories.

Well never fear! The Isuzu I-Venture Club can take away your manly woes and deliver you safely to a spectacular Brisbane 4WD destination, give you accredited 4WD training and instruction and all the while have you thinking you’re just on an awesome day out!

brisbane 4wd-ferry
Don’t be “that” guy.

 

That is exactly what happened last Saturday when Keema Cars organised an I-Venture Club trip for a selection of their valued clients. 34 adventure seeking 4WD enthusiasts took their shiny new Isuzu vehicles out to tackle sand driving on Moreton Island.

Dave Darmody from Australian Offroad Academy joined Moreton Island Adventures & Keema Cars to provide a stellar day with plenty of 4WD instruction combined with interesting facts on the island and amazing catering (after all no one works well on an empty stomach). The Australian Offroad Academy is a peak offroad training provider whose mission it is to provide you with the skills necessary to safely and confidently explore the outdoors, secure in the knowledge that you and your vehicle can handle the chosen terrain – and on Saturday that is exactly what Dave Darmody gave us!

brisbane 4wd training
The group enjoyed delicious morning tea while participating in some on-board training on their trip across the bay

So what exactly will you learn on a Brisbane 4WD I-Venture Club Trip on Moreton Island?

How to decrease your tyre pressure to travel successfully on sand.
Depending on your vehicle and how soft the sand is, your 4WD trainer will advise you what PSI your vehicle’s tyres should be at – and why. Luckily the Micat ferry owned by Moreton Island Adventures has 4 air hoses for you to re-inflate your tyres on the way back to Brisbane. 4WD adventure couldn’t be easier!

isuzu brisbane 4wd
Great scenery and weather accompanied us as we participated in some training

How to use all the special features on your Isuzu 4WD to cater to sand driving
You probably haven’t used half of the buttons and gadgets that your Isuzu was born with – it’s time to get to know your vehicle.

brisbane 4wd-training-2
Dave from Australian Offroad Academy getting everyone involved in some recovery training

How to drive safely off the ferry onto the sand without being “that guy” who gets bogged in front of the ferry!
No one wants to be that guy. Sometimes the fear of the unknown will actually stop us stepping out into the adventures we know we want to have. This trip will debunk the mysteries surrounding safe and effective sand driving and get you offroad ready in no time.

Brisbane 4WD
Emma from Moreton Island Adventures shows the lads how to drive

How to tackle multiple sand obstacles including soft sand, entering and exiting tracks safely without drama, avoiding obstacles & water crossings.
These can all sound a bit scary if you’ve never tackled them before

Brisbane 4wd water crossing
Water crossings are not so scary with expert instruction and guidance

What to do if you become stuck, bogged or temporarily trapped (and what is the difference?)
Sometimes you’re just stuck. Temporarily. It’s not a serious issue worth panicking about – but you panic…sound familiar? Dave will teach you the difference between these and how not to panic, remain calm and just follow the steps to get yourself back on your adventure…sounds good right?

Brisbane 4wd max trax
Demonstrating the tools of the trade with a set of Max Trax

How to get around Moreton Island!
By the end of your trip, you’ll have travelled the entire Northern end of Moreton Island. You’ll probably have a really good idea of where you want to come back and camp and what you want to see. The Moreton Island Adventures guides can answer all of your questions about this magical island, and we can almost guarantee you’ll be dying to return on your own time.

isuzu Brisbane 4wd
Hitting the idyllic Eastern Beach

This is what some of Saturday’s adventurer’s had to say about the day:

Getting to know how to do things right and safely, so much more confident and looking forward to going out on my own; A really brilliant day, fulfilled my expectations. Everyone very friendly and approachable. Geraldine

 

Great experience and totally doable for us senior travellers. Food was fantastic, tour organisers were extremely helpful. Pamela

catering 4wd brisbane
Would you like some scenery with your watermelon?

So in short, if you’re feeling a little timid about getting out onto the sand in your shiny new Isuzu it’s time to take the bull by the horns and get into some REAL Brisbane 4WD adventures and sign up to the I-Venture club. Let’s face it, you’ll have a lot more to talk about at the kid’s soccer match if your DMAX is covered in sand and you’ve just come off your last camping trip to Moreton Island!

If you’re keen to get involved, head to https://www.iventureclub.com.au/ to sign up! If you’ve purchased your Isuzu with Keema Cars Springwood, give the friendly team there a call and see when the next customer trip is coming up www.keema.com.au

group-shot-brisbane-4wd
An awesome group and an awesome day!