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About Southern Moreton Bay

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Getting there and getting around

The islands of Southern Moreton Bay Islands National Park start 40 km south of Brisbane, and lie between one and 10 km offshore from Redland Bay south to Coomera on the Gold Coast.

The islands are accessible only by private boat and watercraft. Boat ramps are located in coastal towns neighbouring the islands. There are no public moorings adjacent to any of the national park islands. See boating and fishing information for further details.

Access to the islands is subject to weather and sea conditions. Weather forecasts are available from the Bureau of Meteorology.

Maps

Wheelchair accessibility

There are no wheelchair-accessible facilities or tracks in Southern Moreton Bay Islands National Park.

Park features

The five islands of this national park support over half the mangroves in Moreton Bay. Photo: Kerry-Anne Hurren, Queensland Government

The five islands of this national park support over half the mangroves in Moreton Bay. Photo: Kerry-Anne Hurren, Queensland Government

Southern Moreton Bay Islands National Park was declared in March 2000 and consists of five islands—Willes, Cobby Cobby, Kangaroo, Woogoompah and Coomera—which support over half of the mangroves in Moreton Bay. These mangrove and tidal flats provide extensive habitat for fish, birds, shellfish, dugongs and turtles.

Both Woogoompah and Coomera islands were used for grazing cattle and pigs in the past. The remains of cattle yards, a water well and cattle-loading ramp are still visible at Woogoompah Island. A shallow, brackish lagoon system in the centre of Coomera Island is surrounded by areas that have been cleared or ringbarked, probably during the cattle grazing days.

Cobby Cobby Island is the smallest of all the islands in the national park and is south of Russell Island. At low tide a small beach on the northern side provides a good spot for a picnic. On Kangaroo Island, a small beach surrounded by casuarinas is also exposed at low tide.

Both Willes and Cobby Cobby islands are surrounded by marine national park (green) zone, which is a no-take area of high conservation value.

Camping and accommodation

Camping

Southern Moreton Bay Islands National Park is unsuitable for camping due to the density of the mangroves and the presence of sandflies and mosquitoes.

Other accommodation

There is a range of holiday accommodation on the mainland, in and around the Gold Coast. Accommodation is also available on several islands in Moreton Bay including North Stradbroke Island, Coochiemudlo Island, Lamb Island, Russell Island and South Stradbroke Island. For more information see the tourism information links.

Things to do

Boating and fishing

All five islands in the Southern Moreton Bay Islands National Park sit within the Moreton Bay Marine Park. Both Cobby Cobby and Willes islands are surrounded by marine national park (green) zones. The Marine Parks (Moreton Bay) Zoning Plan 2008 (the zoning plan) sets out the zones and other special management requirements in the marine park.

Boating

Boating is largely unrestricted in the marine park, however boat operators must:

  • adhere to rules in go slow and no anchoring areas (see designated areas (PDF, 1.1M))
  • ensure they do not unreasonably disturb shorebirds anywhere in the marine park
  • not discharge any waste, including treated or untreated sewage in marine national park (green) zones.

Jet skis and other personal watercraft (PWC)

In the zoning plan jet skis are considered vessels and the same rules apply. Operators must:

  • adhere to rules in go slow and no anchoring areas (see designated areas (PDF, 1.1M))
  • ensure they do not unreasonably disturb shorebirds anywhere in the marine park.

Motorised water sports

In the go slow areas for turtles and dugong and natural values (PDF, 1.1M), vessels (including PWC) cannot undertake motorised water sports. This includes:

  • driving a vessel other than in a straight line; for example driving in circles, weaving, and surfing down or jumping over waves, swell or wash
  • towing a person, such as for waterskiing, parasailing or wakeboarding.

Read more about boating safety and things you should do when boating to look after the park. See below for information on things to know before you go

Fishing

Fisheries regulations apply—information on bag and size limits, restricted species and seasonal closures is available from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.

Viewing wildlife

Moreton Bay is internationally important for more than 40,000 migratory shorebirds that depend on the Bay during their non-breeding season. This makes it an ideal place for birdwatching. It is also home to large turtle and dugong populations, so be aware of go slow areas and marine park zones. See boating and fishing information for further details.

Things to know before you go

Essentials to bring

Preparation is the key to a safe and enjoyable visit. Make sure that you bring:

  • Moreton Bay Marine Park User Guide
  • Moreton Bay Marine Park zong map
  • Moreton Bay tide chart
  • navigational chart
  • first-aid kit
  • sufficient fuel
  • drinking water—fresh water is not available at any of the islands
  • insect repellent
  • sun protection
  • rubbish bags.

Opening hours

The park is open 24 hours a day.

Pets

Domestic animals are prohibited in the national park.

Climate and weather

Southern Moreton Bay Islands National Park has a mild, subtropical climate. The average daily temperature range is 22–30 °C in summer and 12–22 °C in winter. Weather forecasts are available from the Bureau of Meteorology.

Fuel and supplies

Fuel and supplies are available in coastal towns from Redland Bay to the Gold Coast. For more information see the tourism information links

 

Staying safe

When visiting the islands:

  • check tide times and weather forecasts, available from the Bureau of Meteorology
  • know the risks, know your equipment, know your responsibilities and know your boat
  • seek local advice about strong currents and tidal influences.

For more information, please read the guidelines on safety in parks and forests.

Looking after the park

  • Everything in the park is protected—leave everything as you found it.
  • Leave pets at home—domestic animals are not permitted in the national park.
  • Take rubbish home as bins are not provided.
  • Toilets are not provided. Bury human waste and toilet paper at least 15 cm deep and 100 m from any water bodies to guard against pollution and the spread of disease.
  • Avoid the spread of weeds. Regularly check your footwear and clothing for seeds. Remove, wrap and place seeds in your rubbish.
  • The use of firearms is not permitted in national parks.

See the guidelines on caring for parks for more information about protecting our environment and heritage in parks.

Park management

The Southern Moreton Bay Islands National Park comprises five islands—Willes, Cobby Cobby, Kangaroo, Woogoompah and Coomera—with a total area greater than 1500 ha. The islands are surrounded by conservation and marine national park zones within the Moreton Bay Marine Park. The Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service manage the islands for the conservation of our natural environment.

Tourism information links

Gold Coast Tourist Parks (Gold Coast City Council)
www.goldcoasttouristparks.com.au

Surfers Paradise Visitor Information Centre
www.visitgoldcoast.com
2 Cavil Ave (Cavill Mall), Surfers Paradise Qld 4217
Phone: 1300 309 440
Email:  

Redlands on Moreton Bay Visitor Centre
www.more2redlands.com.au
Redlands IndigiScapes Centre
17 Runnymede Road, Capalaba Qld 4157
Phone: 1300 667 386
Email:  

For tourism information for all regions in Queensland see Queensland Holidays.

Further information

Contact us

Last updated
19 October 2012