Cycling at Manly in Brisbane.
Cycling at Manly in Brisbane. Detours

A day out on Moreton Bay

STRETCHING 125 kilometres from Bribie Island in the north, right down to the Southern Bay Islands, Moreton Bay and Islands is a diverse paradise located right on Brisbane's doorstep – 25km from the CBD.

Picturesque coastal villages and rugged hinterland are only a leisurely drive away and some of Queensland's most beautiful beaches are easily accessible by boat.

With a raft of activities to keep everyone amused, from eco-tours to adrenaline sports, aquatic adventures and gourmet delights, the best way to spend a day at the bay is limited only by your imagination.

Here's a list of the best ways to spend a day at Moreton Bay and Islands:

1. Explore coastal villages

Take a leisurely drive to spend time in one of the many coastal villages on Brisbane's bayside. With a smattering of charming cafes and restaurants, regional and independent art galleries, museums, picnic spots, bikeways and heritage walking trails, you can do as much or as little as you want in one day.

2. Get up close and personal with a whale

From June to November, Moreton Bay is graced by some of the world's biggest visitors as humpback whales migrate along the coastline. Point Lookout, on North Stradbroke Island, offers some amazing vantage points, and the best way to get up close is a day tour with Brisbane Whale Watching aboard the MV Eye-Spy.

3. Get off the beaten track with a 4WD tour

Discover the world's third largest sand island on a 4WD tour of Moreton Island with Moreton Bay Escapes. A day trip includes a cruise across Moreton Bay, 4WD tour of Moreton Island, sand boarding, swimming, wildlife viewing and lunch.

4. Taste award-winning wines at Sirromet Winery

Visit Sirromet's spectacular hilltop winery at picturesque Mt Cotton, just a short drive from Brisbane. Take a fully guided tour then relax with a glass of wine and a cheese platter at the cellar door.

5. Discover the penal history of St Helena Island

In contrast to many of Moreton Bay's white sandy beaches, St Helena Island offers a much darker experience. From 1867, St Helena Island was Queensland's maximum security prison for men and was home to the colony's worst criminals for 65 years. Historic tours of St Helena depart from Manly Harbour, and more daring types can enjoy the night Ghost Tour.

6. Enjoy fish and chips by the seaside

Enjoy fish and chips by the seaside at one of Brisbane's coastal villages, including Manly, Sandgate and Shorncliffe.

7. Cruise in the Pumicestone Passage

An eco-cruise through the Pumicestone Passage Marine Park with Ferryman Cruises is a great way to spot dolphins, dugongs and sea turtles.

8. Get back to nature at North Stradbroke Island

Only 35 minutes by water taxi and you'll feel a world away at North Stradbroke Island. The island's extensive lakes and waterways are listed as some of the world's most ecologically important wetlands and are great for freshwater swimming and kayaking.

9. Explore the natural ecosystem of the Boondall Wetlands

On the edge of Moreton Bay, the Boondall Wetlands has more than 1000 hectares of tidal flats, mangroves, salt marshes, melaleuca wetlands, grasslands, open forests and woodlands.

For more information and details on special offers, visit www.moretonbayislands.

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