Tangalooma sampler – our visit to Brisbane’s Island Getaway

It’s not every day that you get to explore an island paradise.  It’s even less likely that on that day you’ll get up close and personal with wild dolphins, find both Nemo and Dory, play island monopoly and be home in time for bedtime.  It is possible however if you take a trip to Tangalooma Island Resort which is just 75 minutes by ferry from Brisbane.  And this is exactly what we did over the summer school holidays.

Reasons why we love Tangalooma Island Resort

Tangalooma Island Resort is best known for its wild dolphin feeding by guests where a pod of 12 dolphins visits daily; but as we discovered on our day trip…it is so much more!

It’s Paradise

Tangalooma Island Resort is a much loved family resort and is a preferred holiday and day trip destination for many Queenslanders.  It’s seriously beautiful.  And it’s no wonder that it was voted by the local community as one of the top 21 iconic Brisbane landmarks for our very own Monopoly board which was launched last year!

The resort also goes by another name… Spooky Island.  And if you’re familiar with Scooby Doo you’ll know exactly what i’m talking about!  Scooby’s first big screen movie debut in 2002 has key scenes shot here where the island was transformed into a hauntingly good spooky set for six weeks. This resort gets two thumbs up from our boys just for this cool movie fact!

Epic All Ages Tours 

Tours on Tangalooma Island Resort are run by Tanga Tours. They recently won Gold at the Queensland Tourism awards for adventure tourism and we know why. There are more than 80 tours and activities available for a range of ages, interests and skill sets. During our visit we had all of the options to pick from including parasailing, helicopter joy rides, a marine discovery cruise, a desert safari tour (which includes sand tobogganing and the tallest dune is 35 metres high) and ATV all terrain quad bike tours and more.

For our family there was one clear choice and it was to snorkel the island’s Wrecks.   We fell in love with snorkelling on our recent cruise with Carnival Australia where the boys got lots of practice at each shore excursion.  Can I just say that there is no better feeling than holding hands with your kids while you snorkel together underwater.  I loved hearing my youngest squeal with delight every time he saw a beautiful fish or sea turtle.

On the day of our tour the weather was spectacular and warm and the sea current wasn’t very strong. This made it easy for us to enjoy the 1.5 hour tour of the wrecks. The boys only needed the help of the guides when we first got into the water and were happy to swim along with us for the remainder of the tour.  I was so proud of them for jumping off the boat and into the water… that’s a pretty brave thing to do even for an adult!

The wildlife

Yes, Tangalooma Island Resort is beautiful, but the wildlife really are the stars of the show. During your day trip expect to see dolphins, green sea turtles, stingrays and maybe even a dugong! One thing we really enjoyed doing was taking a visit to the Marine Education and Conservation Centre.   We listened to a few talks on the critical work that they do to help dolphins who have gotten themselves into trouble as well as sea turtles.

I was horrified to hear that more than 200 sea turtles are washed up on their beach each year, the majority the victims of plastic bag inhalation.  The boy seemed to really take this all in also and we have been talking about what we can do to help.  Then we saw this sign! 😉

We also picked up on a few cool facts. For example, the dolphins like to bring “gifts” back to their conservation friends on the island.  If you are a cat owner, you’ll know the type of gifts i’m talking about.  The dolphins hunt during the day (the island resort only feeds them between 10% to 15% of their daily intake) and during their adventures they bring back “pressies”.  And these are usually other sea creatures. I thought ewww … the boys thought … awesome!

The boys also liked that the dolphins were identifiable and had names.  They used the tips that they had learnt earlier in the day to identify the dolphin that they hand fed later that night.   Feeding the dolphins was our last activity at the resort before going home and it was a amazing. I had done this same thing in my twenties and felt fortunate that we were able to give our boys this experience too.

I watched on from the pier and took photos and my husband took the boys into the water. They weren’t scared and were absolutely buzzing from such a unique experience.

Tip: If you want to get close to the dolphin action without actually going in to the water… don’t sit in the seats provided on the jetty…stand to the left of those seats closer to where the boat takes off. This is THE best spot to take it all in. Also, if you are a day trip visitor and haven’t organised a tour, to register for the dolphin feeding you will need to visit the Marine Education centre between 1pm and 4pm.  Note: Places are limited.

The facilities 

During our day at Tangalooma Island Resort we made use of the facilities…. said in my fave Kath and Kim voice. We played on the beach and kids playground, swam in the resort pool and checked out the basketball courts! Badminton, table tennis, archery, squash, croquet, mini golf, volleyball and squash are all activities that you can do on the island. It was easy to see how it would be possible to relax here for an extended stay without the kids getting bored.

Travel tip: Hotel guests also have access to the ‘Active Kidz Club’ that offers two hour supervised sessions for children aged 5 and up while you get a massage on the beach. #helloimthere!

We made sure we stayed hydrated and fed by having meals at the beach cafe and at their signature restaurant Fire and Stone.  ps. This was pretty good quality food and not a bad place to take in a mummy cocktail! 🙂

We also liked that you could choose to build your own healthy Aussie burger straight from the barbie.

Travel tip: We found the ice creams in the resort shop comparable to prices at our local convenience store – so pretty reasonable.


Tangalooma Island Resort will give you the chance to recharge the batteries and give the kids a unique opportunity to try some exciting new things.

We found our day trip to be very good value as day cruise visitors receive food vouchers (Adult $20, Children $15) included in the ferry launch cost.

Travel tip: Check the resorts website for regular specials. Click here.

We loved our day at Tangalooma Island Resort and will be back for a longer staycation sometime in the future.  The tranquility of the island, the friendliness of the staff as well as the closeness to home all have our vote.


Located on beautiful Moreton Island off the coast of South East Queensland,  Tangalooma Island Resort is just 75 minutes from Brisbane by ferry.  We highly recommend visiting here for both a day trip and a longer stay.

For further information and bookings, please visit: www.tangalooma.com



We visited Tangalooma Island Resort as media guests. All opinions are our own and correct at time of publication.