Copyright (c) 2009 Rhonda Budden
So you’ve just taken delivery of a new off road trailer tent and you’re itching to give it a whirl. Where are you going to take it to test out its off road handling capabilities?
Look no further than Queensland’s beautiful Moreton Bay Islands. For those that enjoy the peace and quiet of natural surroundings, both Moreton Island and North Stradbroke Island offer the chance to get back to nature. As the second and third largest sand islands in the world respectively, they offer stunning, white sandy beaches, clear, crystal waters and plenty of opportunities to escape the crowds with an off road camper trailer tent.
North Stradbroke Island ‘affectionately known as ‘Straddie’ – offers amenities and things to do for all the family. The island is only accessible to visitors in the north; the southern part of the island is privately owned. However, there is plenty to do and see. From safe swimming and boating to fishing and whale watching (from June to November), there will never be a shortage of activities.
A couple of off road camping options await you on Straddie: Flinders Beach Foreshore and Main Beach Foreshore – both of which are only accessible from the beach. A 4WD permit is required for camping at both locations and the cost of this is in addition to the cost of camping there. Except for a few composting toilets at Flinders beach, there are no facilities at either location so it’s best to come with a fully kitted out camper trailer tent.
Main Beach offers 35km of unspoilt sandy beach, patrolled at one end and overlooking the Pacific Ocean. From this beach you can fish for your supper and from the nearby North Gorge Headland walk you can get a great view of the annual whale migration. Of course, if you don’t want to be too far from civilization, the restaurants and cafes of Point Lookout are only a few minutes’ drive away. Bookings are essential for camping at Flinders Beach, especially during school holidays and it’s worth remembering that this beach is not patrolled.
Over on Moreton Island, there’s more 4WD camping at the Blue Lagoon Campground. Situated on the East side of the island, this campsite is only accessible by 4WD and offers peaceful seclusion on one of only 25 sites. The Blue Lagoon itself is a freshwater lake of clear crystal water, offering the perfect spot for a cooling swim.
Remote beach camping is also available at the North-west, North-East, South-West, South-East and Yellow Patch camping zones, all of which offer sites with ocean views.
Things you will need to remember to take with you to Moreton Island are vehicle fuel, since none is available on the island itself, and firewood for camp fires as it is illegal to collect firewood on the island. You will also need to remember to bring your 4WD vehicle and camping permits. You should also make sure you have most general supplies with you as there are limited general supplies available on the island. Above all you should plan for any contingency as medical assistance is a long way away.
Both Moreton and North Stradbroke Islands can be reached by regular vehicle ferry from Cleveland – only 20 minutes from Brisbane CBD. The crossing to either island takes approximately 40 minutes across sheltered waters.
So with unspoilt Pacific Ocean views and pristine sandy beaches on offer what are you waiting for? Pack up the trailer tent and get going!