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Moreton Island Camping, Everything you need to Know

Moreton Island Camping feature

A Moreton Island Camping adventure is the ultimate beach experience from Brisbane.

Moreton Island is the poor younger brother to its infamous big brother Fraser Island along Queensland’s coastline.

While Fraser Island is the World’s Largest Sand Island, Moreton is close by at the third largest which means you can navigate your way around the entire island in just one day.

There’s so much to see and do though so don’t expect to do it quickly.

Moreton is incredibly special itself and offers some of the most amazing features that just have to be explored.

Moreton Island Camping

About Moreton Island

The aboriginal name for Moreton Island is Mulgumpin and the island was handed back to the Quandamooka People in 2021.

There are no roads on Moreton Island, only tracks and beaches. You will need a 4WD to drive on the island.

Moreton Island is 37kms long and 10kms wide and only approximately 40kms offshore from Queensland’s Capital City, Brisbane.

The Cape Moreton Light is a heritage listed lighthouse at the northern end of the island.

It is the oldest Lighthouse in Queensland, having been built by the New South Wales Government prior to NSW and Queensland separating in 1859.

The Tangalooma Island Resort is the most developed area on the island.

In the 1960’s a group of boaties made a request to the Queensland Government for a safe anchorage off Moreton Island.

It was approved and in 1963 around 15 ships were scuttled creating the Tangalooma Wrecks.

The Tangalooma Wrecks are now an amazing diving and snorkelling site with a huge array of fish and coral plus you can see turtles, dugong, dolphins and wobbegong sharks.

Moreton Island Barge Landing

How to get to Moreton Island

Access to the island is easy, it’s just 45kms across Moreton Bay from Brisbane.

You can catch the Tangalooma Ferry which will have you there in just 45 mins or take your 4WD or walk on to the Barge which leaves from the Port of Brisbane and takes around 90 minutes.

The Tangalooma Ferry is for guests of the Tangalooma Resort where you can stay and enjoy the amenities on offer.

For Moreton Island Camping take the MiCat Barge across Moreton Bay where you will be dropped off near the Tangalooma Wrecks for your incredible adventures that await.

Moreton Island Barge Costs

The MiCat Barge costs can vary but a 4WD is approx $250 return and a 4WD with trailer is approx $500 return.

Passenger Walk-On price is $28.50 one way.

Back in our old Moreton Island Camping Days
Back in our old Moreton Island Camping Days

Moreton Island Camping Grounds & Camping Facilities

There are are 5 Campgrounds and 5 Camping Zones located all around beautiful Moreton Island. Camping facilities vary between Moreton Island Camping Grounds and Camping Zones.

They range from no facilities to basic facilities including toilets, cold showers and bins.

There are Waste Stations at each of the three townships – Bulwer, Cowan Cowan and Kooringal.

A Public Phone is also located at Kooringal.

Ben Ewa Dump Point
Ben Ewa Campground has one of the two Dump Point Facilities on Moreton Island

Just two of the Moreton Island Camping grounds have a Dump Point facility for the disposal of Portable Toilet waste – Ben Ewa and Comboyuro Campgrounds, both on the western side of the island.

Water on the island is generally best boiled first so bring your own drinking water.

Apart from the designated Campgrounds, water is available at the Big Sandhills on the western beach and Rous Battery and Eagers Creek on the eastern beach.

Full details for each Campground and Camping Zone are listed below:

East Moreton Island Camping

Blue Lagoon Campground

  • Location: Eastern Side of Moreton Island between Middle Road and Cape Moreton
  • About: Beachside Campground. Medium to large size sites, many are shaded. Sites defined with totems. Within walking distance to Blue Lagoon and easy access to ocean surf beach.
  • No of Campsites: 25- Campsites are suitable for tent camping and camper trailers
  • Availability: Seasonal therefore not all sites are available all year round
  • Toilets: Yes – Septic Toilets
  • Showers: Yes – Cold Showers only
  • Water: Treat before drinking
  • Bins: No
  • Dump Point: Only Dump Points are at Ben-Ewa & Comboyuro Campgrounds – Eastern Side
  • Generators: Not permitted
  • Wi-Fi: No
  • Telstra Coverage: Poor and unreliable
  • Campfires: Yes except when Fire Bans are in place. Must use existing fire sites only.
Moreton Island Camping - Blue Lagoon Campground Toilets

North-East Camping Zone

  • Location: All Eastern Each Campsites on Moreton Island between Middle Road and north to Spitfire Creek (excluding designated campgrounds)
  • About: Exposed surf beaches Camping Zone. Various size sites ranging from secluded sites to close sites, many with sea views and shade. If towing a trailer, the Bulwer-Blue Lagoon Road is recommended rather than Middle Road.
  • No of Campsites: 89- Campsites are suitable for tent camping beside your 4WD, camper trailers and large groups
  • Availability: Seasonal therefore not all sites are available all year round
  • Toilets: No – Recommended to bring a Portable Toilet
  • Showers: No
  • Water: No
  • Bins: No
  • Dump Point: Only Dump Points are at Ben-Ewa & Comboyuro Campgrounds – Eastern Side
  • Generators: Yes with considerate use between 8am and 7pm only
  • Wi-Fi: No
  • Telstra Coverage: Poor and unreliable
  • Campfires: Yes except when Fire Bans are in place. Must use existing fire sites only.
Wrecks Campgroiund 2

West Moreton Island Camping

The Wrecks Campground

  • Location: Western Side of Moreton Island near the main barge landing area
  • About: Campground next to a sheltered bay amongst native trees and shrubs.
  • No of Campsites: 21- Campsites are suitable for walk-in camping and boaties without vehicles. Vehicles are to be parked on the beach and a short walk to each camp site. Not accessible for campers with camper trailers
  • Availability: Seasonal therefore not all sites are available all year round
  • Toilets: Yes – Hybrid Toilets
  • Showers: Yes – Cold Showers only
  • Water: Treat before drinking
  • Bins: Yes
  • Dump Point: Only Dump Points are at Ben-Ewa & Comboyuro Campgrounds – Eastern Side
  • Generators: Not permitted
  • Wi-Fi: No. Qld Parks Wi-fi Hotspot available at The Wrecks Campground
  • Telstra Coverage: Poor and unreliable. Better reception may be available at Tangalooma Resort
  • Campfires: Fires are prohibited
Moreton Island Camping - Ben Ewa Campground

Ben – Ewa Campground

  • Location: Western Side of Moreton Island within short distance north of the barge landing point
  • About: Campground sits down in a valley. Shady medium size sites that are well defined. Protected from strong winds. Sheltered Bay waters.
  • No of Campsites: 12 – Campsites are suitable for tent camping beside 4WD, walk-in campers, camper trailers
  • Availability: Seasonal therefore not all sites are available all year round
  • Toilets: Yes – Hybrid Toilets
  • Showers: Yes – Cold Showers only
  • Water: Treat before drinking
  • Bins: Yes
  • Dump Point: Yes for disposal of portable toilet waste
  • Generators: Not permitted
  • Wi-Fi: Qld Parks Wi-Fi Hotspot
  • Telstra Coverage: Poor and not reliable. Possibly better reception closer to Tangalooma Resort
  • Campfires: Yes except when Fire Bans are in place. Must use existing fire sites only.
Kev cold shower Moreton Island Camping
Kev having a cold outdoor shower at the North Point Campground

Comboyuro Point Campground

  • Location: Western Side of Moreton Island within walking distance from Bulwer
  • About: Large Campground with all sites marked with Totems. Shady sites of varying sizes with Bay protection.
  • No of Campsites: 49 – Campsites are suitable for tent camping and camper trailers
  • Availability: Seasonal therefore not all sites are available all year round
  • Toilets: Yes – Non-Flushing Toilets
  • Showers: Yes – Cold Showers only
  • Water: Treat before drinking
  • Bins: Yes
  • Dump Point: Yes – For disposal of portable toilet waste
  • Generators: Not permitted
  • Wi-Fi: No
  • Telstra Coverage: Poor and not reliable. Better reception in Bulwer township
  • Campfires: Yes except when Fire Bans are in place. Must use existing fire sites only.
Moreton Island Camping Ground Toilet Block
Moreton Island Camping Grounds all have toilets, some have cold showers whereas Moreton Island Camping Zones have no facilities

North Moreton Island Camping

North-West Camping Zone

  • Location: Western Side of Moreton Island between Ben-Ewa and Comboyuro Campgrounds
  • About:  Camping Zone offering sheltered bay waters. Some sites within walking distance to Bulwer township. Sites marked with Totems. Sites CB1 – CB21 surrounded by timber fence
  • No of Campsites: 76 – Campsites are suitable for tent camping beside your 4WD, camper trailers and large groups
  • Availability: Seasonal therefore not all sites are available all year round
  • Toilets: No
  • Showers: No
  • Water: No
  • Bins: No
  • Dump Point: No – Only Dump Points are at Ben-Ewa & Comboyuro Campgrounds – Eastern Side
  • Generators: Yes with considerate use between 8am and 7pm only
  • Wi-Fi: No
  • Telstra Coverage: Poor and not reliable. Better reception in Bulwer township
  • Campfires: Yes except when Fire Bans are in place. Must use existing fire sites only.
Moreton Island Camping Site Yellow Patch
Our Moreton Island Camping Site

North Point Campground

  • Location: Northern Tip of Moreton Island between Yellow Patch Campground and Cape Moreton
  • About:  Large Campground with grassy defined sites. Tent Site Camping Area and Camper Trailer Camping Site. Close to surf beach and within walking distance to Honeymoon Bay.
  • No of Campsites: 21 – Campsites are suitable for tent camping with parking a short distance from camp site, large groups, 4 sites suitable for camper trailers
  • Availability: Seasonal therefore not all sites are available all year round
  • Toilets: Yes – Hybrid Toilets
  • Showers: Yes – Outdoor Cold Shower only
  • Water: Treat before drinking
  • Bins: No
  • Dump Point: No – Only Dump Points are at Ben-Ewa & Comboyuro Campgrounds – Eastern Side
  • Generators: Not permitted
  • Wi-Fi: No
  • Telstra Coverage: Poor and not reliable.
  • Campfires: Fires are prohibited
Yellow Patch Camping Zone
Yellow Patch Camping Zone

Yellow Patch Camping Zone

  • Location: North Western side of Moreton Island between North Point and Heath Island- Note there are no camp sites at Heath Island
  • About: Camping Zone offering surf beaches. Various size sites, many sites with sea views and shade.
  • No of Campsites: 14 – Campsites are suitable for tent camping beside your 4WD, camper trailers and large groups
  • Availability: Seasonal therefore not all sites are available all year round
  • Toilets: No
  • Showers: No
  • Water: No
  • Bins: No
  • Dump Point: No – Only Dump Points are at Ben-Ewa & Comboyuro Campgrounds – Eastern Side
  • Generators: Yes with considerate use between 8am and 7pm only
  • Wi-Fi: No
  • Telstra Coverage: Poor and not reliable
  • Campfires: Yes except when Fire Bans are in place. Must use existing fire sites only.
Rous Battery Camping Area

South Moreton Island Camping

South-East Camping Zone

  • Location: Eastern side of Moreton Island between Middle Road and south to Rous Battery.
  • About:  Camping Zone offering exposed surf beaches. Various size sites, many sites with sea views and shade. The Amity Trader Barge Landing Point form North Stradbroke Island is a short drive to this camping zone. Note – At times rock exposure may make the south-east beach impassable at high tide.
  • No of Campsites: 35 – Campsites are suitable for tent camping beside your 4WD and camper trailers
  • Availability: Seasonal therefore not all sites are available all year round
  • Toilets: No
  • Showers: No
  • Water: No
  • Bins: No
  • Dump Point: NoOnly Dump Points are at Ben-Ewa & Comboyuro Campgrounds – Eastern Side
  • Generators: Yes with considerate use between 8am and 7pm only
  • Wi-Fi: No
  • Telstra Coverage: Poor and not reliable
  • Campfires: Yes except when Fire Bans are in place. Must use existing fire sites only.
Tangalooma Bypass

South-West Camping Zone

  • Location: Western side of Moreton Island from Tangalooma Bypass to Toulkerrie
  • About:  Camping Zone offering exposed surf beaches. Various size sites, many sites with sea views and shade. The Amity Trader Barge Landing Point form North Stradbroke Island is a short drive to this camping zone. Note – At times rock exposure may make the south=east beach impassable at high tide.
  • No of Campsites: 24 – Campsites are suitable for tent camping and some suitable for camper trailers. Parking only available next to some sites, not all, due to tides
  • Availability: Seasonal therefore not all sites are available all year round
  • Toilets: No
  • Showers: No
  • Water: No
  • Bins: No
  • Dump Point: No – Only Dump Points are at Ben-Ewa & Comboyuro Campgrounds – Eastern Side
  • Generators: Yes with considerate use between 8am and 7pm only
  • Wi-Fi: No
  • Telstra Coverage: Poor and not reliable
  • Campfires: Yes except when Fire Bans are in place. Must use existing fire sites only
Moreton Island Camping

Moreton Island Camping Permit

Prior to your Moreton Island Camping trip, you will need to organise a camping permit and a permit for your vehicle.

Vehicle Access Permits are a requirement when driving on the beach on Moreton Island and may be booked online at Mulgumpin Camping.

Cost for Vehicle Access Permits:

  • Monthly Access Permit: Up to one month Permit – $53.63 per vehicle
  • Annual Access Permit: More than one month and up to 1 year Permit $270.00 per vehicle
Driving on Moreton Island

How much does it cost for Camping on Moreton Island

A Camping Permit and fees apply when camping on Moreton Island.

Moreton Island Camping bookings may be made on-line at Mulgumpin Camping. Camping spots fill up quickly so it is recommended that you book in advance.

Moreton Island Camping fees effective from 1 July 2020:

  • $6.75 per person per night
  • $27.00 per family per night. Family Rate is for 1 or 2 Adults and accompanying children under 18yrs, Maximum number of 8 people. Free for Children under 5 years
  • $3.70 per person per night for students and accompanying adults on approved educational excursions.

Your Camping Permit Tag with your Booking Number will be sent through to you 5 days prior.

Simply print the tag/s, place in a ziplock bag and then attach to each camping structure ensuring the tag/s are clearly displayed at your campsite at all times.

Moreton Island National Park

Is Moreton Island Dog Friendly?

When you go camping on Moreton Island you will need to leave your pets behind.

As Moreton Island is 98% National Park, dogs are not allowed when camping on Moreton Island.

Residents of the Moreton Island townships that are within the Brisbane City Council area however are allowed to have dogs.

Moreton Island Camping Map

A detailed Moreton Island Camping Map can be found on the Mulgumpin Camping website – https://www.mulgumpincamping.net.au/the-island/maps/

This printable map outlines the Moreton Island Camping grounds and facilities, the various landmarks, 4WD access tracks, walking tracks as well as detailed maps of the three townships.

Hema Maps are also excellent to use when travelling around Australia.

Purchase from the wide range of Hema Maps here>

Sceptor Fuel Drum
Sceptor Jerry can

How Much Fuel will you need on Moreton Island?

Fuel on the island is expensive at $3 per Litre.

Bring your own Fuel but if you do find you need an emergency supply, the Castaways Store at Bulwer sell petrol and diesel in a returnable 20 litre jerry can for $60.

It is best however to call Castaways on 07 3408 2202 before leaving the mainland to check whether fuel is actually available at the time.

Driving Conditions on Moreton Island

There’s not as much beach to drive on on Moreton Island as there is at Fraser Island and therefore it can be softer and you use more fuel.

Plan your trips around 2 hours either side of low tide for best driving conditions.

For our 8 days we brought a full tank in our Triton and extra fuel in our Sceptor Jerry containers.

Note – As a condition of the Vehicle Access Permit you are only permitted to store 50L of fuel in developed camping areas.

Castaways also have a gas bottle exchange facility for 9kg bottles only.

Castawyas Moreton Island

Moreton Island Packing Checklist

Apart from your food and clothes here is a handy checklist on what things you will need to take on your Moreton Island Camping trip:

Stand Hp Paddle Boards Moreton Island

What to do on Moreton Island

Don’t come with expectations or comparisons to Fraser Island.

There’s only one Fraser Island the same as there’s only one Moreton Island. Both are magnificent in their own right.

There’s no Dingos, No Maheno and no Lake McKenzie on Moreton.

However there is Blue Lagoon, Champagne Pools, spectacular Honeymoon Bay, Cape Moreton and truly spectacular Sunsets.

Moreton Island take around 1 hour to drive from northern tip to the very south of the island. Of course, there are lots of things to see along the way so allow more time to enjoy the drive.

Without stopping, it will take around 2.5 – 3 hours to make your way around the entire island. This makes for a fantastic full day out.

Bring good Polaroid sunglasses and enjoy the exquisite colours of Moreton Island’s waters and beaches.

Kev snorkeling Tangalooma Wrecks

Tangalooma Wrecks

I was surprised to find some of Australia’s best snorkelling right here at the Tangalooma Wrecks.

Don’t forget to bring your snorkel gear when you are visiting Moreton Island!

Just north of the Tangalooma Island Resort is this fabulous artificial reef formed when a number of ships were placed there to provide a safe anchorage for recreational boaters on the eastern side of Moreton Island.

Since the placement of these wrecks, coral has formed and it has provided a haven for over 100 different species of fish as well as dolphins, wobbegongs and dugongs.

Blue Lagoon Moreton Island

Blue Lagoon

Tucked away inland closer to the Eastern Beach of Moreton Island is the stunning Blue Lagoon.

Similar to Lake Mackenzie on Fraser Island, Blue Lagoon has the magnificent blue water and white sandy beach.

Blue Lagoon is made up of an estimated 2.5 thousand million cubic metres of fresh water and is unique in the fact that it is not fed by local freshwater rivers or streams.

It is actually filled from an underground water table that comes up through the sandy bottom of the lagoon.

Both picturesque and a perfect place for a swim and a picnic lunch.

Champagne Pools Moreton Island

Champagne Pools

Champagne Pools are located at the north eastern tip of Moreton Island.

The sandstone rock forms a natural break wall where the ocean waves cascade over the top of the rock wall into the sandy bottom pools giving an affect of champagne flowing.

The aptly named Champagne Pools are a fun and exciting place to swim as the bubbling and foaming water flows into the pools showering you. 

Just be aware of the tides as the force of the waves can vary at times. 

Moreton Island
Honeymoon Bay, Moreton Island

Honeymoon Bay

The most picturesque of the beaches on Moreton Island is Honeymoon Bay.

This fabulous and somewhat secluded beach is just a short 700 metre return walk from the North Point Campground.

Along the walk to this hidden little gem you will pass a concrete magazine which was used to store ammunition during World War II and from where a gun was once fired on enemy ships attempting to enter the shipping channel into Brisbane.

Honeymoon Bay is also beautiful at sunset as the sun reflects off the rocky headland of Cape Moreton.

Honeymoon Bay

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Cape Moreton

At the north eastern tip of Moreton Island is the rocky headland of Cape Moreton and the Cape Moreton Lighthouse.

Sand being caught on the rocky outcrop and building up behind the rocks was how the whole of Moreton Island was formed.

From the top of Cape Moreton where the lighthouse stands, this whole area commands breathtaking 360 degree views and is the perfect spot for whale watching during whale season.

Just below the lighthouse is the Cape Moreton Information Centre.

Once the former Assistant Lighthouse Keeper’s residence, it now houses interactive displays and exhibits that are very informative and worth the visit.

Cape Moreton Beach Moreton Island

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Camping within 2hrs of Brisbane - Moreton Island
Gutter Bar, Moreton Island

The Gutter Bar

The Gutter Bar is a great spot to stop at the south end of the island. Located at Kooringal it has excellent food, assorted drinks and some great quirky features.

It doesn’t matter what time you call into the Gutter Bar for a drink, it’s 5 o’clock somewhere!

Not only is the Gutter Bar a ‘must stop’ for a few drinks and a meal, it is also one of the general stores on Moreteon Island conveniently stocking milk, bread, ice and general grocery items.

Opening Hours are 8.30am – 6pm every day

Mirapool Lagoon

Mirapool Lagoon and Days Gutter

Mirapool Lagoon and Days Gutter are at the south end of the Island and have fabulous views over to Stradbroke Island (Straddie).

The South Passage, the waters separating the two islands, are extremely dangerous. Don’t try crossing there even in a boat.

Swimming is prohibited in Mirapool Lagoon and this area is also a special protection zone (Green Zone) and a Marine National Park zone therefore fishing and collecting of any form is prohibited.

Vehicle access along the beach at Mirapool is not permitted 3 hrs either side of high tide in order to reduce the disturbance on the migratory shorebirds. Please use the Mirapool Bypass road.

Bulwer Wrecks Moreton Island

Bulwer

Bulwer is one of the three townships on Moreton Island and is located at the northern end of the island on the western side.

The Bulwer Wrecks provides a shallow and safe area for swimming and snorkeling.

It is also home to the Castaways store but be prepared, it closes at 3pm each day except Friday and Saturday when it remains open until 8pm.

Located at Bulwer is the Moreton Island Rural Fire Brigade, which also doubles as an Emergency Station, a First Aid Station and a Helipad.

Two other helipads are on Moreton, one at Kooringal and the other at Tangalooma where they operate scenic helicopter flights.

Rous Battery Moreton Island

Rous Battery

Rouss Battery gives you an insight to how close Brisbane came to being attacked by the Japanese in the 1940’s.

It is one of two large defensive systems built on Moreton Island during the early stages of World War II. The other is at Cowan Cowan.

The protruding concrete remnants of the Rous Battery can easily be seen from the eastern beach of Moreton Island.

Big Sandhills

Big Sand Hills and Little Sand Hills

These amazing sand hills certainly stand out and are just one of the features of Moreton Island. You can clearly see the big white sand hills from across the bay from Brisbane.

With no vegetation these wind shaped dunes stretch from one side of the island to the other across the southern tip.

Hike to the top of these steep dunes and take in the amazing views back to Brisbane.

You can access the Little Sand Hills from the eastern beach but the Big Sand Hills are more easily accessible from the western beach.

Tobagganing is very popular as well, it’s a lot faster coming down than going up!!

Adele at the Little Sand Hills

Moreton Island Wildlife

All year round you’ll see lots of Dolphins, Dugongs and Turtles in the waters all around the island. 

From April to November you’ll witness Humpback Whales as they pass by on their journey up and down the majestic Queensland ocean waters.

There are no cane toads on Moreton Island and there’s a considered effort for that to remain the case.

Consider checking your gear before you go to ensure there’s no vermin or new pest species that may be introduced.

Adele with 2 Bream

Moreton Island Fishing

Be aware of and know all your fishing green zones as there are several around Moreton Island beaches.

There is no fishing, collecting bait or taking shells from these areas.

Fisheries patrol the island and issue hefty fines for any offences.

Moreton Island is great for fishing all year round.

On the flats around Kooringal in the south or at the northern end of the island it can be great for whiting, flathead and bream.

From the ocean beach you can catch almost anything with Tailor, Bream, Dart and Whiting all readily available in the gutters which form along the beaches.

Bigger fish such as Mackerel, Trevally and Jewfish are also good species to target along the ocean beach and the rocks around Cape Moreton. Just be aware of Green zones.

You can catch worms and find pippies along Moreton Island’s beaches and they are great baits to use.

Yabbies are available at Kooringal and Yellow Patch, once again check before you start pumping that you are not in a Green Zone.

Kev Fishing Moreton Island

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5 Hills Sunset
Stunning sunset from 5 Hills

Moreton Island Sunsets

Experience sunsets from all over the Island including Cape Moreton, Five Hills Lookout and Bulwer Wrecks.

The Cape Moreton Lighthouse hosts one of the highest points to witness both a Moreton Island sunset and sunrise.

Five Hill Lookout is a great vantage point to watch the sunset and the lookout offers scenic views of Heath Island and the intertidal estuary below.

It is a moderate 500 metre walk up to the lookout.

Bulwer Wrecks provide a stunning silhouette at sunset!

The golden glow across the waters of Moreton Bay are sensational.

Bulwer Wrecks Moreton Island at sunset

Moreton Island Tours

There’s lots of great ways of enjoying Moreton Island and organised tours can really enhance your experience.

They are informative and lots of fun.

Take a look at some of these great tours which offer fantastic value.

Brisbane to Moreton Island Scenic Day Tour

Take a scenic day tour from Brisbane to the magnificent Moreton Island where you can soak up the bubbles in the Champagne Pools and stop at the spectacular Honeymoon Bay.

Also learn about the island history and culture at the Moreton Island Museum and enjoy a swim in the clear fresh water of Blue Lagoon.

The tour includes picnic lunch and drinks on the beach as well as sampling some traditional bush tucker.

Brisbane to Moreton Island Day Tour with Water Activities

Cruise across the bay to Moreton Island where you can relax on the beach in the sun, enjoy a guided snorkelling tour around Tangalooma Wrecks with the use of the ‘see through’ body boards and see the amazing coral and reef fish below.

After a picnic lunch on the beach experience the awesome fish feeding frenzy in the transparent kayaks and go sand tobogganing at exhilarating speeds of up to 70km/h!

Tangalooma Island Resort Day Tour with Dolphin Feeding and Desert Sarari

Enjoy full use of Tangalooma Island Resorts 40 free activities throughout the day plus choose from either the Desert Safari Tour, Marine Discovery Cruise or The Wrecks Snorkelling Tour.

The highlight of the tour being admission to the nightly dolphin feeding program where you will also receive a Complimentary Dolphin Feeding digital Photo.

Moreton Island Tangalooma Wrecks Snorkelling Tour with Lunch

A Marine Discovery Cruise where you will look to spot dolphins, turtles and dugongs, a guided snorkelling tour around The Wrecks at Tangalooma which is teaming with sub-tropical fish and coral are the main features of this Moreton Island tour.

Morning tea and a delicious tropical buffet lunch is included and you also can enjoy free time on the beach, swimming and climbing the sand dunes.

Check out these other interesting blogs:

Pin – Everything you need to know to go Moreton Island Camping

Have you ever been camping on Moreton Island? Tell us about your Moreton Island Camping experience and where you prefer to stay!

Safe travels

Kev & Adele
Indefinite Leave

We are Adele & Kevin, an Aussie couple from Brisbane in Queensland Australia who have embraced our adventurous spirit and ventured out to explore the world around us. We had spent so much time overseas we decided it was time to see our own truly amazing country and we needed to take some time to see everything it has to offer.

Our Aim is to inspire others to travel and help design the greatest adventure they can experience.

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Photography and Socials

Our camera equipment we use for all our photos and videos are:

Samsung Note 10 Plus Phone – http://ebay.us/9vMXEH – Most of our photos are simply from our phones. The Samsung phone cameras are pretty insane. Our phones have 512gb storage in ours but the 256gb in this one is heaps.

Samsung s21 Phonehttps://ebay.us/QAdwva – this looks an insane camera within a phone. We have friends and our son who own one and it seems quite extraordinary with their camera quality. If you’re after a new phone this is what I’d be looking at.

Canon 800dhttps://ebay.us/Q0UV1z – the latest DSLR Canon 24mp camera, buy here to save.

Nikon Coolpix p1000https://ebay.to/37cORUV – We have the Nikon P900 and this is the new model. The zoom lens is unbelievable and so awesome when travelling and you want to capture photos from a distance.

Lenses

Canon 50mm lens – https://ebay.to/3nx5pyG  This is the lens I use the least, ideal for still, close up shots.
Canon 24-105mm lenshttps://ebay.us/br9MeO – This is my all round, everyday use, zoom lens. Amazing quality, great price.
Canon 70-300mm lens – https://ebay.to/33xYeht – I use this one a lot for long range shots.
Sigma 10-20mm lenshttp://ebay.us/zWvfuI  – My wide angle lens for all my inside photos & video plus lots more, love this lens.

Our Go Pro 9 Hero Black – https://ebay.us/6CQOVC  –  is an awesome piece of equipment. I use this for all underwater, action video and some general use. Buy here brand new and great value.

Mavic Pro Platinum Drone – https://ebay.to/2ARPxTo  This is an absolute ripper of a drone. The Fly More Combo will provide you with everything you will need. I use this for all my aerial footage and this price is well below other retail stores.

The Mavic Pro 2https://ebay.us/rMTTzE – is the latest Drone of choice for many travellers. It’s compact style, battery longevity and high quality footage makes it the perfect all round Drone.

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Adventurers Diary

Mataranka, What to do and where to stay

Mataranka Feaature

Mataranka is a small town in Northern Territory and the Capital of the Never Never, just 431 kms south-east of Darwin.

Coming from the south on your road trip, you’ve probably just enjoyed a fantastic Barra Burger and a beer at Daly Waters Pub less than 2 hours drive away.

The Stuart Highway has now brought you here to Mataranka and if you’ve seen the photos from other travellers you’ll know why this is a must stop destination.

This is a great place to pull up stumps for a few nights after some long days driving and just relax and enjoy the Australian outback.

Mataranka Capital of the Never Never

About Mataranka

Mataranka to Darwin is still a 4 and a half hour drive away yet, with many great sight still to see along the way.

Katherine is just up the road and only 115 kms, just over an hour’s drive between the two towns.

The population of Mataranka is approximately 350 people but thousands of tourists arrive in town during the winter dry season.

The region has a strong Indigenous history and you can witness Aboriginal Art at the Stockyard Gallery’s exhibit and visit the Never Never Museum to learn more about their local stories.

Mataranka

Mataranka Weather

The weather in Mataranka is consistently warm during the day and the best months to visit are April to September during the dry season.

Our first stay was in July and our other two stays have both been in the month of May.

Apart from the winter months, the average temperatures for the most part of the year range between 19.7°C to 37.9°C with the hottest month on average being October.

July is the coldest month with an average maximum of 30.5°C and the minimum temperature down around 13.6°C.

The area is generally very dry in the winter months but during the wet season roads may be cut off for long periods.

Bitter Springs is one of the main attractions in Mataranka
Spectacular Bitter Springs

Things to do in Mataranka

Bitter Springs

One of the most popular attractions in Mataranka is Bitter Springs.

An amazing 30.5 million litres of water rises from underground and it is heaps of fun to float down with the gentle flow of water.

You will find the water temperature sits at around 34°C all year round but the springs are generally closed from November to May due to flooding in the wet season.

This amazing crystal clear naturally fed spring is lined with paperbarks and cabbage palms.

There is now a paved pathway from the car park to this ever popular swimming hole.

The entry and exit points from the springs is via a small set of stairs with a handrail.

Bitter Springs is located in the Elsey National Park and is just 2 kms from the township of Mataranka.

Simply turn off the Stuart Highway into Martin Road.

Just 500 metres past Bitter Springs Cabins and Camping you will arrive at the Bitter Springs car park.

Kev enjoying Bitter Springs

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Mataranka Thermal Pools

Mataranka Thermal Pools

The Mataranka Thermal Pools are just one of the two natural thermal pools in the Elsey National Park.

These paperbark, palm fringed Mataranka Hot Springs offer a safe place for swimming in crystal clear waters that are consistently warm all year round.

Easily accessible from within the Mataranka Homestead and just a short walk from the car park.

Anyone can visit the Hot Springs by walking through the Mataranka Homestead, easy free parking is available at the front.

Mataranka Giant Termite Mound

Giant Termite Mound

Right in the heart of Mataranka is a giant termite mound. It is the world’s largest man-made termite mound.

There are over 2000 species of termites and nearly 90 can be found within the Northern Territory.

Termite mounds are a very common sight in The Top End as their homes dominate the landscape.

Barra Feeding at the Territory Manor Mataranka
Our son Matt feeding the barramundi at the Territory Manor

Territory Manor Barramundi Feeding

Territory Manor is a local Motel and Caravan Park which is both family and pet friendly.

You can stop and stay or drop in for lunch any day.

Twice a day, the Territory Manor feed the Barramundi in the dam beside their licensed restaurant.

If you want to brave it, you can even take part in the barra feeding. The Barra have a very explosive action when being fed which is amazing to witness close up.

Admission to the barra feeding at the Territory Manor is free but a gold coin donation is appreciated.

Meeting Nathan Whippy Griggs

Nathan ‘Whippy’ Griggs

A visit to Mataranka is not complete without catching Nathan ‘Whippy’ Griggs in action at the Mataranka Homestead.

Nathan is an extremely talented whip cracker and holds five Guiness World records.

One of his World records being for the most times a whip can be cracked in a minute.

Unbelievably Nathan can crack a whip 697 times in just one minute.

Nathan has been cracking whips since he 14 and performs regularly in Mataranka from May to August and in other towns around the country throughout other months of the year.

Admission is free to the Mataranka Homestead to see Nathan perform live and he simply relies on people making a donation or purchasing a whip and other merchandise after the show.

Mataranka Falls

The hike to the Mataranka Falls is an 8 km return walk from 12 Mile Yards.

The track is well marked with blue arrows and is mostly flat with a hard surface but some patches are sandy.

There are some scenic view points as it follows the Roper River along the way to the falls.

If you are expecting a high plunging waterfall you will be disappointed.

The Mataranka Falls consist of small cascade of less than a metre in height.

Note there is definitely no swimming at Mataranka Falls or in the river as salt water crocs inhabit these waters.

Read more about Darwin & the Top End: Things to do in Darwin, NT

5 Essentials – Ryobi Tools for Traveling

  1. A chainsaw certainly is an essential tool while traveling especially when camping and 4WDing. Perfect for cutting up wood for the campfire and ideal for clearing tracks of fallen branches when 4WDing. I really like the Ryobi Chainsaw and will be looking to buy one very soon to match all of my other Ryobi tools.
  2. The Ryobi Cordless Hand Vacuum has been super handy for the motorhome while traveling and now it is also great to use in our 4WD.
  3. Even prior to traveling, I have always used a Ryobi Cordless Drill. They are an essential tool for use at home and while on the road.
  4. We have had heaps of use from our Ryobi 18v Area Light. It’s great for fishing, camping and outdoor entertaining and even when we want to save power at night while free camping. Just charge it up the next day when you have solar.
  5. There are so many uses for our Ryobi Blower while traveling. Blowing the leaves off the top of the slideout before bringing it in, accelerating the campfire, clearing away any dirt, grass or sand from around your campsite.
Our preferred place to stay in Mataranka - Little Roper Stockcamp

Mataranka Accommodation

Mataranka caters for all travellers with a wide variety of accommodation to choose from.

There’s bush camping, motel rooms, cabins as well as powered and unpowered caravan park sites.

Between the Homestead, Caravan Parks and Motels the area has you covered for whatever accommodation you require during your stay.

Little Roper Stockcamp

Enjoy an incredible and unique outback experience at the Little Roper Stockcamp.

Every morning at 8am except Sundays, owner Des boils the billy and cooks up little johnny cakes.

It is great gathering around with fellow travellers for a chat over a free cup of tea while enjoying a couple of johnny cakes for just $2 each.

After morning smoko, stick around as at 9am Des brings out the resident snakes and lizards for kids big and small to get up close and personal with.

Campfire Cooking Little Roper Stockcamp

The Communal Fire is lit every afternoon at 5pm and offers another great gathering point at the Little Roper Stockcamp.

Cook dinner over the fire in your camp oven or you are welcome to use one of the camp ovens provided.

There are rustic showers and toilets, washing machines and water but it is bore water.

A number of friendly farm animals on-site are also a great way to keep the kids entertained.

Contact Details for the Little Roper Stockcamp:

Phone: 0427 880 819
Address: 547 Homestead Road Mataranka NT
Website:

Read everything to know here: Little Roper Stockcamp

Des cooking up johnny cakes at Little Roper Stockcamp

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Bitter Springs Cabins & Camping in Mataranka

Bitter Springs Cabins & Camping

Located just 3kms from the Mataranka township the Bitter Springs Cabins & Camping is also just a short walk to the magnificent Bitter Springs.

Right on the banks of the Little Roper River, it not only provides an informal camping area in a relaxed natural bush setting, it is also an awesome spot to go barra fishing.

The spacious Campground has powered sites with bore water on tap where you can choose your own site and you can stay unhitched if you wish.

Pet Friendly Bitter Springs Camping

Facilities include toilets, showers, a camp kitchen and laundry.

An on-site kiosk stocks bread, milk and ice and be sure to try their frozen fresh locally grown mango!

Unpowered sites are available alongside the bank of the river.

Campfires are allowed in the unpowered campground but not in the main powered camping area.

Pets are welcome and we were able to stay with our beautiful Golden Retriever MACKS.

Generators are not permitted.

Contact Details for Bitter Springs Cabins & Camping:

Phone:  08 8975 4838
Address:  255 Martin Road, Bitter Springs, Mataranka, Northern Territory
Website: 

Read more: Bitter Springs Cabins & Camping

Bitter Springs Caravan Park - our first stay in Mataranka
Bitter Springs Cabins & Camping

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Mataranka Homestead at night

Mataranka Homestead

The Mataranka Homestead is home to the We of the Never Never Homestead and the Mataranka Thermal Pools.

A large camping area is available with both powered and unpowered sites as well as cabins and motel style accommodation.

Facilities at the Mataranka Homestead include a pool, bar and restaurant plus a store which stocks bread, milk, souvenirs and basic clothing and fishing supplies.

There are three amenities blocks and two laundries throughout the grounds.

Nathan Whippy Griggs regularly performs at the Mataranka Homestead
Nathan ‘Whippy’ Griggs

Pets are permitted but restricted to Campground One only due to the fact that the homestead is located in National Park.

Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times in the campground. Pets are not permitted in the Elsey National Park.

There are no on-line bookings available, it is simply a first in best dressed basis or you can call them on (08) 8975 4544.

Be sure to witness Nathan ‘Whippy’ Griggs in action at the Mataranka Homestead.

He performs every night except Monday nights from May through to August.

Contact Details for the Mataranka Homestead:

Phone: 08 8975 4544
Address: 642 Homestead Road, Mataranka, Northern Territory
Website:

Mataranka Homestead

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Territory Manor Motel & Caravan Park - one of the places to stay in Mataranka

Territory Manor Motel & Caravan Park

Just 500 metres from the heart of Mataranka township is the Territory Manor Motel & Caravan Park.

Powered Sites, Family Rooms and Double Share Motel Rooms are the accommodation options on offer.

Facilities include a swimming pool, spa, a huge camp kitchen, barbecue and laundry.

Territory Manor Buggy from We of the Never Never movie

There is also an outdoor undercover licensed restaurant which is open for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

The old buggy from the ‘We of the Never Never’ movie features in the restaurant as a buffet bench.

One of the other features of the Territory Manor is the Barra Feeding and the camping area is pet friendly.

Contact Details for Territory Manor Motel & Caravan Park:

Phone: 08 8975 4516 or 08 8975 4612
Address: 51 Martin Road, Mataranka, Northern Territory
Website:

Territory Manor Barra Feeding Mataranka

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Elsey National Park on the outskirts of Mataranka

Jalmurark Campground

Located in the Elsey National Park, the Jalmurark Campground offers a large camping area with unpowered sites providing 2WD access for caravans, motorhomes and tent camping.

Facilities at the Jalmurark Camping Ground include toilets, showers and barbecues.

There are no bins so you need to take your rubbish with you.

The use of generators not permitted. Pets not allowed in the National Park.

Fires allowed in the designated fire pits only. Collection of firewood from the sides of the main roads is permissable.

You must be at least 50 metres away from the water when washing with soaps or detergents.

Bookings are to be made prior to your arrival. Book on-line through the Northern Territory Parks Booking System.

Contact Details for the Jalmurark Campground:

Phone: 08 8975 4560
Address: John Hauser Drive, Elsey, Northern Territory
Website:

United Mataranka

Mataranka Fuel Stations

There are actually 3 fuel stations in the small town of Mataranka.

Ampol Fuel is at the Mataranka Store & Service Station plus there’s the Mataranka United Service Station and the BP Mataranka Roadhouse.

All three are located within metres of each other in the main street of Mataranka.

On the three occasions that we have visited Mataranka over the last few years we have found diesel prices at the United and BP are slightly cheaper than at the Ampol.

There is however a 5c Fuel Discount Offer for Mataranka Central when you stay at the Mataranka Homestead.

We always use Petrol Spy app to find the cheapest fuel prices for any location throughout Australia.

Read more:  How to Save Money on Fuel

Mataranka Main Street

Take your time and experience everything to see and do in Mataranka.

It is a genuinely interesting and fascinating Australian outback town with many features and intriguing things to experience.

Other places to stay in the region:

Pin – Mataranka

Pin - Mataranka
Pin - Mataranka
Pin - Mataranka

Have you visited or spent some time exploring Mataranka?

Tell us about your experience in Mataranka.

Safe travels

Kev & Adele
Indefinite Leave

We are Adele & Kevin, an Aussie couple from Brisbane in Queensland Australia who have embraced our adventurous spirit and ventured out to explore the world around us. We had spent so much time overseas we decided it was time to see our own truly amazing country and we needed to take some time to see everything it has to offer.

Our Aim is to inspire others to travel and help design the greatest adventure they can experience.

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Photography and Socials

Our camera equipment we use for all our photos and videos are:

Samsung Note 10 Plus Phone – http://ebay.us/9vMXEH – Most of our photos are simply from our phones. The Samsung phone cameras are pretty insane. Our phones have 512gb storage in ours but the 256gb in this one is heaps.

Samsung s21 Phonehttps://ebay.us/QAdwva – this looks an insane camera within a phone. We have friends and our son who own one and it seems quite extraordinary with their camera quality. If you’re after a new phone this is what I’d be looking at.

Canon 800dhttps://ebay.us/Q0UV1z – the latest DSLR Canon 24mp camera, buy here to save.

Nikon Coolpix p1000https://ebay.to/37cORUV – We have the Nikon P900 and this is the new model. The zoom lens is unbelievable and so awesome when travelling and you want to capture photos from a distance.

Lenses

Canon 50mm lens – https://ebay.to/3nx5pyG  This is the lens I use the least, ideal for still, close up shots.
Canon 24-105mm lenshttps://ebay.us/br9MeO – This is my all round, everyday use, zoom lens. Amazing quality, great price.
Canon 70-300mm lens – https://ebay.to/33xYeht – I use this one a lot for long range shots.
Sigma 10-20mm lenshttp://ebay.us/zWvfuI  – My wide angle lens for all my inside photos & video plus lots more, love this lens.

Our Go Pro 9 Hero Black – https://ebay.us/6CQOVC  –  is an awesome piece of equipment. I use this for all underwater, action video and some general use. Buy here brand new and great value.

Mavic Pro Platinum Drone – https://ebay.to/2ARPxTo  This is an absolute ripper of a drone. The Fly More Combo will provide you with everything you will need. I use this for all my aerial footage and this price is well below other retail stores.

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Adventurers Diary

The Story of John, The Highway Man

John the Highway Man Feature Image

At just 23 years of age, John The Highway Man as he is now known, took leave from his bank job of 5 years and went for a walk.

His intention was to go for 3 months, just to wander and feel free.

John never went back.

He was missing for 25 years.

This is the story of John The Highway Man

John the Highway Man walking down the highway in NSW

While travelling Australia and traversing the long highways all around our vast country you really do see and meet some amazing, interesting and quirky people.

Way out in the middle of absolutely nowhere you see people riding bicycles, unicycles, postie bikes, riding tractors, in cars so old they out date some of us and making their way from A to B by extraordinary means.

But this is a story of a man who has chosen a completely different mode of transport, his legs.

He’s been using them to walk the country’s roads now for over 40 years.

It really is a fascinating story of a man who found peace and solitude walking the highways of Australia.

In his words ” I’m just a wanderer”

We met John in NSW and chatted and this is his story.

Who is John the Highway Man?

His real name is Grant John Cadoret.

As Adele and I approached the town of Forbes in regional NSW in our Winnebago Esperance Motorhome we both noticed a fellow on the side of the highway walking north.

We were around 30 kms south from the town when Adele recognised him and said, “that’s John the Highway Man”.

I looked in my mirrors and checked the side of the highway and made sure it was safe for us to pull over.

Fortunately we had no vehicles behind us and space off the side of the road.

So we stopped and had a chat.

John the Highway Man

About John

John grew up in the Victorian country town of Minyip, just over 300 kms north west of Melbourne.

It was 1977 and at the young age of 23, John decided to take some leave from his good banking job, just to go for a walk.

It was only meant to be for a short time, certainly not for the decades how it has ended up.

Out here as he trod the earth, looked out over farmland, and searching within himself, he found solitude and peace as time went by.

3 months turned into 3 years, then 5, then 10 and before he knew it, he’d been gone a long, long time.

John said to me as we chatted, “when I first started out no-one would give me a ride when I wanted one. Now everyone offers me a ride but I prefer to walk”

Communication in the 1970, 80’s and even early 90’s of dial up was nothing like it is today.

There were no mobile phones, no internet, no Facebook, no Social Media at all.

The way we communicated was very different and much slower.

We did have pay phones and postcards though so his family struggled over the many years not hearing from him and believed he must have died.

John understood he’d been gone a long time and the longer he left it the harder it became to reach out and contact his loved ones.

Ultimately, he chose to let sleeping dogs lay.

His parents, he thought, would likely be dead by now so he continued on his marathon walk along the Australian Highways.

Where did he get money from?

He didn’t have any money, he didn’t need any.

At no time has John stopped to work along the way nor has he received any benefits or Government money.

Without property, without a vehicle and having no material needs he didn’t need money.

How did he survive?

John ate and drank what he would find on the roadsides of the highways.

He would come across food that had been thrown out car windows plus bottles and cans of drink tossed to the sides of the roads.

Along the way the kindness of other people would sometimes provide him food to eat.

Pools of water would otherwise be a source for somewhere to drink.

He became a modern day Swagman and learnt the survival tactics he needed.

Kev talking to John The Highway Man

During our chat I said to him, you should write a book. His response was “I prefer to read them”.

John stops at libraries and always has a book or two with him.

He does now have a small Kindle pad with him that he charges with a little solar panel you see on top of his backpack as he walks.

I found John to be very humble. He was happy to chat but I needed to lead the way with questions.

People stop and talk to him, some say they’d love to be doing it. John says, it’s always a fine day when they say it.

Finding John the Highway Man

Decades had gone by when a journalist heard about him having gone missing and decided to try to find him.

Amazingly, he did.

He stopped his car and chatted with him on the side of the road, talking about where he had been and listening to his stories.

The journalist went back and told his family, who had long decided he must have died, why else would he have never contacted them after so many years.

His sister broke down in tears and desperately wanted to see him.

John’s mother was at first unsure, not believing it was actually him.

In time her emotions went to anger, mad that he would still be alive and not contacted her.

Understandably there were a huge range of emotions for everyone involved.

The Journalist returned back to find John, once again travelling the Highways, looking for that needle in the haystack of the contented Swagman on his unique journey.

Eventually he found him once again, this time providing John his sisters phone number and told him his family wanted him to contact them.

Grant John Cadoret

Reuniting with his Family

It took a little time, some months, before John made the call.

His sister Michelle, a school teacher, was interrupted during class. There’s a phone call they told her, you need to take it.

It was John!!

The family reunited and now John returns regularly to visit. 

He discovered that his mother and father had split up over time and his father now lives in Queensland.

Where can you see John?

He doesn’t walk as far any more.

When I asked him if he was heading up to Queensland he said no. “Everything up there wants to kill you” he told me.

Ohhh, you mean snakes, spiders and dingoes I asked.

No he said, “Ants”.

“Any time I sit down they swarm all over me up there.”

He said he doesn’t go past Warwick now.

John told me he walked to Western Australia once in his earlier years but he doesn’t go back now.

Mostly you find him along the Highways of NSW and Victoria or maybe just a little over the border into Queensland.

In his early days, John says the police would pull him up for hitchhiking but now they all know him.

“They would ask me for ID, the problem is I’ve never had a credit card or any form of identification”, John said.

I asked John where he was aiming to get to today.

“I don’t know” he said. “I’ll just keep going until I’ve had enough and then I’ll stop”.

We asked him does he have an idea of where he wants to get to each day, “No” he said.

He has no plan each day, he just meanders along at his own pace in his own space.

Although introverted and quiet, John is friendly and kind also.

Pulled over when we spotted John The Highway Man
We pulled over when we spotted John the Highway Man

John the Highway Man on Social Media

John himself is not on Social Media, he has no idea what it is, just that it’s a thing and how people now know about him.

Today there are several Facebook pages dedicated to the adventures of John the Highway Man.

People watch out for him and post online where is he and how he is doing. 

They share their stories of him and what was said when they met.

One page is called The Highway Man: A: Grant Johns journey. The original page.

Another is The Highway Man, Grant Johns Helping Hands.

Please keep in mind John’s safety when sharing information on social media.

Don’t make him a target for thieves or leave him in a vulnerable position to anyone who may take advantage of his lifestyle.

What to do if you see John

Ensure before you apply the brakes on your vehicle that there is no-one close behind you and where you pull over you do it safely, for the sake of you, your family, John and other travellers.

Find somewhere that’s safe to stop to talk and it won’t hinder or be a distraction to others.

John is actually usually quite social, he likes to chat and is often happy talking for as long as you want to.

Remember, he chose this life and has been doing it a long time.

It’s his life and he’s happy so don’t talk with him as if he’s poor or suffering. He is doing exactly what he has chosen to do.

He doesn’t accept lifts so if you offer he’s very unlikely to do so.

John can only carry so much gear so while he appreciates gifts, he may not always be able to take it with him.

He likes coke and people bring him food and water, batteries and new boots or clothing.

I’ve learnt since we met that he likes a Rum too. Wish I knew that at the time and I’d have poured one for us both.

Apic with John The Highway Man

This is an incredible story of a true Aussie character.

A guy who chose to be different. In fact, he has said he knew he was different and just wasn’t fitting in.

Society can be a real challenge for some of us and John found his own space and his own place.

Hopefully we will get to meet him again.

Pin – John the Highway Man

Pin - John the Highway Man
Pin - John the Highway Man
Pin - John the Highway Man

Have you ever spotted John the Highway Man walking down the highway and stopped to have a chat?

Tell us if you’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting John.

Safe travels

Kev & Adele
Indefinite Leave

We are Adele & Kevin, an Aussie couple from Brisbane in Queensland Australia who have embraced our adventurous spirit and ventured out to explore the world around us. We had spent so much time overseas we decided it was time to see our own truly amazing country and we needed to take some time to see everything it has to offer.

Our Aim is to inspire others to travel and help design the greatest adventure they can experience.

_____________________________________________________________________________

Photography and Socials

Our camera equipment we use for all our photos and videos are:

Samsung s21 Ultra Phonehttps://ebay.us/QAdwva – this is an insane camera within a phone. The S21 Ultra comes with up to 100 times zoom and high quality camera. If you’re after a new phone this is what I’d be looking at for travelling.

Nikon Coolpix p1000https://ebay.to/37cORUV – We have the Nikon P900 and this is the new model. The zoom lens is unbelievable and so awesome when travelling and you want to capture photos from a distance.

Our Go Pro 9 Hero Black – https://ebay.us/6CQOVC  –  is an awesome piece of equipment. I use this for all underwater, action video and some general use. Buy here brand new and great value.

Mavic Pro Platinum Drone – https://ebay.to/2ARPxTo  This is an absolute ripper of a drone. The Fly More Combo will provide you with everything you will need. I use this for all my aerial footage and this price is well below other retail stores.

_______________________________________________________________________

Follow us, Subscribe, Like, Share, and Comment on our website and social media here:-

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/indefiniteleave/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/indefinite_leave/

Website: https://indefiniteleave.com.au/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/indefiniteleave

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com.au/indefiniteleave/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/indefiniteleav3

___________________________________________________________

This post contains affiliate links. If you buy something through a link on this page we may receive a small commission. It will not cost you any more, in fact we’ve sourced out some great deals for you. Thank you for supporting us.

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Adventurers Diary

Things to do in Ilfracombe Qld

Things to do in Ilfracombe Feature

For a small outback Queensland town, there are quite a number of fun, interesting things to do in Ilfracombe.

Named after the small Devonshire town in England, Ilfracombe was founded in 1891 and was once the transport hub for the Wellshot Station, the largest sheep station in Australia.

Back in the early days, Ilfracombe had three hotels each with accommodation and their own dance hall. 

It also had two general stores, a couple of butchers, a baker, a saddler, dressmaker as well as a billiard saloon, a coach builder and a soft drink maker.

Now, the once thriving population has dwindled to between 200 and 300.

Ilfracombe has some great things to do

Located between Barcaldine and Longreach, Ilfracombe is known as the Hub of the West as their welcome sign suggests!

It’s just a 20 minute drive or just 27.2 kms from Ilfracombe to Longreach.

By road it is 80.9 kms from Barcaldine to Ilfracombe and around 52 minutes to drive between these two towns.

Naturally it is hard to compete with major attractions of Longreach but Ilfracombe provides a great outback atmosphere away from the hustle and bustle.

A quiet little town where you can enjoy peace and tranquility and a great base from which you can explore the entire region.

The main street of Ilfracombe

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Machinery Mile in the main street of Ilfracombe

Top Things to do in Ilfracombe

Here are 8 great things to do in Ilfracombe most of which are located right in the heart of town:

1. Take a walk down Machinery Mile

An easy way to get some exercise in Ilfracombe is to take a walk down Machinery Mile and back and you will clock up over 3 kms.

You will be amazed at some of the old machinery that makes up Machinery Mile, most of which has been collected from within a 100 metre radius to Ilfracombe.

This incredible timeline of tractors, dozers, trucks, carts, tanks and much more stretches out for a mile of the main street in Ilfracombe.

A couple of them are very rare and are one or two of the their kind left in the world.

Machinery Mile is free of charge however donations are gratefully accepted via the donation box to help maintain the machinery.

Wellshot Hotel -one of the top 8 things to do in Ilfracombe

2. Drop into the Wellshot Hotel

Be sure to drop into the Wellshot Hotel for a drink or two and sit your bum down on their quirky bar stools.

You simply can’t miss having a photo on these iconic stools at this iconic pub!

Stay for lunch or dinner and take the time to learn about the history of the hats, enjoy the rustic charm and quirky features that this outback pub has to offer.

Try your luck and see if you can successfully pin a $5 note to the roof of the bar.

Read more: Wellshot Hotel

Ilfracombe Artesian Pools
Ilfracombe Artesian Spa

3. Bathe in the Ilfracombe Artesian Spa and Swimming Pool

Take a therapeutic dip in the Ilfracombe Artesian Spa and Swimming Pool.

Feel the benefits of the warm therapeutic mineral waters. It is great to soak your weary muscles when you stop after a long day driving.

The waters of the Ilfracombe Artesian Spa are from the Great Artesian Basin which is one of the world’s largest artesian groundwater basins.

The Great Artesian Basin underlies one-fifth of Australia and extends beneath regions of Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and Northern Territory.

It stretches from the Great Dividing Range all of the way to the Lake Eyre depression.

Standard Daily Opening Hours for the Ilfracombe Artesian Spa and Pool are 3.30pm to 6.30pm.

Display depicting the General Store in the early days

4. Visit Langenbaker House

The Langenbaker House is one of the first houses in Ilfracombe.

Since the 1890’s it belonged to Harry & Mary-Anne Langenbaker and remained in their family for just over 100 years.

It was acquired by the Ilfracombe Shire Council in 1991 after the last Langenbaker family member passed away.

This humble home has been preserved and is open to the public for guided tours.

It stands as a memorial to the Australia Outback Town’s people illustrating their way of life.

Inside the house it still largely resembles what it was like while the Langenbakers were raising their 11 children.

One of their sons became blind in an accident in 1921 therefore the furniture was left in exactly the same place so he could find his way around.

Ilfracombe Post Office

5. Pop into the Ilfracombe Post Office

The beautiful old tongue and groove building is home to not only Australia Post but also the Ilfracombe Library, a Gift Shop and a Second Hand Clothing store.

In 2010, the Ilfracombe Post Office celebrated the 100th Anniversary of the first motor mail delivery in the Commonwealth of Australia which went from Ilfracombe to Isisford.

6. Look through the Wellshot Centre

Learn about the early beginnings of the Wellshot Station.

The Wellshot Centre is an interesting place to visit as it outlines the history of the one of Australia’s greatest sheep stations.

The Wellshot Centre is also the Ilfracombe Visitor Information Centre.

Wellshot Station holds the world record for shearing the largest number of sheep off the same property in one season back in 1892.

Another record in the shire was the record for moving 43,000 sheep, the largest mob of sheep as a single flock in 1886.

7. Check out the Romani Hall Memorial – Gun Museum

The Romani Hall Memorial contains glass cabinets full of machine guns and weapons.

There are bombs, pistols, rifles, grenades and lots more.

All of the items in the museum relate to the war with the museum dedicated to Australia’s Light Horsemen.

It is a tribute to the young men in the Ilfracombe district who enlisted in the armed forces.

8. The Twelve Mile

Just 20 kms out from Ilfracombe towards Isisford is The Twelve Mile.

To find The Twelve Mile, go past Stockyard Creek and it will be on your left. 

Then turn at the Twelve Mile sign before driving another 100 metres to behind the dam.

Before heading out, pick up a map from the Wellshot Information Centre.

The self-guided map will assist you to explore this incredible formation.

Tree of Knowledge
Tree of Knowledge illuminated at night

Great Things to do in the Ilfracombe nearby region

There are more great things to do in the Infracombe surrounding region in towns like Barcaldine, Patrick, Aramac and Longreach.

Be sure to check out these other great attractions while you are close by.

Barcaldine

Tree of Knowledge

Barcaldine is just under 81kms from Ilfracombe and is most famous for the Tree of Knowledge.

The ghost gum is located in front of the Barcaldine Railway Station and it was under this tree that the 1891 Shearer’s Strike workers met.

The Tree of Knowledge was the site of the reading of the manifesto in 1892 leading to the formation of the Labour Party in Queensland.

Sadly this very notable tree which had been added to the Queensland Heritage Register in 1992 was poisoned in 2006.

Visit the Tree of Knowledge especially at night to see it beautifully illuminated with evolving coloured lights.

Barcaldine Great Shearers Strike

Great Shearers Strike

A tremendous and temultuous event in Queensland’s history was the Great Shearers Strike back in 1891.

At the time, Australia was going into its worst ever depression and unemployment was rife.

The price of wool had fallen and shearing was one of the most demanding but lowest paid jobs.

1,000 shearers put down their shears and marched through the streets of Barcaldine until their demands were met.

The demands were for the continuation of existing rates of pay; protection of worker’s rights and privileges; just and equitable agreements and the exclusion of low-cost Chinese labour.

The strike marked as the beginning of the working man’s voice lasted 4 months and 13 strike leaders were arrested and actually sentenced to 3 years hard labour.

Lara Wetlands
Lara Wetlands

Patrick

Lara Wetlands

When visiting nearby Barcaldine, be sure to head out to Lara Wetlands and camp up beside the lake for a few days.

It is a birdlover’s and photographer’s paradise.

Soak up the warmth in the natural hot spring pool, cook up a feast on a campfire, witness sensational sunsets and sunrises, paddle the lake in one of the complimentary kayaks.

Another option is you can use some old fashioned pedal power to explore the lake perimetre on the complimentary bicycles.

Read more about: Lara Wetlands

Aramac Sculpture Trail
One of over 40 unique sculptures dotted around the Aramac Lake Dunn Sculputre Trail

Aramac

The Aramac Sculpture Trail

Aramac is around 45 minutes from Barcaldine and is the where you can start the Aramac/Lake Dunn Sculpure Trail.

Miluynda Rogers, a local sculptor has created over 40 sculptures.

This unique art installation has Miluynda’s creations dotted around a 200km loop circuit.

It is one of the biggest permanent outdoor sculpture exhibiitons in the world and took us the best part of 6.5 hrs to complete the entire triangular circuit between Aramac, Lake Dunn and Jericho.

Longreach Sign

Longreach

Just 27.2kms and a 20 minute drive from Ilfracombe is Longreach.

Just add the things to do in Ilfracombe and Longreach and you can easily spend quite a few days in this awesome Queensland outback region.

Two of Adele’s 5 favourite tours in all of Oz are tours from Longreach.

Read more about: Our Favourite Experiences as we Travel Australia

Australian Stockman's Hall of Fame

Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame

One of the most popular attractions and things to do in Longreach is the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame.

Following a $15m makeover, the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame is even bigger and better since our visit in first visit in 2017.

You can choose to do the Stockman’s Experience Tour which includes the Live Show, Entry to the Museum and Galleries plus the new Cinematic Experience or you can just opt for the Museum & Gallery Entry only.

Definitely include this iconic attraction to your list of things to do in Ilfracombe and nearby region.

Qantas Founders Museum

Qantas Founders Museum

We enjoyed three of the Qantas Founders Museum tours and experiences when first visiting Longreach in 2017.

Firstly we wandered through the main exhibition hall of the amazing Qantas Founders Museum as well as the Heritage Listed Qantas Hangar.

Our second experience was going behind the scenes of the Boeing 707 and 747 as part of the 1.5 hr Airpark tour.

Since we visited they have constructed a roof  over the iconic aircraft to protect them from the harsh outback sun.

Last but not least and the true highlight of the Qantas Founders Museum was the 747 Wing Walk, a once in a lifetime experience.

Since our first visit in 2017 they have added the Luminescent Longreach – Light and Sound Show which would be great to do as well.

Outback Pioneers

Longreach

Outback Pioneers

The Kinnon Family are true outback pioneers.

They have really reinvented tourism in Longreach and they have a number of awesome tours and experiences.

Take an exhilarating Cobb & Co Stagecoach ride.

It is Australia’s only stagecoach gallop!

This amazing 4 hr tour includes riding the restored Cobb & Co Stagecoach through the main street of Longreach, galloping along a stretch of the original Longreach – Windorah mail run.

Also included is a traditional Aussie Morning Tea, a classic Australian movie in the retro cinema with canvas seats and the Harry Redford Old Time Tent Show – a tribute to the old time travelling shows.

Check out our: Top 10 Things to do in Longreach

Places to Stay in Ilfracombe

Ilfracombe Caravan Park

You can’t miss the Ilfracombe Caravan Park, just look for the red truck perched up on top of the entry way to this outback van park.

Accommodation options on offer include 55 Caravan Sites all with Power & Water and a range of fully self-contained cabins.

The cabins include Deluxe Queen Ensuite Cabins, a Family Cabin, a Pet Friendly Cabin and Queen Ensuite Villas.

Wellshot Hotel

Wellshot Hotel Campground

Located behind the Wellshot Hotel is the Wellshot Hotel Campground.

This is a paid campground where you can pull up stumps in your Caravan or Motorhome after a long drive or following a big afternoon session at the Wellshot Hotel lol.

Camping facilities at the Wellshot Hotel Campground include toilets, showers, drinking water, bins, laundry facilities and hook up to power.

It is accessible to caravans, motorhomes, camper trailers, campervans and tent camping.

Pets are permitted.

Other great places to stay in the region:

Where to Eat and Drink in Ilfracombe

Wellshot Hotel

We had it on good authority that the Wellshot Hotel has awesome Steak Sandwiches.

Naturally, we had to stop into the Wellshot Hotel and experience one of the Steak Sangers for ourselves and we weren’t disappointed.

The Wellshot Hotel offers a wide range of meal options for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner including delicious home made pies.

Choose to dine inside in the Dining Room, outside in the Beer Garden or be like us and eat your lunch up at the bar!

The Coffee Hatch

At the front of the Wellshot Hotel is The Coffee Hatch.

Not only does the Wellshot Hotel have the coldest beer in the west, it also serves up the best coffee.

Choose from the usual coffees, Cappucino, Hot Chocolate, Chai Latte, Espresso or a good old Flat White.

You can also enjoy a refreshingly cold Iced Chocolate on a hot summer’s morning. Grab a delicious piece of cake or crossiant to go with your drink.

Open Monday to Saturday 6am – 12 noon and Sundays from 8am – 12 noon.

Ilfracombe Caravan Park

During tourist season, the Ilfracombe Caravan Park offer a set menu for a delicious hearty meal when staying at the park.

Choose from 5 different reasonably priced meals and there’s one dessert.

Spoil yourself with a home cooked meal simply by booking and paying at Reception before 3pm on the day and be seated at a table in the ‘Shed’ for your dinner.

Kath's Kountry Kitchen

Pin – Things to do in Ilfracombe

Have you ticked off any of these things to do in Ilfracombe Qld?

Tell us about your most memorable experience of Ilfracombe.

Safe travels

Kev & Adele
Indefinite Leave

We are Adele & Kevin, an Aussie couple from Brisbane in Queensland Australia who have embraced our adventurous spirit and ventured out to explore the world around us. We had spent so much time overseas we decided it was time to see our own truly amazing country and we needed to take some time to see everything it has to offer.

Our Aim is to inspire others to travel and help design the greatest adventure they can experience.

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Photography and Socials

Our camera equipment we use for all our photos and videos are:

Samsung Note 10 Plus Phone – http://ebay.us/9vMXEH – Most of our photos are simply from our phones. The Samsung phone cameras are pretty insane. Our phones have 512gb storage in ours but the 256gb in this one is heaps.

Samsung s21 Phonehttps://ebay.us/QAdwva – this looks an insane camera within a phone. We have friends and our son who own one and it seems quite extraordinary with their camera quality. If you’re after a new phone this is what I’d be looking at.

Canon 800dhttps://ebay.us/Q0UV1z – the latest DSLR Canon 24mp camera, buy here to save.

Nikon Coolpix p1000https://ebay.to/37cORUV – We have the Nikon P900 and this is the new model. The zoom lens is unbelievable and so awesome when travelling and you want to capture photos from a distance.

Lenses

Canon 50mm lens – https://ebay.to/3nx5pyG  This is the lens I use the least, ideal for still, close up shots.
Canon 24-105mm lenshttps://ebay.us/br9MeO – This is my all round, everyday use, zoom lens. Amazing quality, great price.
Canon 70-300mm lens – https://ebay.to/33xYeht – I use this one a lot for long range shots.
Sigma 10-20mm lenshttp://ebay.us/zWvfuI  – My wide angle lens for all my inside photos & video plus lots more, love this lens.

Our Go Pro 9 Hero Black – https://ebay.us/6CQOVC  –  is an awesome piece of equipment. I use this for all underwater, action video and some general use. Buy here brand new and great value.

Mavic Pro Platinum Drone – https://ebay.to/2ARPxTo  This is an absolute ripper of a drone. The Fly More Combo will provide you with everything you will need. I use this for all my aerial footage and this price is well below other retail stores.

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