tangalooma-island-resort

What It’s Like To Stay At Tangalooma Island Resort on Moreton Island

About Us
Londoner In Sydney is a community of expats and locals who love sharing the best destinations and activities around Australia. Be inspired, find hidden gems, stock up on local tips and discover awesome new things to do with our authentic travel guides.
Last updated:

Wondering what it’s like to stay at Tangalooma Island Resort on Moreton Island? After our first visit to Moreton Island, we’re sharing everything you need to know about visiting this slice of paradise.

So, if you’re looking for inspiration for a weekend away from Brisbane or looking to escape Sydney Winter, look no further!


When to visit Tangalooma Island Resort

Tangalooma-island-resort

Wondering when to visit Tangalooma Island Resort? You could visit all year round! We stayed in June, which was chilly at night but warm in the daytime. Visiting in the Summer months would be pretty special though.


Tangalooma Island Resort vs camping

tangalooma island resort

You might be wondering which is better: camping or staying at Tangalooma Island Resort? While we haven’t experienced Moreton Island camping yet, I can tell you that Tangalooma Island Resort does a good job at making you feel like you’re on a proper holiday.

With swimming pools, tennis courts, various dining options and a cracking location opposite some of the best sunsets you’ll ever see, we were sold with staying at Tangalooma Island Resort.

Let’s not forget to mention the huge variety of unique activities only run by Tangalooma Island Resort too. Expect to go on one of the best quad biking tracks we’ve ever done, feed wild bottlenose dolphins, go sand boarding, snorkel the wrecks and much more.


How to get to Tangalooma Island Resort

tangalooma-island-resort-review

If you’re wondering where Tangalooma Island Resort is located, the actual travel distance is just a 75 minute ferry ride from Brisbane. You can get there by using the Tangalooma Ferry which is located in Pinkenba. The drive to the ferry might feel like you’re going the wrong way, but trust me, it’s the right way.

When you get to the ferry port, park up and pick up your welcome pack before heading over to the car park, where you can safely park your car for however long you’re staying at Tangalooma Island Resort. FYI – parking costs $20 per car, per day.

Tangalooma-ferry

There’s a cafe serving coffee and snacks and toilet facilities while waiting for the ferry to leave.

Tangalooma-ferry-moreton-island

The Tangalooma ferry is bigger than you think, with like three floors to choose from on the larger boat (there’s three boats and the other two are smaller without an upper deck). We sat up on the open-top deck both going there and on the return and loved it. Bring sea sickness tablets if you don’t fare well on boats. We didn’t think it was rough but it all depends on the day you go.


How far is the ferry drop off from Tangalooma Island Resort?

tangalooma island resort

Unsure how long you’ll be walking from the ferry to the Tangalooma Island Resort too? The ferry literally drops you off at the resort, so you don’t have to walk far at all. Plus, you won’t have to carry your luggage as the porters will take it straight to your room for you. The resort is well signposted so you can find everything you need.


Download the Tangalooma Island Resort map

tangalooma island resort

Make sure you get a Tangalooma Island Resort map from reception or download it here so you can find the specific places to do the tours and find the restaurants on site.


What makes Tangalooma Island Resort so special?

Tangalooma-island-resort

Tangalooma Island Resort is well known for providing so many activities that you’ll never be bored. When we visited we were so busy, that we felt like our weekend was a long weekend because we did so much. Bare in mind, you can only do the activities if you’re a Tangalooma Island Resort guest.

It’s well known for feeding wild bottlenose dolphins, and it’s a stones throw from the famous Tangalooma wrecks and the many well-known activities on the island like quad biking and sand tobogganing.

The resort sits right on the ocean-facing the sun, which goes down over the water – a rare sighting on the East Coast of Australia. The white sandy beaches are stunning with turquoise water that you’ll be as baffled as we were that it’s only 75 minutes from Brisbane.


Orientation of the resort

tangalooma island resort

When we landed on Moreton Island, we were met by one of the members of staff. They told us about the island, gave us recommendations on where to eat, and showed us each tour office to go to for each activity they run on the island.

If you’re spending a weekend from Brisbane at Tangalooma Island Resort, I would suggest you get ready for your first day before packing for the trip. Because you can’t check-in before 2pm, prepare everything you need in a day pack so you’re ready to hit the ground running when you arrive.

tangalooma-island-resort-lockers
The lockers cost just $2 each.

We booked the snorkel Tangalooma wrecks tour, but we left our belongings in our luggage which had already been escorted up to our room. There are lockers behind reception, so you could bring your swimmers and put anything in the lockers before going out on a trip before check-in, rather than going through your luggage before getting into your room.


What was our room like?

tangalooma-island-resort-deluxe-room

Our deluxe room is located in the Kookaburra building on the top floor. When we walked into the room, we were fixated on the view straight away and went straight out onto the balcony.

Fantastic panoramic views greeted us out onto the ocean with the Brisbane city skyline in one direction and the Glass House Mountains in the other. We were both completely wowed, especially watching the incredible sunset from the room too.

tangalooma island resort
Sunset view from our room.

Our room was spacious with a very comfortable king size bed, a day bed, TV and a bathroom with shower. We also had a table and two chairs to sit on the balcony and enjoy the excellent views.

Because we visited in June on a chilly weekend, the reverse air conditioning definitely came in handy for us at night!

There’s also a laundry service with coin-operated washing machines at the end of the floor corridor which would have come in handy if we stayed longer than a weekend.


Tangalooma Island Resort Facilities

tangalooma island resort

Our room overlooked the tennis court on site which we would have used if we stayed longer. There’s also some luscious landscaped gardens that surround a couple of swimming pools to use as well at the resort. We saw a couple of people learning to scuba dive in the swimming pool before heading out to the Tangalooma wrecks.

fire-and-stone-moreton-island
Laksa at Fire & Stone

There’s also three places to eat at Tangalooma Island Resort, one being Fire & Stone restaurant which is an Asian menu of Chinese and Vietnamese food. Our guide told us this is the best place to eat on the island during our orientation, so we made a beeline for dinner here. We both had the laska which was perfect dinner option for a Winter dinner.

the-beach-cafe-moreton-island

There’s also The Beach Cafe which has loads of outdoor seating to enjoy the water views. I had the beef nachos which were good! They also serve up burgers, salads, fish and chips.

You can also eat at The Coffee Lounge which serves up a selection of pre-made sandwiches, pies and cakes.

tangalooma island resort
B&B’s Bar at Tangalooma Island Resort

And let’s not forget the pub in Tangalooma Island Resort. They have live music on at night as well as pool tables and a nice fire inside if visiting in the Winter months like we did.

If you’re after a cocktail, head up to the top of B&Bs Bar to The Wheelhouse Deck for the best sunset views in Tangalooma.


What does breakfast looks like?

tangalooma island resort

Breakfast is served from 7am-10am which is a great time to start the day before you jump on the activities. Breakfast at the resort is a buffet including a mixture of pastries, hot cooked breakfast options, toast, and fruits & yoghurt. Steve loved the breakfast so much he went back for three rounds!


Tangalooma Island Resort activities

There are so many Tangalooma Island Resort activities to choose from that we could spend all day talking about them all. Think of yoga classes, a helicopter tour, segway tours, water sports, kayaking tours and much more!

Instead, we’ll mentioned their most popular experiences so you can get a good understanding of what to expect.

ATV Quad bike tours

ATV-quad-biking-moreton-island

I nearly cancelled the quad bike tour because Steve broke his arm while we were racing the dunes in Namibia the last time we did it. But, I’m glad we did the quad bike tour at Tangalooma because it’s absolutely brilliant and I can see why it’s one of the best tours in Tangalooma Island.

The course is fantastic which winds through the quad bike only roads and through plenty of bends on the sand that we finished the tour completely blown away by it. Be careful and don’t go too fast because you really do have to be careful taking turns on this course.

The guides might split up the group during the tour depending on how coordinated you are so you can go at your own pace without feeling pressured to keep up with everyone like they did with us.


4WD Desert safari tour

4wd-desert-safari-tour-moreton-island

Get a glimpse of Moreton Island with a 4WD tour which will take you through Moreton National Park and along the sand until you reach the wide-open sand dunes. You’ll then spend about an hour having fun going down the dunes on a wooden board, fighting it out for who will ride the furthest!

sand-boarding-desert-safari-tour-moreton-island

Firstly, I wasn’t expecting the sand dunes to be so big. Sometimes the dunes can be much bigger depending on the weather conditions, but they were around 30-40 metres high when we visited.

I’m not the best with heights but it was one of those activities I knew it was a now or never moment. I’m glad I did it because it was so much fun. The parents in the group were having more fun than the kids and loved it!


Wild dolphin feeding

wild-dolphin-feeding-moreton-island

I can’t say I’ve been one for feeding wild animals, but once I heard the story behind the wild dolphin feeding at Tangalooma Island Resort, it’s actually a pretty cool experience. When lights were installed on the jetty in 1980, the dolphins would appear at night time to hunt fish.

But as more dolphins appeared, the people fishing on the jetty would throw the reject fish out to them instead. So, the resort owners, Brian & Betty Osborne decided to leave a bucket of fresh fish on the jetty at night for the guests to throw into the water for the dolphins.

After about 10 years, Betty decided to try and hand feed the regular dolphins and they showed no sign of distress at all. And now to this day, each night the dolphins appear and groups of two people can go with a tour guide into the water and feed a dolphin. It’s quite an exciting experience for anyone visiting Tangalooma Island Resort.

When we visited, it’s one of those experiences you just have to do. It was really exciting to say I’ve actually hand fed wild bottlenose dolphins!

Snorkel or kayak the Tangalooma wrecks

Tangalooma-wrecks-moreton-island

A visit to Tangalooma Island Resort is never complete without snorkelling the Tangalooma wrecks! The 15 wrecks were purposely put there as a barrier and have now become an Instagram sensation that sees holiday makers across Australia and the world come and visit this unique site. It’s an amazing experience you must see for yourself!

You can also hire really cool clear bottom kayaks to see the wrecks from above. We haven’t seen clear bottom kayaks until we came to this Moreton Island resort! I would hire them on a clear and calm day with crystal clear waters to make the most of this Moreton Island activity.


Where to book Tangalooma activities

tangalooma-island-resort-activities

You can book your Moreton Island resort activities at the Tour Desk next to reception at Tangalooma Island Resort. You can also book an activities package before arriving which you can find on the Tangalooma Island Resort website.

Also, bare in mind that drones are banned within a 5km radius of Tangalooma. We were given permission to use ours.


Tangalooma Island Resort summary

tangalooma-island-resort

We loved our stay at Tangalooma Island Resort and even though we only stayed for the weekend, it felt like we stayed for about a week in a lovely way. We did so much in the short time we were there, it felt like such a good break from everyday life.

If you’re short on time, you could do a popular day trip from Brisbane and include a couple of acitivities as well as the dolphin feeding before heading back on the 7pm ferry. Personally I would stay over night at least because it’s the type of place you won’t want to leave in a hurry. Look out for Tangalooma Island Resort offers on their website to get the best deals and a great price for your stay.

It’s also worth point out that this isn’t a luxury resort so if you’re looking for that, you might want to look elsewhere. This is the perfect place to stay if you’re up for having an action packed weekend with the facilities of restaurants, swimming pool and a tennis court at your fingertips with easy access to the famous wrecks and of course incredible ocean views.

We’re super excited to have finally visited this underrated gem and have a feeling Moreton Island and Tangalooma Island Resort will be our favourite weekend getaway from Brisbane for sure.


Tangalooma Island Resort Review

SAVE FOR LATER AND PIN BELOW

Tangalooma-island-resort

Share
Pin
Share
Tweet
Email