Posts Tagged ‘Moreton island’

Migratory Wading Birds on Moreton Island

Wednesday, 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.

Northern Safari Tour

Sunday, 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

Saturday, 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

Thursday, 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.