Queensland Camping

Detailed Guide on How to Get to Moreton Island (Mulgumpin)

So you’ve decided to head on over to the gorgeous Moreton Island  (or Mulgumpin, which is its indigenous name) – the third largest sand island in the world – but now you’re wondering exactly how to get to Moreton Island.  Well, you’re in the right place because, in this guide, we’re going to provide everything you need to know about getting to Moreton Island

There are really only two options in terms of how to go to Moreton Island, and neither is overly complicated.  This guide will cover both options including the schedules, ticket prices, departure points, luggage allowances, and more.  Then you’ll be able to choose the perfect Moreton Island transfers for your trip.

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How to Get to Moreton Island

Apart from private boat or flight, there are only two options for travel to Moreton Island.  Guests of the Tangalooma Resort can take the Tangalooma Flyer to Moreton Island, while all other visitors to the island will need to take the Micat Moreton Island Ferry, which operates as both a passenger and vehicle ferry.

Both options depart from Brisbane to Moreton Island and are discussed below in further detail.  A map is also provided below, which shows the departure and arrival points for both the Tangalooma Flyer and the Micat Ferry.

Taking the Micat Brisbane to Moreton Island Ferry

If you’re coming over to Moreton Island to camp or stay at any other accommodation on the island apart from Tangalooma, then you’ll need to take the Micat Brisbane to Moreton Island ferry.  This is both a vehicle and passenger ferry to Moreton Island and is the only option for people bringing their vehicles over. The ferry to Moreton Island from Brisbane is known as both the Moreton Micat and the Moreton Barge – so don’t get confused by the names.

The Micat Moreton Island barge schedule varies throughout the year depending on demand.  So during peak times, the Micat can be running up to five times a day, whereas during quiet times, it may run only once or twice a day – and generally not at all on Wednesdays. The barge to Moreton Island takes around 90 minutes.

Given this is the only Moreton Island car ferry, it is recommended to book well in advance.  At least four weeks in advance is recommended, even 6 months during peak times such as school holidays.  This will ensure you get a barge time convenient to you.  For passenger only bookings, one to two weeks in advance is all you’ll need.

It is not cheap to get yourself, your family and your vehicle over to Moreton Island.  The ferry cost to Moreton Island starts at around $75 for a small vehicle (no trailer or van) and prices go up from there.  You’ll then need to add on whatever you’re towing, which also starts at a similar price – and these prices are just one way!

The ferry to Moreton Island price includes the driver, but you’ll also need to pay for each additional passenger over the age of 3.  Moreton Island ferry prices for kids are $23.50 (4-14) and adults are $33.50 – again, one way.  These are also the prices for walk on passengers without a vehicle. As you can see, the Moreton Island ferry cost is expensive.

If you’re a walk on passenger on the Micat barge, you’re able to take three pieces of luggage with you.  So you could bring an esky, chair and backpack – for example.  So it might take some planning on what each member of your group brings to stay within this luggage allowance.  Any oversized items such as kayaks or surfboards are charged an additional fee.

Both passengers and vehicles are required to arrive 45 minutes before the departure time.

Onboard the Micat Moreton Island barge is a small café serving pies, sausage rolls and sandwiches, as well as coffee, beer and wine.  You can see their menu here.

The Moreton Island Micat departs Brisbane from 14 Howard Smith Drive in the Port of Brisbane.  It lands on the beach at Moreton Island, just by the Tangalooma Wrecks.  Drivers will therefore need to be ready to drive straight from the barge onto the sand.

Click here to book the Micat ferry to Moreton Island.
(You can also see the Moreton Island ferry timetable in this link).

Taking the Tangalooma Passenger Ferry to Moreton Island

If you’re heading to the Tangalooma Resort for the day or a few days, then for transport to Moreton Island you will take the Tangalooma Ferry. The Tangalooma Ferry is for guests of the resort only and all other island visitors must take the Micat.  You can also take the Micat if you prefer or if you’re wanting to bring your 4WD over to the island.

The Tangalooma boat to Moreton Island departs Brisbane daily at 7.30 am, 10 am, 12.30 pm and 5.30 pm (Fri-Sun), whilst ferries depart Tangalooma daily at 9.30 am, 2.30 pm, 4 pm and 7 pm (Fri-Sun).  In Brisbane, the ferry departs from Holt Street Wharf and the journey takes just 75 minutes.   

Tangalooma ferry prices are $84 per adult and $46 per child return.  Children 2 and under are free.

If you stay overnight at Tangalooma, the boat to Tangalooma fare includes luggage porters to and from your accommodation.

Here are some things worth noting for the ferry:

  • Each guest is permitted one carry on bag not exceeding 23cm x 34cmx48 cm;
  • Beach trolleys and prams must be collapsed before boarding;
  • Guests staying in accommodation can bring one checked in bag with a maximum weight of 20kg plus one esky with a maximum weight of 20kg per accommodation booking; and
  • Surfboards, bicycles and other large items can be brought over at an additional cost.

Parking at the Holt Street Wharf is $20 per day or $80 per week.

We found the whole process from checking in at the ferry terminal to getting to the island relatively well organised and easy.  

Tangalooma ferry booking and Tangalooma ferry times can be found here.

Driving Permits Required for Moreton Island

Image Credit: Thanks to Tourism and Events Queensland

In addition to your ferry booking, if you bring your vehicle over to the island, you will also need a driving permit.  Vehicle permits are $55.90 for up to one month or $281.40 for up to a year for the one vehicle.

Click here to book your vehicle permits.


Hopefully, you found this guide on exactly how to get to Moreton Island and how to get to Tangalooma helpful.  Once you’re there, you’ll need to know where to stay, so here is a great guide on where to camp on Moreton Island. Or for another island experience, read our guide on how to get to Fraser Island here

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