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A guide to camping on Moreton Island/Mulgumpin, Qld

 

Words Amelia Mansell  Pics Chris Whitelaw

In the first part of this series, we covered the appeal factor of Moreton Island/Mulgumpin and how to get there. Now, we’ll take a look at some of the best camping locations.  

Beach near North Point camping Moreton Island Mulgumpin
Beach near North Point camping area

 

Located only 60km from Brisbane as the crow flies — or barge sails — Moreton Island/Mulgumpin is a popular destination for day-trippers, weekenders and long-haul adventurers, all seeking to get away from the crowds and enjoy the natural beauty of the third-largest sand island in the world.

As mentioned in the first article, there’s no single best time of year to visit Moreton Island due to the island’s sub-tropical climate. But when planning your visit, don’t forget to take peak periods into account as these can impact your chances of finding a campsite, many of which are ‘first come, first served.’ December–January and the Easter and September school holidays are the main busy periods, so if you’re hoping to visit during these times, be prepared for somewhat busier beaches and camping grounds.

 

What to take

Before you head off on your great sandy adventure, it’s important to pack appropriately. The island is remote, and facilities and supplies are limited, which means you’ll need to be almost entirely self-sufficient during your stay.

Some basic supplies can be purchased at Tangalooma Island Resort, Bulwer and Kooringal (all on the western side of the island), but these will be limited. And if you need a fuel top-up, Bulwer is the only place to go — but it may not always have fuel available. So, plan carefully, particularly if you’re hoping to tackle the various 4WD tracks criss-crossing the island.

All rubbish must leave with you or be appropriately disposed of while on the island, so ensure you take garbage bags or sealed containers.

And don’t forget to take a first aid kit, adequate supplies of any prescribed medicine (there is no pharmacy or resident doctor on the island) and insect repellent.

 

Setting up the swags at Tangalooma Point camping area

Setting up the swags at Tangalooma Point camping area

 

Required permits

As mentioned in the first part, you will need a vehicle access permit and camping permit for the island, and fees apply for both. These permits must be organised before you arrive on the island. The vehicle permit must always be visible on your windscreen, while a camping tag with your booking number must be displayed at your campsite for the duration of your stay.

Camping permits and vehicle access permits (VAPs) are booked and managed through Mulgumpin Camping:
P: 07 3506 2371
E: bookings@mulgumpincamping.net.au

 

Where to camp

Your options for camping vary from developed camping areas with set sites and bathroom facilities to remote beach camping in designated zones with limited to no facilities. All camping areas and zones are camper trailer-friendly except the Tangalooma Wrecks, which is accessed via a short walk from the beach.

None of the campsites are suitable for caravans due to the soft, sandy access tracks and limited turning space.

The preferred route for towing trailers to the zones on the eastern beach is via the Bulwer-Blue Lagoon Road instead of Middle Road.

There are camping areas established at Ben-Ewa, The Wrecks, North Point, Comboyuro Point and Blue Lagoon, all of which have cold showers and hybrid toilets (drop toilets where waste is treated in a tank). The sites aren’t numbered, so it’s first in, first served.

 

Blue Lagoon Moreton Island  Mulgumpin

Blue Lagoon

 

Ben-Ewa camping area

This camping area is also found on the western beach and is a quick five-minute drive (or 30-minute walk) north of the MICAT barge landing. There are 12 medium-sized sites set among the trees and protected from the wind. This is a great camping area for young families. Enjoy the calm, crystal-clear waters of Moreton Bay and excellent photo opportunities at sunset.

The Wrecks camping area

Situated close to the main barge landing point and within walking distance (25–30 minutes) of Tangalooma Resort, this camping area is a great option for travellers who don’t have a vehicle. There are 21 medium-sized sites surrounded by trees and shrubs.

As mentioned, it’s a walk-in only camp, so if you do have a car with you this must be parked on the beach nearby. Located on Moreton Island’s western shore, the camp has easy access to the bay’s sheltered waters for swimming and snorkelling.

North Point camping area

Located between Yellow Patch and Cape Moreton, 20 minutes northeast of Bulwer, this camping area features 21 large, grassy sites, many of which are shaded. Four of these sites are suitable for camper trailers but the remainder are tent only with nearby car parking bays. Visitors can enjoy easy access to a surf beach and walking tracks that lead to Champagne Pools, Honeymoon Bay and Cape Moreton Lighthouse.

Comboyuro Point camping area

With 49 shady sites available, Comboyuro Point camping area is one of the bigger options on the island and is perfect for groups with camper trailers. It’s found north of Bulwer towards Moreton’s northwest tip and is a 30-minute drive from the barge landing. From this camping area you’ll be able to explore Tailor Bight, Comboyuro Point and enjoy snorkelling, kayaking and fishing in the bay.

Blue Lagoon camping area

Situated on the island’s eastern side, this camping area is within walking distance to Blue Lagoon. It’s approximately halfway between the Middle Road and Cape Moreton and is accessed via the Bulwer-Blue Lagoon Road. There are 25 medium-to-large sites tucked behind the sand dunes, and it’s only a short walk to the ocean for swimming, surfing and fishing.

Yellow Patch camping zone

Yellow Patch camping zone is located between North Point and Heath Island at the top end of Moreton. There are 14 sites suitable for tents, camper trailers and large groups, and most of these sites have ocean views and shade. This camping zone enjoys a nearby surf beach with a large tidal lagoon, and is only a short drive from Champagne Pools, Honeymoon Bay and the Cape Lighthouse. Unlike the camping areas above, there are no facilities at this camping zone. However, the nearby North Point campground has hybrid toilets and cold-water showers.

North-East camping zone

This camping zone is located 8–10km south of Cape Moreton and features 89 sites situated behind the foredunes from Middle Road north to Spitfire Creek, excluding the Blue Lagoon camping area. The size of the sites varies from small areas to spaces perfect for large groups, and many of them enjoy sea views and shade. Take a short drive to visit nearby Blue Lagoon, or head over to the beach for swimming, surfing and fishing.

South-East camping zone

This camping zone features 35 sites dotted throughout the foredunes behind the ocean beach, spanning south of Middle Road to Rous Battery. Travellers should note that access is complicated by a coffee rock outcrop which is impassable at high tide, so be sure to plan your trip accordingly. Once you arrive though, you can enjoy the seclusion and potentially have the beach all to yourself for swimming and fishing. Nearby Mirapool Lagoon is a great spot for birdwatching or head over to Kooringal, which is the closest settlement and features a general store and pub.

 

South East Beach camping Moreton Island Mulgumpin

South-East Beach camping

 

South-West camping zone

Stretching from the Little Sandhills at Toulkerrie north to Tangalooma Point, this zone has 24 quiet sites suitable for tents and camper trailers. However, it is recommended for experienced sand drivers only as some of the southernmost sites may only be accessible at low tide, and the Tangalooma Bypass (when coming via the barge landing) can be quite soft and difficult to drive on. For those that do make the trek, some of the main activities to enjoy here are sandboarding and fishing.

North-West camping zone

A 10-minute drive north from the barge landing, this large zone encompasses the western beach between Ben-Ewa and Comboyuro Point. There are 76 shady sites, some of which are within walking distance to Bulwer. Sunset views over the bay are a winner, and the sheltered beach is perfect for young families. Activities include swimming, kayaking and snorkelling on Curtin artificial reef.

 

Key info

Drinking water collection points: Big Sandhills, Rous Battery, Eagers Creek and all established campgrounds. Treat before drinking and use sparingly.

Campfires: Permitted in pre-existing fireplaces or firepits located at most campsites and zones. Campfires are prohibited in all other areas of the island, including the beaches, and during fire bans. Collection of firewood is not permitted, but clean milled wood can be brought in or bought at the barge or the Bulwer General Store.

Generators: Only permitted in the camping zones, and only between 8am and 7pm. They must be sound rated with a max of 60dB.
Waste facilities: Toilet waste facilities are located at Ben-Ewa and Comboyuro Point Camping Area.

Phone reception: Limited to none around the island — it’s best found along beach fronts or near Tangalooma Resort. There’s a Qld Parks-Wifi hotspot at The Wrecks camping area.

For more information about the island (and its sister islands), the new K’gari (Fraser Island) and the Brisbane Islands Atlas & Guide by Hema Maps is a comprehensive guide to visiting these fantastic sand islands. 

 

Tangalooma Point Moreton Island Mulgumpin

Tangalooma Point 

 

Coming up next: 

In the final article we’re going to dive into what makes Moreton Island an adventurer’s playground, with everything from challenging 4WD tracks and bushwalking routes to snorkelling and sand tobogganing.

 

Next steps

At Hema Maps, we strive to provide the most comprehensive and accurate maps and guides for outdoor enthusiasts looking to explore Australia's natural wonders.

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