Moreton Island National Park and Recreation Area Brisbane

The Northern Island discovery drive has great views of Cape Moreton and the lighthouse. Photo credit: Maxime Coquard © Tourism and Events Queensland

Aerial view of the southern end of Moreton Island National Park. Photo credit: © Tourism and Events Queensland

Bookings and permits

From February 2020, permits to drive or camp in the Mulgumpin (Moreton Island) Recreation Area are booked and managed through Mulgumpin Camping. Photo credit: © Tourism and Events Queensland

Northern Island discovery drive

Discover surf beaches, freshwater lagoons, spectacular lookouts, great fishing spots, scenic walks and idyllic picnic areas on this 4WD adventure.

Journey type
4WD, scenic drive
Distance
55km circuit The same start and finish point, but the traveller doesn’t return along the same path
Time suggested
Allow 6hrs driving including stops.
Grade
Unrated
Where
View map

Accessible by

  • High clearance 4WD

Journey facilities

  • Lookout (natural and constructed)
  • Scenic drive

Let the sea air invigorate you on this 4WD exploration of the northern end of Mulgumpin (Moreton Island).

Travel to the Tangalooma Wrecks, the scenic views at Five Hills lookout track, and North Point beach and headlands, where you can surf the small breaks, rock fish and plunge into the Champagne Pools.

Visit Cape Moreton, explore the rocky headland, see the historic lighthouse and wander through the information centre.

Have a refreshing dip in picturesque Blue Lagoon before climbing Mount Tempest. With so many activities on offer, an overnight stay at one of the island's camping areas is a must!

Getting there and getting around

The Northern island discovery drive is in Moreton Island National Park, 40km offshore from Brisbane. The island can be reached by ferry, barge or boat.

This drive takes you on a 55km 4WD exploration of the northern part of the island along inland sand tracks and the beach.

You will need a 4WD for driving on the island. Four-wheel-drives with high clearance and low range function are strongly recommended. All-wheel-drive vehicles without true 4WD function and vehicles with low clearance will have difficulty along inland tracks and in soft sand, therefore we don't recommend them for Mulgumpin (Moreton Island)..

  • Remember all vehicles must be registered, drivers must be licensed and all Queensland road rules apply, even on beaches.
  • A vehicle access permit must be purchased. Display the permit on your windscreen before driving in the recreation area.
  • Read 4WD with care for important information on 4WD safety and minimal impact driving.

Getting to Mulgumpin (Moreton Island)

Barge and ferry access

Barges and ferries for vehicles and passengers run daily. Extra services operate in school holidays and on long weekends. Bookings are essential.

  • For tourism information for all regions in Queensland, see Queensland.com, and for friendly advice on how to get there, where to stay and what to do, find your closest accredited visitor information centre.

Private boat access

Mulgumpin (Moreton Island) lies in exposed waters—you may encounter large seas between Mulgumpin (Moreton Island) and the mainland. Consider your experience and the suitability of your vessel, and take into account currents and predicted weather and sea conditions when planning your trip.

  • Be aware that there are no public moorings available at Mulgumpin (Moreton Island).
  • When anchoring, make sure that your vessel, anchors and ropes don't restrict the safe movement of 4WDs or pedestrians on the beach.

Getting around the Northern Island discovery drive

  • We recommend driving this route in a clockwise direction.
  • Begin at The Wrecks beachfront and drive north 3.7km via the western beach to the Cowan Bypass (low tide access track).
  • Follow the Cowan Bypass for 1.7km, then turn left at the low tide access track onto the western beach. You can use the high tide access tracks on large or incoming tides.
  • Continue north for 5.4km to the Bulwer–North Point Road (just past the Bulwer Wrecks).
  • Take the Bulwer–North Point Road for 7.8km to the Five Hills lookout.
  • After a break, continue for 3.5km to Yellow Patch Beach.
  • Drive north-east for 2km to North Point, ensuring you take care to navigate around the tidal lagoons.
  • From North Point travel back 900m and take the North Point–Cape Moreton Road for 2km to the Cape Moreton car park.
  • After your stop, return down the hill, turn left at Harpers track and drive 900 m to the eastern beach.
  • Drive 6.9km south then turn at the Blue Lagoon access road and continue 450m to the car park.
  • Return along Blue Lagoon access road to the eastern beach and head south for 6.8km to Middle Road.
  • Follow Middle Road for 800m then turn right onto Mount Tempest Road and drive 2.3km to the car park.
  • After your walk, return to Middle Road and head west for 5.9km to the western beach and The Wrecks beachfront.

Wheelchair access

There are no wheelchair-accessible facilities.

Before you visit

Opening hours

Northern Island discovery drive is open 24 hours a day.

Check park alerts for the latest information on access, closures and conditions.

Visiting safely

For more safety information see Visiting Moreton Island safely and Four-wheel drive with care.

  • There are currently no park alerts for this park.