Moreton Island trip Report


New Member
Hi Guys, thanks to all who helped out with the good oil on Moreton Island here:
Our five days on the Island was absolutely fantastic and was the first time I had the chance to try out all my mod cons on the Rig so thought I'd provide a trip report...

I have put up about 200 photos on Photobucket here 2009-08-24 Moreton Island pictures by rodweb - Photobucket if you are really keen to see where I went. I have got a lot of video to do something with which I will try and get to and edit over the next week or so.

Anyway headed off from home last Wednesday at 6:30 am and one hour later we were having breakfast at the truck stop at the Port of Brisbane 700 metres from the MiCat barge departure point. We quickly picked up out prebooked tickets and drove on board

They parked us right up the front pointy end (you know the bow thingy)

And we went upstairs to the deck where you could have a snack, coffee or beer

and we settled in for the 1 1/2 hour odd journey over to the Island. Had a quick look upstairs but was a bit cool in the morning but absolutely awesome place to be on the way home with a cold beer in hand:

The Barge beached on the 3rd largest island in the world (Fraser Island is the largest) near the wrecks where they sunk 14 odd ships awhile ago to make a sheltered lagoon near the Tangalooma Wild Dolphin Resort.

So at about 10:00 am we were on the beach on a 35 km long island with no bitumen roads anywhere, just sand tracks (even the streets in the villages). We headed accross Middle Road a one way track over to the eastern beach where we had decided to camp. we'd never been here before and we cruised up and down the beach to find a camp site and settled on this location:

Which was right on the beach above a low cliff that stopped anybody from walking up from the beach onto our camp site.

Nearest access was to hard to get up when we got there so the access we used was a couple of hundred metres further away.


Anyway, about 24 hours after leaving home, I was watching the sun rise on a glorious day:

Did try my hand at fishing but seeing as I grew up in near desert, don't know the first thing about it decided I won't even bother packing a fishing rod when I go back!

We decided today would be or driving day and we basically circumnavigated the island. We headed north and spent an hour or so around the lighthouse at Cape Moreton

We saw quite a few wales frolicing around. While they were close enough to hear them land back in the water, they were really too far away to photograph. Anyway drove accross the top of the Island to Bulwer on the western (Brisbane) side and had an icecream at the Bulwer store before driving down on to the sheltered western beach)

The camp sites here were fenced off to pen the tourists in but we thought this one was the pick of them and is right behind where the Rig is parked:

Look for the sign:

We continued south back to where we landed and took the bypass around Tangalooma resort. We had bumped into AngryAssDrummer on the track over to Bulwer. He had stayed at the resort and was none to complimentary about his experience there...

We were soon back onto the beach and headed south towards North Stradbroke Island and stopped at the big sandhills and walked up the first couple of dunes which was really hard work and there were two more behind it befoe you got to the top, but we did not dare venture up.

Just got back down and a group of backpackers turned up in a Troopy on an organised sand tobogganing tour. We watched them go over the dune we walked up and keep on going so we left them to it

We were unsure if the beach would be passable on the way down and the track skirted the high tide mark with mangroves to the beach side and was quite hairy in places but we got by. We chose to bypass Kooringal village and eventually we broke out onto the eastern beach again at Mirapool lagoons. After fording a really fast running stream which I walked across before agreeing to, we found it was salt water. It was only after that we realised there was a bypass track that went round the inside. Around Mirapool the GPS put us at least 250 metres out to see based on the Sunamp Raster 1:25k maps we were tracking progress on. Anyway, it was a leisurely run back up the beach for 20 km or so to get home. We checked out some of the camp sites and to me, they were the pick of them. eg. Eastern (ocean) beach south of middle road. We stopped at Eagers Crek and filled up our 20 litre shower bucket ready for our ablutions with the Helton hot water system, on board the Rig. (sorry, but the missues was not too keen on being photographed in the shower!)

The next day, we had a leisurley drive around without venturing too far, checked out fresh water Blue Lagoon nearby.


You can see that the wind got up during the day from the chop on the sheltered lake and that night we got blown away from the northerlies (and here was I worring about the usual August Westerlies). So the next day, we decided to move camp to a sheltered campsite in a clearing about 300 od metres from the shore. This time we left the side walls off the Oz tent and decided we liked it better that way...

We did think about camping here, but thought that might raise an eyebrow or two...

So stuck with our private little clearing


I got to say that the Cgear mat I bought for the area under the awning of the Oz tent is absolutley Awesome. So easy to keep clean as sand just dropped straight through it.

I think I will get a larger one to go under the Oztnet in place of the Oztent groundsheet I have now. Shame it is so expensive!

Decided to go over to Bulwer again to buy some more milk (and an Icecream) and drove past Honeyeater Lake:

Finally yesterday, we had to pack up

and spent a bit of time on the beach and watched a few dolphins frolic in the waves.


Sadly, it was all too soon and we were back on bord the Micat. This time, I was parked right up the blunt (err stern) end which as good as I was first off the barge back in Brisbane.


And we were saying farewell to Moreton Island

Had a bit of a chat to the guy driving a Hilux with 33's on 18 inch rims a 2" EFS front lift and a 2" body lift while I was airing up tyres.

I chose to use my onboard compressor but Micat provide air hoses to make this easier. Anyway when all was done, I went upstairs and bought a very cold beer and relaxed for the trip home over Moreton bay and past the Port of Brisbane and a few small ships:

The bad news was we docked at 5:00pm and within 10 minutes was sitting stopped in bumper to bumper traffic on the Gateway Motorway which was quite a shock after the driving I had been doing over the last 5 days.

You got to love Moreton. Yes it is expensive to get to $190 and double that if you pull a camper over but it is so quick to get there and you don't have the 4 hour drive to Rainbow Beach to get over to Fraser. After allowing $60 or so for fuel to get up to Fraser, there is not that much in it, maybe $40 or so at a guess. In addition to the barge, you have to pay $38 for a vehicle acces permit and $5.00 per person for cmaping permits (both the same price as Fraser). We were lucky as we had a special offer from the 4WD camping show and the barge only cost us $100.

The good thing about it is that there are no crowds, we had the tracks and the beach to ourselves most of the time. We never bothered with the shower tent. All the Rig's gear worked perfectly, the hot showers wer great and the 100 litres of water on board got us right through the 5 days and we were not very waterwise. We could duck out on the beach each day and fill up a 20 litre Handy Pail with a lid we got from Bunnings with fresh water from Eagers Creek or Spitfire Creek and that was enough for two of us to have a nice shower each evening. There is no fuel on the island. We took an extra 20 litres which was nice to have, but we would have got home on the one tank (we deliberately did not see all the island as we wanted to leave some more things to see the next time we go over). Sorry I have not got any pics of the sand tracks, but have lots of video of them so please be patient...


4x4 Earth Contributer
good report!! Love the barge!!! Would be hard to get of it. Awesome picy's to.

glad ya had fun. I might hit Moreton next year instead of Fraser again.

teza h

Well-Known Member
Great report and pics mate, wife & I heading up there in november. Nice to see it looking just how I remember it, cant wait.
Save some $ just get some SHADE CLOTH insted of the ground mat, same thing with out the edging,
can us it for a MAX TRAX also,works well for both . Oh yeh! like your rig,nice one.
Cheers !
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New Member
good report!! Love the barge!!! Would be hard to get of it. Awesome picy's to.

glad ya had fun. I might hit Moreton next year instead of Fraser again.

Frosty, ya just got to do it, don't wait til next year!

Looks like a great trip, and awesome report!

Thanks for the feedback.

Great report and pics mate, wife & I heading up there in november. Nice to see it looking just how I remember it, cant wait.
Save some $ just get some SHADE CLOTH insted of the ground mat, same thing with out the edging,
can us it for a MAX TRAX also,works well for both . Oh yeh! like your rig,nice one.
Cheers !

You will enjoy it teza. Thanks for the compliments on my Rig and the idea of the shadecloth. I know that trick and Cgear looks like two layers of it. I might be wrong, but I think it works heaps better than shadecloth.

I have driven over canvas in soft sand, it certainly works. I had one experience with tearing off brake lines using a soft, light cover that got wrapped around the wheel. Not sure that shadecloth is in the same category. Anyway, had no problems with the MT's at 16 PSI all week and if need be would not hesitate to drop them to 8 psi as I have run them at 12 psi on rocky tracks with no problems. I reckon that would go close to eliminating the need for maxtracks on the sand.

Fantastic trip trip report and great pics, awesome way to spend a few days.

Thanks mate. Yes it was a nice break!

The photos are great the beast looks fantastic

Thanks Brian, a very nice spot to play with a camera but did not take as many as I normally do on account of playing with my video camera while driving. Might take a while to sort them out. all the windscreen camera mounted shots are upside down and while it is trivial to fix while assembling, it is hard to watch the raw footage so I am turning them all the right way round before I start. This is quite time consuming.
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Active Member
Excellent report and pics Rod! Makes me want to go (and the kids are in my ear asking when ARE we going!!). Cgear is good stuff too, i like it anyway!:D;)


New Member
Taken me a while to edit them and a whole day to load them up onto Youtube but I have got the videos edited and up. There are three videos totalling about 22 minutes total:

1. Arriving on the Island and our trip basically circum-navigating the Island.
YouTube - Around Moreton Island

2. Trip around our campsite and Blue Lagoon
YouTube - Moreton Island Around Camp & Blue Lagoon

3. The trip back home with some footage of the Micat Barge
YouTube - Leaving Moreton Island

This editing proved to be a very tedious exercise. Premiere needs heaps of RAM and my 2 Gb was not quite enough so it crashed a lot as soon as it got to 2.0gb. It took forever to burn a CD and then I had to downsample them for Youtube.

Anyway, showed the guys at work these files today and they were very impressed.
I'd say these are some of the better videos of Moreton on Youtube now as I spent a lot of time looking for some decent ones.

Funny though, now I have posted some Moreton videos, I get better search results.

Sorry there is no sound track or commentary, that is another exercise from this point.



4x4 Earth Contributer
Rod, that is a great video doco and recommend you send it down to Simon (Your4x4 and 4wd TV) that is something he is looking for his show when I spoke to him at the Brissy 4x4 show earlier in the year. I am not aware if you get anything for it. 4wd Action wants stories and photos of trip for the mag too (they pay if you article gets in)


New Member
Do u have to pay to use the airhoses on the micat and how do u go about it have to park in a certain area on the bardge, etc?


Active Member
Do u have to pay to use the airhoses on the micat and how do u go about it have to park in a certain area on the bardge, etc?

No there is one at each end of the ferry, free to use. The hose will stretch to the middle of the barge.