How far would you go to find the perfect place to chill out with a book? Last Sunday I read my book here…
Well, in truth there wasn’t a lot of reading. There was a LOT of swimming, eating and generally messing around with the rest of Team Charming as we explored stunning Moreton Island. We were lucky enough to be gifted a trip on the new Redcliffe2Moreton Express ferry and our day was charming indeed.
Express ferry from Redcliffe to Moreton Island
The Redcliffe2Moreton ferry runs from the Redcliffe Jetty to Bulwer, at the northern end of Moreton Island. Currently running on Fridays and Sundays, it takes around 45-50 minutes to make the crossing. The boat departs Redcliffe at 10am, and Moreton at 3.30pm. This means you can treat it as a day trip, enjoying about 4.5 hours on the island before the return ferry; or make it a mini break for a week or weekend. There are camping, glamping and basic cabin accommodation options within walking distance of the drop off. Pop over to the Visit Moreton Bay Region website to discover loads more things to see and do on the Island.
What to expect onboard
Team Charming was looking forward to exploring the Island, but not quite so excited about the boat trip. I’m one of those people who gets seasick in the bath, and 2 out of 3 Charming children had never been on a ferry, so they were naturally a little anxious. But I’m pleased to report that the trip over was very comfortable and nausea free! Admittedly we were blessed with a truly gorgeous day and fairly calm waters, but I’m confident the crew would have been all over it even if it had been choppy.
On the boat itself, you can sit outside and take in the views, or relax inside on comfy couches. Bring your own food or grab a snack on board; they’re stocked with muffins, chips, tea and coffee. Grown ups can put their feet up with a beer, while the kids can watch a movie in the lounge area (we had Shark Tale on the way over and Finding Nemo on the way back!)
Getting on and off the boat on the Island requires what they call an ‘eco landing’. Much of the Island is protected from major development, so there’s no jetty at the Bulwer end. The ferry pulls into the sand as closely as possible, but you will get wet either swimming/wading, or hopping into a dingy they use to carry people and baggage to shore. Don’t wear your best high heels!
Unfortunately this also makes the trip challenging for prams or large bags, and not disability-friendly. If you have any concerns, talk to the team before booking to be sure there is a way for you to safely land.
Surf, sand and shipwrecks
We’re still new to camping so we took the day trip option, and the pictures tell the story #nofilter! At Bulwer, you’ll find white sand, crystal clear water and minimal tourists. There are bush tracks to explore and an old shipwreck to thrill the kids. Dolphin sightings are common and even whales in the right season. We saw starfish and schools of little fish swimming around our feet in the shallows.
There is not a lot of shade on the shoreline, so a beach tent is handy. Take a picnic, or pop into nearby Castaways – a combined cafe and convenience store about 5 minutes’ walk from the beach. You can grab your bread-and-milk essentials there, or stay for enormous burgers and old school fish and chips.
The only negatives from our whole trip were my sunburnt shoulders – slip, slop, slap peeps – and the fact that the kids won’t stop asking when we can go back!
I was gifted a return trip on the Redcliffe2Moreton Express ferry for review purposes, but all opinions are my own.