The advertising for Moreton Island says “ Escape the fake”.but after our four day stay I found this this to be totally  misleading as we all found it to be “unreal…….”

I am getting a bit ahead of myself so backtrack to Thursday morning and after years of having to endure the daily sight of 4x4’s driving down the Port road bound for the Moreton ferry finally it is my turn to be a tormenter. The ferry is only a ten minute drive from my house so no need to rush but I still manage to be the last car there with the exception of Janine and Anthony who are coming over on Friday.

The ferry ride is about seventy five minutes giving you plenty of time to enjoy a coffee or snack from the bar, air down and calm down ready for the weekend. Once at Moreton we exit straight on to the beach and head North up toward Bulwer where some will be camping just off the beach (and hopefully above the high tide level) whilst others will be taking the civilised  glamping option of tent and ensuite.

On the drive up the beach Scott appears to be having some steering issues as his car is frequently seen driving in circles on the sand followed by short bursts of acceleration…sand must be sticking in the linkages. As we approach Bulwer we start checking out some of the camp sites, a site that Jeremy eyeballed last year now requires you to cross a creek to access so we move on to explore other options. With a suitable site found Don and myself head up to Bulwer to check into to our glamping accomodation.Moreton Island QLD4x4 Club 3

The hardest thing about glamping is deciding what to take from your car into the tent, after five minutes of deliberation both cars are nearly unpacked all we have to do is transfer our “Cold Rock Ice cream” into the camp kitchen freezer.

We head back to the camp to watch the others setting up and enjoy an ale on the beach. Trip leader come entertainment officer Col ” Dundee “ Ashton entertains us with his  snake charming abilities as he evicts a resident 2.0m long python, this must be part of his routine as he did the same thing last year. Still wearing his Dundee hat Col then proceeds to impress us with his fishing abilities by catching a good sized flathead on his first cast prompting everyone to grab a rod and have a cast…….It could be said he reeled us all in as that was the only fish caught that afternoon. With the sun slowly setting time to use our bushman skills to light the fires, or should that be bush mechanics skills…cigarette lighter, can or two of degreaser and a Makita cordless blower should do the trick.

We gather around our two signal fires to watch the passing  parade of turtles and dugongs. No hard ice cream with dinner tonight as “someone”  couldn’t tell the difference between a fridge and a freezer……( is that a frog croaking I can hear……...)

Friday morning  and Anthony & Janine have arrived and checked into their glamping accomodation, we figure that technically little Eva was the last to arrive so the trip report should be hers.Looking forward to seeing it, figure it will be a very pictorial style. It  takes them a while to unpack as little Eva has bought half the house with her but after twenty or so trips from car to tent they are finally done.

Today Col is leading us up to Cape Moreton and over to the east side. At the cape some go for a walk to honeymoon bay whilst others wet a line and have a swim. From here we head up to the light house arriving in time for the 1.30pm whale watching session. Next down to the east coast for lunch and a leisurely drive back down the beach….that’s was the plan. Scott was still having steering troubles driving in circles and then the beach straightened and widen enough for two cars to drive side by side then three cars then…Danielle must have thought we were lining up for  a race so hit the pedal and sped up the outside to catch up putting an impressive amount of air under the car as she hit some bumps. The winner was Jeremy who now has permission to upgrade his suspension…..

Friday night and it is our “Christmas Dinner” at the Bulwer café, good thing Janine bought the Christmas decorations as our trip leaders didn’t know it was a “ Christmas in July” trip………(can hear that frog croaking again……) Good news is tonight we’re having “Frozen Cold Rock “ for dessert!!

Saturday is a do as you please Day with people heading off in different directions to sight see ,fish relax and exercise. Jeremy takes a group to the south end of the island to visit the gutter bar for lunch. Pierce is able to combine sight seeing with exercise when he has to dig Don’s Triton out of the soft sand….

After a morning of fish feeding I join Col on a fishing trip up near the cape ,our fishing spot is very tidal dependant so timing is everything. Changing sands from tides and storms mean we have to park and wade waist deep (for most)  to reach our desired sand bar. It was worth getting my ankles wet as I managed to catch two keepers and break my fishing drought. Alas the rising tide means we have to leave fish in the ocean and head back to camp.

Moreton Island QLD4x4 Club 1Sunday morning and the campers are have a leisurely breakfast and slow pack up. Anthony has been up early to load Eva’s stuff into the car before we head down to the beach for a fish . My morning fish is nowhere as successful as Saturday afternoon but I do mange to catch my bag limit of toad fish three times over.Anthony has a bit more success fishing from his  kayak picking up some small reef fish just off the beach…….

With the tide falling I tag along with Anthony and Janine for the drive down to the gutter bar for a lunch of oysters and prawns.. Our trip takes us along the west coast and around Tangalooma, then we skirt around the base of the sand dunes and through the mangroves a great four wheel drive trip before arriving at our destination. Not something you can do at high tide. After driving all that way they had sold out of oysters and prawns…………(Next time should call Uber eats) After some fresh fish & chips it’s time to make our way back to the barge landing point to meet the others.

With the weekend drawing to a close our four days has felt more like seven, a thoroughly enjoyable time. Having scratched only a portion of the island I have left plenty more to see and plenty of fish to catch on my next visit. If you haven’t been you should put it on your bucket list, I can’t wait to go back.

Trip Leader: Colin Ashton & Don Bambry
Report: Prado Geoff