When it comes to camping, Moreton Island is a very popular place to visit.
Running for 44 km in length, and encompassing a total area of 186 km2, the third-largest sand island in the world provides plenty of beachfront sites for those who love to set up camp right by the water.
If you are planning your first visit to Moreton Island, it can be a bit difficult to work out which of its five campgrounds, and numerous campsites, are the best option for you.
That is why we have come up with this complete guide for camping at Moreton Island!
In this guide, we’ll outline the best sites to suit your needs. Whether you want to be near great fishing, surfing or swimming spots, amongst the social contact of people, or completely on your own, we’ll showcase the best options for you.
We’ll even give you the heads up of how best to get to the island, and which permits you may need to have when you are there.
So let’s get into it!
Moreton Island Camping Accommodation
Overall there are five campgrounds and five camping zones on Moreton Island, all of which are situated on the beaches that define its spectacular shoreline.
For the purposes of clarity, a campground takes the form of a designated area that has been set aside with basic facilities like drop toilets and cold showers.
A camping zone, by contrast, tends to be a bigger area that is encompassed by two specific points and has no facilities at all.
If you intend to stay at a camping zone, you will have to bring along your own toilet with you. However, when nature calls, you are permitted to use toilets that reside within the other campgrounds.
To enable you to settle upon which of the options for camping at Moreton Island is right for you, here is a brief synopsis of all of them.
For your convenience, we have outlined them in the clockwise order they appear on a map of the island, starting from the closest to the main Tangalooma resort.
The Wrecks Campground
The Wrecks Campground is situated in a sheltered bay, just a short walk from the Tangalooma resort, near to where the barge pulls up.
This campground is unique in that no vehicles are allowed in it. The site is purely for those travelling to the island on their own boat, who are walk-ins carrying their own stuff, or who are happy to park their vehicles a short distance from the campsite.
Overall there are 21 clearly defined, sandy sites here which are well set back from the beach and don’t offer much in the way of views. That said, it is a straightforward walk to the shoreline, which is one of the most picturesque parts of the island.
The facilities at Wrecks Campground include water (which you will need to treat before drinking), cold showers, hybrid toilets and rubbish bins. Unfortunately, generators and fires are prohibited.
A further 1.5 km north of the Wrecks, resides the Ben-Ewa campground.
One of the most popular of all areas for camping on Moreton Island for families, this campground enjoys lots of shade and is protected by the wind as a result of it being in a sheltered bay. This makes it a great destination for safe swimming, especially for little ones.
All up there are only 12 sites here, so it can be a little difficult to get in here – you’ll need to book early. But if you can get in you will find well-marked camping sites that are great for tents, camper trailers and off-road caravans.
Again, this site is located well back from the beach and is not blessed with the best of views. However, it is just a short hop and a skip to the beautiful shoreline.
Offering the same facilities as Wrecks, fires are permitted in existing sites, although generators are not.
North West Camping Zone
Covering the beach area that runs from the Ben-Ewa campground, all the way to the Comboyuro Point campground, the North West camping zone offers plenty of choices for visitors.
Campers can select any of the sites along here, which vary in size. Some of them offer sea views, whilst others are shaded and/or well secluded.
If you are looking for a bit of space, this is an excellent campground option for you. The sites are located close to the Bulwer Township, where you can pick up plenty of supplies. They are also protected from the wind by sheltered bay waters.
Designed for a maximum of 74 groups, this camping zone is designed for tents, camper trailers and off-road caravans.
You won’t find any facilities at all here, so this campground is great for self-sufficient campers. However, fires are allowed in existing sites, while generators are permitted too.
Comboyuro Point Campground
The Comboyuro Point Campground lies just north of the Bulwer Township, within easy walking distance of it.
A great spot for those who want calm and sheltered waters to swim and play in, this large campground presents 49 shaded sites that vary in size. All of which are very well marked and appropriate for use by tents, camper trailers and off-road caravans.
The facilities include non-drinkable water, cold showers, septic toilets, a dump point and rubbish bins. Furthermore, while you are allowed to use fires in existing sites, the use of generators is not permitted.
Yellow Patch Camping Zone
Nestled at Moreton Island’s very northern end, the Yellow Patch Zone covers encompasses the beaches that lie between Heath Island and North Point.
Campers can choose any spot they like in this zone, with sites differing in size. Some of these are well secluded as well, while others have sea views or offer good shade. You will even find some sites situated close to the surf.
This yellow zone can host a maximum of 14 groups which are suitable for tents, camper trailers and off-road caravans.
As there are no facilities here, this is another site for self-sufficient campers. Fires are permitted in existing sites, while generators are also allowed.
North Point Campground
Located towards the northern tip of the island, the North Point Campground presents 21 big, grassy sites that are well shaded.
A stay here puts you close to the island’s surf epicentre. It is also within easy walking distance to both the Champagne Pools and Honeymoon Bay.
All the sites here are set back from the beach. They are very well marked and appropriate for tents. Be mindful that only four sites are suitable for camper trailers and off-road caravans.
Facilities are limited to non-drinkable water, cold showers and hybrid toilets, while generators and fires are not permitted.
Blue Lagoon Campground
As its name suggests, the Blue Lagoon Campground is very close to the Blue Lagoon. Tucked away on the eastern side of the island it is a lovely spot that offers wonderful beachside camping.
Campers who stay here enjoy easy access to the Ocean Surf Beach, as well of course, as easy walking distance to the lagoon.
Offering 25 medium to large sites, all of which are well marked and appropriate for tents, this is another campground that only has four dedicated sites for off-road caravans or camper trailers.
Facilities here include untreated water, cold showers and septic toilets. Fires are allowed in existing sites, however, generators are not.
North East Camping Zone
Incorporating the area that covers Spitfire Creek in the north, all the way down to Middle Road, about halfway down the eastern side of the island, the North East Camping Zone can house a maximum of 89 groups.
Campers here are encouraged to choose a spot anywhere they fancy within this zone, with plots ranging in size from small to very large. Some of these sites have sea views, while others are more secluded and/or offer plenty of shade.
The sites are appropriate for tents, off-road caravans and camper trailers. There is nothing in the way of facilities here, so the site is best for self-sufficient campers.
Fires in existing sites are permitted, while generators are also allowed.
South East Camping Zone
Over on the eastern side of the island, you will find the South East Camping Zone.
This zone covers the beaches that run from Middle Road all the way to the Rous Battery, which resides on the island’s southern end.
Campers can choose a spot anywhere in this section, with most sites differing in size, but offering fantastic ocean views and shade.
A maximum of 35 groups can stay in this zone, which has sites that are suitable for tents, camper trailers and off-road caravans.
This site has nothing in the way of facilities, so campers will have to be self-sufficient. Although fires in existing sites are allowed and generators are also permitted.
South West Camping Zone
You will find the South West Camping Zone on the western side of Moreton Island.
Covering the beach area which runs from the Tangalooma Bypass down all the way down south to Toulkerrie, campers can choose a spot anywhere in this region.
Accommodating a maximum of 24 groups, the sites differ in size and location, with some being well secluded, others having sea views and further ones offering shade.
As well as being suitable for tents, camper trailers and off-road caravans, this campsite is also accessible by boat.
You won’t find any facilities here, so you will need to be a self-sufficient camper. However, fires in existing sites and generators are allowed.
How to Book Moreton Island Camping
If you want to camp at any of the sites showcased above, you will have to make a reservation and also purchase a permit.
Sites for camping on Moreton Island can be booked up to six months prior to your arrival. If you intend to visit during the peak summer months or school holidays, we highly recommend you book early, as the sites do book out quickly during these periods.
The easiest way to secure one of these sites for yourself is via https://www.mulgumpincamping.net.au/.
At the time of writing the fees are only $6.75 per person per night or $27 per family per night. This ‘family rate’ covers up to 8 people, which includes 1 or 2 adults and children under 18 years old. Kids under the age of 5 are free.
After booking a campsite, you will receive a camping permit. Whilst on Moreton Island, your camping permit is required to be clearly displayed at your campsite at all times.
Getting to Moreton Island
Moreton Island can only be reached in two ways.
One of these is a special passenger ferry that is set aside for guests of the Tangalooma Resort. The other is the Micat passenger and vehicle ferry, which is the one you will need to take if you want to go camping on Moreton Island.
The Micat Moreton Island barge, as it is officially known, runs services throughout the year, depending on demand. During the peak times of summer or the school holidays, it can run up to five times a day. Whereas in the quieter months of winter it may only run once a day.
The crossing takes around 90 minutes and is not a cheap endeavour. Starting from $70 for a small vehicle, with prices increasing for larger vehicles, you will also have to pay similar charges for what you are towing.
In addition, while the driver is included in the price, you will need to pay for each extra passenger over the age of 3 years old. Each extra adult will cost $28.50, while children are priced at $18.50,
which are the prices for walk-on passengers without a car.
All these prices are for one-way tickets. You will have to pay the same amount again to get back to Brisbane from the island.
Walk-on passengers are only allowed to bring three pieces of luggage with them – which may include a backpack, esky and chair.
So you might need to get strategic with other members of your party when deciding on what to bring. In addition, any oversized items like surfboards, kayaks or canoes are also charged an extra fee.
The Micat leaves from Howard Smith Drive within the Port of Brisbane. It docks directly on the beach at Moreton Island, close to Tangalooma Wrecks. On arrival, drivers will need to be ready to drive straight onto the sand from the ferry.
Driving Permits Required for Moreton Island
In addition to your camping permits, if you plan to drive whilst on Moreton Island, you will need a vehicle permit.
This can be booked at the same time as reserving your campsite, with the cost for these vehicle permits being $53.63 for a month, or $270 for a year.
So there you have it!
Our complete guide for camping at Moreton Island. We hope this guide has inspired you to go ahead and make a reservation there.
If it has, you will be in for a fantastic time, because Moreton Island is a truly wonderful place to visit.