School Camps on Moreton Island

The benefits of outdoor education are well established – it fosters critical thinking, leadership skills, evaluating risk taking and promotes positive mental wellbeing among students.

That said, you simply can’t get a more diverse learning environment for a school camp near Brisbane than Moreton Island. Situated just 40km from Brisbane across Moreton Bay, Moreton Island is the least disturbed, large coastal sand island in South East Queensland and has a mixture of learning environments like no other.

Imagine immense ancient dune systems formed by wind, water & waves, pristine Moreton Bay Marine Park complete with ship wreck snorkelling, 27 different plan communities including mangroves, melaleuca swamps, heath & eucalypt woodlands as well as a strong indigenous history & remnants of WW2 historical sites – what an amazing school camp destination that would be!

Read on to discover all the amazing experience options that a school camp on Moreton Island has to offer!

  • Moreton Island
  • Study Areas
  • Experience Options
  • Sample Itinerary
  • Accommodation
  • Transport
  • FAQ's
  • Booking terms

Moreton Island School Camps & Education Tours

Moreton Island is the third largest sand island in the WORLD and is Brisbane’s undisputed eco adventure playground! Where else can you get a school camp near Brisbane that:

  • Is over 98% National Park
  • Is an all sand island – the third largest in the world in fact
  • Has unrivalled eco adventure activities like snorkelling sunken shipwrecks, illuminated night kayaking & desert sandboarding
  • Is home to amazing wildlife like turtles, dolphins, whales & more
  • Has unique World War 2 bunkers and memorabilia for students to visit
  • Has the highest vegetated sand dune in the world
  • Has Queensland’s oldest lighthouse
  • Is perfect for a wide range of studies including geography, biology, sciences, marine studies, physical education, sustainability studies and more!

It’s not hard to see why schools and colleges come from all over Australia to see this fun filled adventure classroom! 

So why choose Trailblazer Tours for your next school camp?

Trailblazer Tours is an eco-accredited tour company who have been providing quality school camps for many years and is backed by our sister company Australian Sunset Safaris. We boast:

  • Free door to door service for schools within a 100km radius of Brisbane
  • Door to door service for a small additional charge for schools up to 800km from Brisbane!
  • Professional and friendly guides complete with DA’s (medical and police checks required)
  • The ability to cater for large schools 100+
  • Custom built itineraries to suit your KLA’s – just tell us what you need
  • Comfortable, air-conditioned coaches
  • Risk assessments provided


There are so many options for studying on Moreton Island limited only by your imagination. Below we have summarised the main options that we have seen utilised during our many school camps. If you have another requirement just drop us a line and we will custom build your perfect itinerary!

Biology & Environment

Being an island, Moreton has been protected from much of the development of the last 50 years or so, and thus presents a unique biological study area where students can learn about the many eco-systems that are formed on an all sand island. The island itself is host to over 27 different vegetation communities including mangroves, melaleuca swamps, coastal dunes, heathland and eucalypt woodlands. These eco-systems provide important habitats for a plethora of wildlife including birds, reptiles, terrestrial mammals and amphibians.

Download the Moreton Island Information Pack for more information on Biology Camps

Marine Studies

Along with North & South Stradbroke Islands, Moreton Island forms the eastern boundary of Moreton Bay – a large, shallow and biologically diverse expanse of water which was declared a marine park in 1992 for its important natural, cultural, recreational and economic value to Queensland. Students can immerse themselves in the park with a guided snorkel around 15 submerged shipwrecks located just 15 meters from shore and a variety of marine life can be seen including tropical fish species, coral, wobbygongs& turtles.

Download the Moreton Island School Camp Information Pack for more information on Marine Study Camps

Geography

The ability to combine aspects of geography studies such as collecting data & studies, sustainability focussed studies, landform studies & Indigenous culture studies makes Moreton Island a unique and easy choice for geography teachers. We are very happy to chat with you to combine aspects of tours to suit your learning objectives and will support you to build the perfect school camp. In general, activities we offer that support a broad geography focus are:

Download the Moreton Island School Camp Information Pack for more information on Geography Camps

Sustainability & Tourism

Moreton Island is a unique location for studying the impacts of tourism, vehicles & humans on a natural environment. We can provide a real-time case study on Castaways Resort – a dual purpose accommodation provider which has both older style dorm & unit accommodation and a more updated eco-friendly Glamping accommodation. An information session can be held on the installations that have been made to make the area more eco-friendly, and the impact the area has had on tourism & environment.

Download the Moreton Island School Camp Information Pack for more information on Sustainability & Tourism Camps

History

Moreton Island had a significant role in World War 1 & 2 and has many relics left over from these days including gun batteries, munitions store rooms and kitchen bunkers. Students are able to walk through these concrete structures and are invited to imagine what life would have been like for soldiers in the war.

Extensive site surveys have established that the native Ngugi people lived on Moreton Island for over 2000 years before Europeans made their mark. They named the island “Moorgumpin” which means “place of sandhills”. Numerous cultural sites have been recorded on the island and included shell and bone scatters, large shell middens and a stone quarry. Today, the remnants of the large shell middens can be witnessed and discussions surrounding the native landowners known customs and history can be had.

Aside from the above, Moreton Island has an interesting historical story to tell. Not only is it home to the first lighthouse in Queensland, it was witness to a major Australian whaling operation which significantly depleted the humpback whale population before being closed in 1962.

Download the Moreton Island School Camp Information Pack for more information on History Camps

Physical Education Camps

Where better than to study physical education than a living breathing adventure island! Activities that support physical education include:

Guided shipwreck snorkelling

Day & Night kayaking

Sandboarding

Mt Tempest Hike

Beach hikes & camping trips

Download the Moreton Island School Camp Information Pack for more information on Physical Education Camps

Experience Learning on Moreton Island

Moreton Island is akin to a kind of eco-adventure education wonderland! With a multitude of amazing natural experiences mixed with a dose of adrenalin-pumping outdoor adventure activities, students are easy to keep entertained and teachers are able to tick off the "curriculum" list.  The most popular choices are listed below, but of course, the possibilities are endless depending on your imagination:

Guided Shipwreck Snorkelling

Enter an underwater adventure playground as you snorkel around 15 sunken shipwrecks. Thousands of tropical fish & corals can be seen and students will be immersed in this marine learning environment. This activity is fully guided with all safety instruction, equipment and risk management documents.

Illuminated Transparent Night Kayaking

Experience this unique activity pioneered by Trailblazer Tours. Imagine silently kayaking around sunken shipwrecks in a see through illuminated kayak, watching corals, fish, turtles & wobbegongs as you quietly paddle past. Turtles & fish commonly swim beneath the kayaks giving the students an insight into the world beneath without disturbing the marine life. If preferred, students can participate in the transparent day kayaking instead.

Sandboarding & Desert Discovery

Don’t tell the students, but the desert is a highly interesting ecological area filled with sandblows, fulgerite (lightning rock) and mineral sands. The students will be walked through the area and told how it was once covered with forest before the sand took hold. This is disguised learning at its best though as soon they will be zooming down the desert dunes reaching amazing speeds before climbing back up to do it all again!

Island Discovery Tour

The island discovery tour takes in the main key destinations in the northern part of Moreton Island and can be tailored to meet your learning objectives.

North Point | Champagne Rockpools | Honeymoon Bay

Visit North Point & Champagne Rock Pools. North Point is a very popular area for geographical & science studies and students can take a dip in the Champagne Rockpools - formed by one of the only areas of volcanic rock on the island. In fact, North Point is the origin of the island!

Cape Moreton Lighthouse | Visitor Centre

The lighthouse forms a significant part of the European history on Moreton Island and was also the first lighthouse build in Queensland. Students are able to visit the on-site visitor centre to gain an understanding of life at the lighthouse before continuing up to experience the spectacular view. Students will have the opportunity to spot dolphins, turtles, manta rays and even whales (June-Oct) before continuing the journey past the grave of the lighthouse keeper’s wife and learning a bit more about the trials of life on a remote island in the 1800’s.

Blue Lagoon

Swimming in fresh water lakes! Blue Lagoon is the most popular lake for swimming and students will learn how this window lake was created while they take a refreshing dip in the water. If requested, Honeyeater Lake, a perched lake created when water collects in a solid depression, can also be visited to show the vast difference between the two types of lakes.

Eco Tourism & Sustainability Talk

Learn how Castaways Resort & Glamping are working towards eco-sustainability with a tour around the site conducted by the manager. Learn how the Glamping tents are designed to fit in with the surroundings and which part of them are made by recycled milk bottles!

Moreton Island History Tour

This tour aims to visit the most historical parts of the island, and commentary is more focussed on the historical aspects of the island. For geography based studies we can arrange to visit campgrounds and/or townships. You will visit and/or learn about:

  • The discovery of Moreton Bay by Europeans
  • Cape Moreton Lighthouse & early life on Moreton Island
  • Aboriginal Shell Middens & a brief history of the first inhabitants of Moreton Island
  • Rous Battery & WW2
  • Cowan Battery & WW2
  • Tangalooma Whaling Station
  • A Moreton Island History Booklet is available for this tour on request.

Tidal Flats Tour

Head out to the tidal flats and discover an amazing eco-system of mudflats, mangroves & tidal pools. These environments form part of Moreton Bay Marine Park and provide food and habitat for a wide variety of marine life. Mangroves provide a nursery for fish, prawns & crabs and the surrounding environment is prolific with bird breeding areas. This tour is perfect for studying life-cycles & ecology and can allow plenty of time for any studies that need to be completed.

Mt Tempest Hike

Climb the highest vegetated sand dune in the world! Mt Tempest is a beautiful walk with amazing almost 3600 views of the island. Students will get their blood pumping with this medium grade hike – only 30 to 40 minutes up and 20 minutes down. The walk meanders through different levels of vegetation and is a perfect end to an active day.

Tailored Programs & Itineraries

Do you have a study focus or activity that we have not listed here? We are happy to custom build tours and activities around your specific needs. Drop us a line or give us a call to have a chat about the possibilities.

Campfire Night

No school camp is complete without a campfire night! Relax around the campfire and toast a few marshmallows – a great way for students and teachers to bond during camp.

Night Beach Walk & Stargazing

Once the sun goes down over the water and students have enjoyed their delicious dinner, we recommend you take the short walk down to the beach to look up. The view of the stars from Moreton Island, without the lights and smog of the city, is astounding and students will be in awe of how many, and how bright the stars are. 

3 Day Moreton Island Sample Itinerary

For more itinerary examples, please download the Moreton Island School Camp Information Pack or give us a call to discuss your specific needs – we’re more than happy to tailor an itinerary to your learning outcomes.

Day 1

  • Get picked up at your school in our custom-built 4WD vehicles and drive to the ferry departure point.
  • Cruise across Moreton Bay on the magnificent MICAT ferry.
  • Enjoy a fully guided Snorkelling Tour of the Tangalooma Ship Wrecks with all gear and safety inductions supplied by Trailblazer Tours. See thousands of beautiful reef fish and experience the awesome fish feeding frenzy!  You might even be lucky enough to spot a dolphin or turtle!
  • Enjoy a fresh picnic lunch on the beach
  • Experience a 4WD adventure like no other in our 4WD tough bus as we travel to and explore The Desert. Take up the challenge and experience the exhilarating Sand Tobogganing reaching speeds of up to 70km per hour!
  • Check in to your Castaways Resort Dorm accommodation just 100m from Bulwer Beach.
  • After all the thrills, you’ll be ready for a delicious dinner complete with desert to fill those rumbly tummies. Complete the evening with an optional night beach walk or campfire experience.

Day 2

  • Enjoy the relaxed Discovery Tour and learn all about the History, Fauna, and Moreton Island and experience:
    • North Point & Champagne Pools
    • Historic Cape Moreton Lighthouse
    • Spotting wildlife from the cape
    • Blue Lagoon
  • OPTIONALExperience the incredible and unforgettable Illuminating      Transparent Night Kayaking Tour around the Tangalooma Ship Wrecks. See the colourful fish and Coral as our kayaks light up at night with underwater lights – all safety vests and safety         inductions supplied by Trailblazer Tours. 
  • Back to the campfire tonight, or why not head out for a beach night walk and see what critters are still awake?

Day 3

  • Enjoy a delicious cooked breakfast before departing for your busy day
  • Explore the plentiful marine life and discover hidden eco systems on the Tidal Flats Tour. Students will see the varying degrees of ecology and this is a great tour for biology/tourism studies.
  • Depart on 3.30pm ferry on day three for your trip back to Brisbane

We have two great accommodation options which allow us to cater up to 100 students at each. Large schools and groups can choose a “Combination” camp where half the group is accommodated in each option.

Option 1 - Castaways Beach Accommodation

Located just 100m from Bulwer Beach, Castaways Resort has a unique “beach house” vibe. Features of this great option include:

  • Walking distance to Bulwer Beach (approx. 100m) perfect for teacher led teambuilding or beach games
  • On-site catering from Castaways Restaurant
  • Clean & functional dorms & units accommodating up to 100
  • General store on site
  • Teachers accommodated in units with their own Pod coffee machine!
  • Unique option of Glamping accommodation available for small groups

 

Option 2–Camping at North Point

If you would rather give students the experience of camping in the great outdoors, we offer the option of staying at our pre-erected campsite at North Point. Highlights of this option include:

  • Grassy camping area right next to idyllic North Point Beach
  • Within walking distance of Honeymoon Bay, Yellow Patch, North Point Beach and the Cape Moreton Lighthouse
  • Pre-erected tents supplied with camp mattresses
  • Camp kitchen and eating area
  • All camping supplies and catering supplied

We pride ourselves on providing the best transport options available for our school camps, and can move groups of up to 180 all at once in our custom-built 4WD coaches. All vehicles are air conditioned and suitable for on-road and off-road travel. Features of our service include:

  • FREE door to door service for schools within a 100km radius of Brisbane
  • Door to door service (small additional fee) for schools up to 700km radius of Brisbane
  • Comfortable 4WD air-conditioned coaches
  • Professional and friendly drivers with full driver’s authorisation 

Are we able to combine locations for our camps?

Yes absolutely! We offer trips to multiple destinations such as Moreton Island & Fraser Island, Fraser Island & The Great Barrier Reef, Moreton Island, Gold Coast theme park and a night in Brisbane! These combined trips are perfect for interstate schools who may have a little further to drive.

Do you provide risk assessments for activities?

We sure do – we have a safety and risk assessment handbook which will be sent to you upon booking.

How long does it take to get to Moreton Island?

The ferry trip from the Port of Brisbane to Moreton Island is approximately 75 minutes. The ferry we take is a large multi-level vessel which is highly stable (so no small ferries for us!). There is a café on board with a real, yes REAL coffee machine for teachers to get their fix!

Will we be shuttled around the island?

No! We provide enough vehicles for everyone to have a seat. This means that we pack so much more into our tours and make sure that students are out on the island for the optimum amount of time.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION & BOOKING CONDITIONS

All prices are subject to change without notice & at the discretion of Sunset Safaris. All information stated in this publication is true & correct at the time of publication. Due to traffic, & the extreme conditions experienced on Moreton Island to buses & the environment, Sunset Safaris reserves the right to alter or cancel any section of the itinerary which may result from road, traffic, weather, mechanical, or any other condition or failure or delay of an operational nature without penalty, & such conditions will be considered as a Force Majeure Event. Sunset Safaris will take all reasonable steps to rectify the situation during any such event, however no liability will be accepted by Sunset Safaris in circumstances outside of Sunset Safaris control.  No responsibility or liability will be taken in the event of injury from pre-existing medical conditions (eg: bad back), accident, injury, loss or damage to persons or property due to persons own negligence. These booking conditions do not waive Sunset Safaris from any of its obligations according to law. Minimum booking numbers & cancellation fees apply.

In continuing to book using this brochure as a guide, you hereby indicate that you understand & agree to these conditions, & agree not to hold Sunset Safaris liable in such circumstances, & agree to the inherent risks associated with traffic, & the wild Moreton Island environment affecting buses & itinerary.