See for yourself the sunken cluster of Tangalooma ships that sit by Moreton Island.

Tangalooma ships

Nestled just off the coast of the magnificent Moreton Island is the famous Tangalooma Wreck. A cluster of fifteen sunken ships become a world-renowned snorkelling and scuba diving site. With its perfect blend of the rusting ship vessels and the marine life that call it their home.

But how exactly did these wrecks come to be?

The creation of the Tangalooma Wrecks

The Tangalooma Wrecks are 15 ships that were placed here, which created the marine wonderland that we now know. The wrecks were deliberately sunk to form a break wall for small boats. This happened after local boat owners requested the construction of a harbour for safe anchorage.

In 1963, the request was granted, and the ships were buried in a sandbank off Moreton Island. These ships included old barges, dredges, and flatboats, which created a fantastic spot for swimmers and smaller boats.

Can I see the wrecks?

You most certainly can see the Tangalooma Wrecks! There are a few different ways to see them, so you can pick what suits you the most or try them all.

Tangalooma ships on the coast of Moreton Island

• Get close to the wrecks when snorkelling
The ships have become part of the reef, after years of slowly rusting, with moss, coral, and seaweed growing over sections. The region offers depths of 2-10 meters and visibility up to 8 meters, letting visitors spot the amazing amount of marine life. You could even get up and close with the colourful fish, ancient sea turtles, and even grassing sea dugongs while snorkelling.

If snorkelling between November and February, green and loggerhead turtles can be seen swimming in the shores and laying eggs on the beaches. You can even swim with dolphins and dugongs, even glimpsing an occasional humpback whale.

• Go on a boat or kayak
If you aren’t much of a swimmer, you can simply cruise out on a boat or kayak to see the wrecks up close! The vessels go past this line of ships, with the professional cruise describing the history of each vessel.

There are boat rides around sunset and night to enjoy the nightlife of Moreton Island. However, going during the day you have a better view seeing the wrecks through the crystal-clear water. Then you have kayaking which offers you a little more independence. You can glide around the wrecks easily and even hop into the ocean if you get tempted! You can hire equipment on the island rather than bringing your own.

• Sea scooter on the sea floor
For one of Moreton Island’s truly unforgettable experiences, you can cruise along the sea floor on a sea scooter! This is a great way to get around underwater without much effort. You still get to see all the marine life and get close to them on the sea scooter.

• See the bird’s eye view via helicopter
Be taken up in the air in a helicopter and see the Tangalooma Wrecks from a bird’s eye view. From up here, you are guaranteed to see amazing views of the wrecks and the beautiful aqua and sapphire waters.

What else to do on Moreton Island

Aside from checking out the Tangalooma Wrecks, Moreton Island is a beautiful paradise! There are plenty of activities you can do whether you visit for a day or two days.

Moreton Island parasailing

• Sand tobogganing
Moreton Island is a giant sand island, so what can you expect to do on an island that consists mostly of sand? Sand tobogganing, obviously! The sand dunes are huge and are perfect for reaching top speeds of up to 60km/h when flying down their faces! Enjoy the thrill as the tropical wind flies by as you go!

• Dolphin feeding
Moreton Island is famous for many things, and one of the most popular is the resident dolphins that come up to Tangalooma Resort each night for a feed!

Guests at Tangalooma can feed the dolphins for free and everyone else can join the experience as part of certain tours and cruises. You can book a Moreton Island tour which includes a chance to feed these friendly dolphins.

• Parasailing
Parasailing on Moreton Island is the perfect place to go. Parasailing here gives you stunning views along the shoreline and across the gorgeous island. You might even be lucky enough to spot a whale or two frolicking in the waters below!

Keen to see the Tangalooma Wrecks and explore more of Moreton Island? Don’t miss out and book a Moreton Island day tour here!

Explore the Moreton Island Tours from Brisbane!

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward began with a passion for travel and turned it into a thriving tourism business. He co-founded Sightseeing Tours Australia after starting out as a tour guide in Melbourne. Cameron delights in helping visitors get the most from their trip to Australia. Whether he's leading tours or writing about his favourite places, Cameron loves sharing his local insight with fellow travellers.

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