The benefits of outdoor education are well established – it fosters critical thinking, leadership skills, evaluating risk taking and promotes positive mental wellbeing among students.
That said, you simply can’t get a more diverse learning environment for a school camp near Brisbane than Moreton Island. Situated just 40km from Brisbane across Moreton Bay, Moreton Island is the least disturbed, large coastal sand island in South East Queensland and has a mixture of learning environments like no other.
Imagine immense ancient dune systems formed by wind, water & waves, pristine Moreton Bay Marine Park completed with shipwreck snorkelling, 27 different plants communities including mangroves, melaleuca swamps, heath & eucalypt woodlands as well as a strong indigenous history & remnants of WW2 historical sites – what an amazing school camp destination that would be!
Read on to discover all the amazing experience options that a school camp on Moreton Island has to offer!
Moreton Island is the third largest sand island in the WORLD and is Brisbane’s undisputed eco adventure playground! Where else can you get a school camp near Brisbane that:
It’s not hard to see why schools and colleges come from all over Australia to see this fun filled adventure classroom!
Trailblazer Tours is an eco-accredited tour company who have been providing quality school camps for many years and is backed by our sister company Australian Sunset Safaris. We boast:
There are so many options for studying on Moreton Island limited only by your imagination. Below we have summarised the main options that we have seen utilised during our many school camps. If you have another requirement just drop us a line and we will custom build your perfect itinerary!
Being an island, Moreton has been protected from much of the development of the last 50 years or so, and thus presents a unique biological study area where students can learn about the many eco-systems that are formed on an all sand island. The island itself is host to over 27 different vegetation communities including mangroves, melaleuca swamps, coastal dunes, heathland and eucalypt woodlands. These eco-systems provide important habitats for a plethora of wildlife including birds, reptiles, terrestrial mammals and amphibians.
Along with North & South Stradbroke Islands, Moreton Island forms the eastern boundary of Moreton Bay – a large, shallow and biologically diverse expanse of water which was declared a marine park in 1992 for its important natural, cultural, recreational and economic value to Queensland. Students can immerse themselves in the park with a guided snorkel around 15 submerged shipwrecks located just 15 meters from shore and a variety of marine life can be seen including tropical fish species, coral, wobbygongs& turtles.
The ability to combine aspects of geography studies such as collecting data & studies, sustainability focussed studies, landform studies & Indigenous culture studies makes Moreton Island a unique and easy choice for geography teachers. We are very happy to chat with you to combine aspects of tours to suit your learning objectives and will support you to build the perfect school camp. In general, activities we offer that support a broad geography focus are:
Moreton Island is a unique location for studying the impacts of tourism, vehicles & humans on a natural environment. We can provide a real-time case study on Castaways Resort – a dual purpose accommodation provider which has both older style dorm & unit accommodation and a more updated eco-friendly Glamping accommodation. An information session can be held on the installations that have been made to make the area more eco-friendly, and the impact the area has had on tourism & environment.
Moreton Island had a significant role in World War 1 & 2 and has many relics left over from these days including gun batteries, munitions store rooms and kitchen bunkers. Students are able to walk through these concrete structures and are invited to imagine what life would have been like for soldiers in the war.
Extensive site surveys have established that the native Ngugi people lived on Moreton Island for over 2000 years before Europeans made their mark. They named the island “Moorgumpin” which means “place of sandhills”. Numerous cultural sites have been recorded on the island and included shell and bone scatters, large shell middens and a stone quarry. Today, the remnants of the large shell middens can be witnessed and discussions surrounding the native landowners known customs and history can be had.
Aside from the above, Moreton Island has an interesting historical story to tell. Not only is it home to the first lighthouse in Queensland, it was witness to a major Australian whaling operation which significantly depleted the humpback whale population before being closed in 1962.
Where better than to study physical education than a living breathing adventure island! Activities that support physical education include:
Guided shipwreck snorkelling
Day & Night kayaking
Mt Tempest Hike
Beach hikes & camping trips
Download : Moreton Island Information Pack.
Moreton Island is akin to a kind of eco-adventure education wonderland! With a multitude of amazing natural experiences mixed with a dose of adrenalin-pumping outdoor adventure activities, students are easy to keep entertained and teachers are able to tick off the "curriculum" list. The most popular choices are listed below, but of course, the possibilities are endless depending on your imagination:
Enter an underwater adventure playground as you snorkel around 15 sunken shipwrecks. Thousands of tropical fish & corals can be seen and students will be immersed in this marine learning environment. This activity is fully guided with all safety instruction, equipment and risk management documents.
Experience this unique activity pioneered by Trailblazer Tours. Imagine silently kayaking around sunken shipwrecks in a see through illuminated kayak, watching corals, fish, turtles & wobbegongs as you quietly paddle past. Turtles & fish commonly swim beneath the kayaks giving the students an insight into the world beneath without disturbing the marine life. If preferred, students can participate in the transparent day kayaking instead.
Don’t tell the students, but the desert is a highly interesting ecological area filled with sandblows, fulgerite (lightning rock) and mineral sands. The students will be walked through the area and told how it was once covered with forest before the sand took hold. This is disguised learning at its best though as soon they will be zooming down the desert dunes reaching amazing speeds before climbing back up to do it all again!
The island discovery tour takes in the main key destinations in the northern part of Moreton Island and can be tailored to meet your learning objectives.
Visit North Point & Champagne Rock Pools. North Point is a very popular area for geographical & science studies and students can take a dip in the Champagne Rockpools - formed by one of the only areas of volcanic rock on the island. In fact, North Point is the origin of the island!
The lighthouse forms a significant part of the European history on Moreton Island and was also the first lighthouse build in Queensland. Students are able to visit the on-site visitor centre to gain an understanding of life at the lighthouse before continuing up to experience the spectacular view. Students will have the opportunity to spot dolphins, turtles, manta rays and even whales (June-Oct) before continuing the journey past the grave of the lighthouse keeper’s wife and learning a bit more about the trials of life on a remote island in the 1800’s.
Swimming in fresh water lakes! Blue Lagoon is the most popular lake for swimming and students will learn how this window lake was created while they take a refreshing dip in the water. If requested, Honeyeater Lake, a perched lake created when water collects in a solid depression, can also be visited to show the vast difference between the two types of lakes.
Learn how Castaways Resort & Glamping are working towards eco-sustainability with a tour around the site conducted by the manager. Learn how the Glamping tents are designed to fit in with the surroundings and which part of them are made by recycled milk bottles!
This tour aims to visit the most historical parts of the island, and commentary is more focussed on the historical aspects of the island. For geography based studies we can arrange to visit campgrounds and/or townships. You will visit and/or learn about:
Head out to the tidal flats and discover an amazing eco-system of mudflats, mangroves & tidal pools. These environments form part of Moreton Bay Marine Park and provide food and habitat for a wide variety of marine life. Mangroves provide a nursery for fish, prawns & crabs and the surrounding environment is prolific with bird breeding areas. This tour is perfect for studying life-cycles & ecology and can allow plenty of time for any studies that need to be completed.
Climb the highest vegetated sand dune in the world! Mt Tempest is a beautiful walk with amazing almost 3600 views of the island. Students will get their blood pumping with this medium grade hike – only 30 to 40 minutes up and 20 minutes down. The walk meanders through different levels of vegetation and is a perfect end to an active day.
Do you have a study focus or activity that we have not listed here? We are happy to custom build tours and activities around your specific needs. Drop us a line or give us a call to have a chat about the possibilities.
No school camp is complete without a campfire night! Relax around the campfire and toast a few marshmallows – a great way for students and teachers to bond during camp.
Once the sun goes down over the water and students have enjoyed their delicious dinner, we recommend you take the short walk down to the beach to look up. The view of the stars from Moreton Island, without the lights and smog of the city, is astounding and students will be in awe of how many, and how bright the stars are.
For more itinerary examples, please download the Moreton Island School Camp Information Pack or give us a call to discuss your specific needs – we’re more than happy to tailor an itinerary to your learning outcomes.
We have two great accommodation options which allow us to cater up to 100 students at each. Large schools and groups can choose a “Combination” camp where half the group is accommodated in each option.
Located just 100m from Bulwer Beach, Castaways Resort has a unique “beach house” vibe. Features of this great option include:
If you would rather give students the experience of camping in the great outdoors, we offer the option of staying at our pre-erected campsite at North Point. Highlights of this option include:
We pride ourselves on providing the best transport options available for our school camps, and can move groups of up to 180 all at once in our custom-built 4WD coaches. All vehicles are air conditioned and suitable for on-road and off-road travel. Features of our service include:
Yes absolutely! We offer trips to multiple destinations such as Moreton Island & Fraser Island, Fraser Island & The Great Barrier Reef, Moreton Island, Gold Coast theme park and a night in Brisbane! These combined trips are perfect for interstate schools who may have a little further to drive.
We sure do – we have a safety and risk assessment handbook which will be sent to you upon booking.
The ferry trip from the Port of Brisbane to Moreton Island is approximately 75 minutes. The ferry we take is a large multi-level vessel which is highly stable (so no small ferries for us!). There is a café on board with a real, yes REAL coffee machine for teachers to get their fix!
No! We provide enough vehicles for everyone to have a seat. This means that we pack so much more into our tours and make sure that students are out on the island for the optimum amount of time.
Note: Trailblazer Tours reserves the right to send home any student who is deemed to be behaving inappropriately. No refunds are applicable in this instance.
For educational groups travelling on a fully facilitated camp with Trailblazer Toursor sub-contractors there is no longer a need to complete forms for exemption of national park usage fees. Schools & educational groups will now be automatically exempt from these fees. Where the aforementioned group is taking a vehicle, they will be eligible for fee exempt vehicle permits and should contact camping support (firstname.lastname@example.org) to obtain their relevant permits. This is the responsibility of the group taking the vehicle.