Migratory Wading Birds on Moreton Island

April 9th, 2008

The Mirapool area of Moreton Island is a most important area for large accumulation of waders to feed and gather for migration. Twenty-four of the 214 world species of migratory waders visit Moreton Bay each year between April and September. That this habitat remains a safe haven is critical for the birds continued survival.

Most species come from as far away as Siberia and Alaska to Moreton Island a distance of 13,000k’m. At the beginning of Autumn the waders moult into breeding colours and group for the long flight to Artic areas to breed. They almost double their weight to provide enough energy to reach the stop over areas. Singapore is thought to be one of the first stops with up to three million birds congregating at times. After resting and fattening on warm summer shores they migrate in the Autumn to the Siberian and Alaskan tundra, and the deserts of Mongolia and far North China to breed during the short nothern hemisphere summer. The only migratory waders that do not leave Mirapool are the very old and young. The young birds are too young to breed and will wait for the return group next year. The birds rely on havens at Mirapool to provide the high energy food required for their long journey north.  Waders are small (stints-12cm.) to large birds (curlews-60cm.) that inhabit wetlands or shoreline areas. They can be seen feeding on marine crustaceans, worms and small fish on mud or sand flats in summer months. The migratory birds include, eastern curlew, whimberal, bar-tailed godwit, red-necked stint, mongolian sand plover, pied stilt, red knot, and sharp-tailed sandpiper.

Most species of waders migrate between their Arctic or Subarctic breeding grounds and warm temperate or tropical regions. At the end of the breeding season they begin their long journey south along various routes within Asia to southern Asia, Australia or New Zealand.  The migration consists of a series of long uninterrupted flights stopping only to rest before the next stage of the journey.  The birds begin to arrive at Moreton Island in Spring.

Waders are attracted to the pristine banks at Mirrapool as they are undisturbed, and  remain a very good habitat to  ensures the survival of the world’s waders, which has become an international issue.

Eco Night Spotlighting Walk.

March 23rd, 2008

The night spotlighting tour opens your eyes to the nocturnal creatures at Tangalooma.  Here at the Tangaloma Resort, which is nestled beside Moreton Bay and the Moreton island National Park, the nightlife of nocturnal creatures is a surprise. The tour is conducted by one of  the biologists from the Marine and Research Centre at Tangalooma Resort. There is an amazing array of nightlife in close proximity to the Resort. The guide expertly trains our eyes towards the tree tops where once you focus, nature’s richness takes over. Apart from the possums, you may also see the quick movement of  sugar gliders in flight. This is amazing since you have walked the path on many occasions and never thought to look skyward. Meanwhile at ground level watch for the beach curlews who dart between the tree shadows, but also have a most distinct “cry”, which is almost childlike. There are also bandicoots at ground level. As we walk past the Resort proper and our eyes adjust to the night light, we can also perhaps see an owl, a spider weaving a web, or geckos.

This tour is most informative and quite a revelation of nature if you train your eyes and ears to look and listen. The tour leaves from the Marine and Research Education Centre which is located near the jetty, between 6.45 and the duration is 1 hour. The guide has a large spotlight but if possible you may bring your own torch.

Beach House Rotunda

March 19th, 2008

The Beach House Rotunda restaurant is a fine dining delight at Tangalooma Resort. This restaurant if located on the absolute beach frontage past the Dive shop and next to Chef’s restaurant. This magnificent vantage point overlooking the pristine waters of Moreton Bay is a diners delight. The restaurant caters for both indoor and outdoor dining, but maintains the outdoor feel through open windows and doorways.

The menu as the name suggests, serves succulent M.S.A. grade steak with an accompanying variety of sauce eg. pepper and dianne. There is also fresh fish and poultry and the serve  portions are most generous. All meals are served with an idaho potato and there is also a selection of salads from the smorgasbord style salad bar. Children are of course catered for and most welcome. Check the blackboard daily for early bird bookings.

Bookings for the Beach House Rotunda are advisable and can be made at the Tangaloma tour desk. This restaurant is also able to cater for private functions.

Northern Safari Tour

March 16th, 2008

The Northern Safari tour gives you a complete overview of Moreton Island. The island is 37km’s long and 10k’m wide. Most of the islands 19,000hectares, excluding towns, is both National  Park and recreation area.

The tour leaves the Tangalooma Resort and travels along the Western beach overlooking Moreton Bay. The guide provides interesting information on the islands history and points of interest such as the Tangalooma Wrecks,  the towns of CowanCowan and Bulwer. During both W.W.I and W.W.II Cowan Cowan was a major defense base.The remains of the battteries today are a reminder of that time.

We turn from the beach at Bulwer and cross the top of the island before reaching North Point and Honeymoon Bay. The bus stops here for a stretch of the legs, and a leisurely walk to visit Honeymoon Bay. This is the most picturesque bay and a touch of paradise. The pristine waters of the ocean lap the purest sand, while the costal banksia and gentle casuarinas sway in the breeze and line the edges of the bay. Take a moment to bask in the serenity. Meanwhile a delicious morning tea of damper with jam and cream with tea or coffee has been prepared by our capable guide.

The tour then proceeds to Cape Moreton Lighthouse. It was built in 1857 by master stonemasons and convicts using sandstone quarries from the immediate area. This is the only rock outcrop on the island. This lighthouse was most useful as the northern end of Mortern Island became the main shipping passage to Brisbane. Today the light is fully automated.The short walk along the cliff gives spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and the Eastern Beach. The clarity of the turquoise waters means that you can easily spot turtles and dolphins lolling through the swell, as well as rays and sharks. It is also a good vantage point to see the migration of whales between June and October. The tour returns via the Eastern beach and the middle road.

The Tangalooma tour desk has all the relevant information for bookings. Please check for departure days and times. The tour duration is 4 hrs. This is a must do tour on Moreton Island.

Snorkeling the Tangalooma Wrecks

March 15th, 2008

The Tangalooma wrecks are a perfect place to snorkel. The wrecks are a prominent land mark on Moreton Island, and the site is recognised as a premier snorkeling destination in the world. The wrecks were created as a shelter for boats and yachts but at the same time provide a reef for fish and coral. There are many different species of reef and tropical fish, as well as invertabrates to be seen here. The variety is comparable to marine life on the Great Barrier Reef.

The guided tour departs from Get Wet Sports where all equipment is available, eg. snorkels, masks, wet suits, flippers, mesh gloves, as well as buoyancy boards for less confident swimmers. A custom built, stylish boat whisks you to the Wrecks. Then the amazing experience begins. The pleasure of swimming amongst the wrecks and with schools of fish, literally within your grasp is exhilirating. Some of the fish varieties swimming past are trevally,kingfish, yellowtail, garfish,rockcod,bream and the resident wobbegong. There are ofcoarse tropical delights such as parrot fish,and clown fish. What a thrill to hand feed the fish, and see the frenzied activity. An added bonus are the dolphins and green turtles which may be seen in natures garden as well. To snorkel the wrecks is like bieng transported to another world.

This tour can be booked at Get Wet Sports and please check with the proffesional staff or the blackboard for daily tours and times. This is an unforgetable tour of exhilirating excitment.

Blue Lagoon Safari Tour

March 13th, 2008

This unique guided 4W.D. tour takes you to the crystal clear waters of the Blue Lagoon. The Blue Lagoon is located south of the Cape Moreton lighthouse on the eastern side of Moreton Island. The lake covers 42 hectares and is the largest freshwater lake on the island. Originally it was created by the gradual sand dune movement which over time formed the catchment. It is actually called a “window lake” as the underwater table is at the surface. It is not fed by water from rivers or streams but by underground aquifers. There is an estimated 2.5thousand million cubic meters of water stored here.

The tour by 4 W.D. bus travels along the beach from the Tangalooma Resort to the Wrecks. It then turns towards the Eastern beach using the 7k’s of middle road. Our guide offers pleasant commentary on the islands flora and fauna. Once we arrive at our destination it is a short walk on the squeaky clean sand to the beckoning crystal clear waters of theBlue Lagoon. Along the path you can see much of the islands local flora, such as the low brush box, coastal banksia, and sheoaks. The sight of this beautiful lake is breathtaking with it’s crystal clear blue water. The water laps the freshwater sedge which grow along the edge and there are many small birds darting amongst the bushes. This is a tranquil scene indeed. While you enjoy a relaxing swim your tour guide prepares a scrumptious snack of damper and tea and coffee. Swimming here is so relaxing and refreshing.

The tour takes 3hrs. and swimming costume,towel, hat, suncream, and camera are essential. Please book at the Tangalooma Tour Desk and check for the scheduled depatures.The cost is $48 for adults and $30 for children. This is the perfect way to relax and see nature at it’s very best.

Quad Bike Tours

March 12th, 2008

The Quad Bike guided tour is sheer excitment and fun for everyone. The Tangalooma Resort proffesional guides will take you on a basic training course to asses your skill levels. The tour caters for all ages 6 years and up and for all levels of ability. It is not a priority to have prior experience.

Once you have gained your confidence on the 4wheel A.T.V.(All Terrain Vehicle) we follow the sand tracks behind the resort and onto the bush sandhills. As well as the sheer thrill of the driving watch out for the native flora and fauna..eg. kookaburras, bandicoots, whistling kites and their nests and many other varieties of bird species.

When you reach the highest point you feel like you are on top of the world. The views across Moreton Bay are stunning, from the bands of blue in the crystal clear waters, across the shipping channel towards the Glasshouse Mountains and Brisbane.

The Tour operates daily, on the hour, 10am-4pm. and the duration is 45-50 minutes. Please book at the tour desk to avoid disappointment. Shoes are compulsory and a helmut is provided. The cost is $58 per person. This tour is fun for the whole family and should not be missed.

Quad Bike Tour

Tangalooma massage

March 9th, 2008

The Tangalooma Massage hut is ideally located on the beach where the stresses and tension of every day life can be washed away. This is instant relaxation under the tutelage of proffesional therapists while listening to the gentle waters of Moreton Bay lapping the beach. Here it is easy to wash away the pressures of every day life. It is more than relaxation, as you will also feel the wonderful benefit of the massage.

The treatments each have their own unique choice of aromatic pure essential oil blends. All you need to do is choose which treatment you need. The therapist will give some assistance in your choice. The Relaxing massage uses a combination of styles that will rejuvenate and regenerate your whole body, with relief of muscular tension and reduction of stress and anxiety in many areas of your body. The Relax blend of oils used include lavendar, geranium, ylang ylang, rosewood and bergamot. There are many other treatments such as back, neck and shoulders, or feet, or leg muscles, hips and lower back, or any other combination tailored to suit your individual needs.

Perhaps the most important message is to book and allow plenty of time for your body to fully utilize this service. Bookings can be made at the Tour desk at Tangalooma..book early to avoid disappointment as this is a very popular service.

This beautiful experience will highlight the feeling of being far away from life’s bustle and give you the opportunity to look back into your life with a clear mind and relaxed body.

Coffee Shop

March 8th, 2008

The Coffee Shop at Tangaloma Resort is a relaxing meeting place. How often we would say let’s meet for a cappuccino and cake at the coffee shop. The shop is loacted within the Main bar area, and provides both indoor and outdoor seating. While sipping a fresh cappachino or hot chocolate soak up the natural beauty of Moreton Bay. The shop also serves a wide variety of light meals, which are made fresh daily, and include, pies, sausage rolls, sandwiches, wraps and pizza swirls. Then it is onto the delectable deserts such as cheesecake, mudcake, vareitys of gateau, slices, and an all time favourite of melting moments and passionfruit kisses.

Any time is ideal also for a milkshake, thickshake or a large selection of icecreams and gelato. There is a wide selection of icecream flavours such as rum and raisin, boysenberry, honeycomb crunch, chocolate or vanilla. The shop opens daily between 8.30a.m. -9 p.m.  What a perfect way to conclude a Tangalooma day with desert or coffee at the coffee shop.

Moreton Bay and Tangalooma Fishing

March 6th, 2008

Fishing is one of the many fun and relaxing activities on offer at Tangalooma Wild Dolphin Resort. Moreton Bay has a huge variety of fish species in great abundance.

Fish can be caught off the mainland at Tangalooma or in boats in Moreton Bay, with species such as Cod, Snapper, Bream and Flathead being common catches around the resort. Popular fishing spots in the waters surrounding the Resort include the logs at the north end of the resort, near the houses, the old jetty where a man made reef resides, the main jetty where the Tangalooma Flyer docks, the wrecks to the North of the resort, and pretty much anywhere else you fancy in the deeper channel of water which begins roughly 30 metres or so from the beach at Tangalooma and runs all the way along the beach at Tangalooma.

For those with larger vessels the shipping markers to the south of Tangalooma can produce large Mackerel amongst other species, and the reef at Curtin to the north of Tangalooma produces a wide variety of reef fish including Kingfish, Morwong, Snapper and Red Emperor.

Photo below: A cod caught in Moreton Bay at Tangalooma

A cod caught in Moreton Bay at Tangalooma