By GARY HOWARD
JUST a few weeks back I headed over to Moreton Island for the day as part of a Motorama tag along day for new 4WD owners.
It was a cracker of a day with near perfect conditions. It always amazes me just how quiet this island is, being only a short distance from Brisbane city.
You leave the high buildings of the city and just over an hour later you are landing on the beautiful white sands of Moreton Island against the high sand dunes of Tangalooma.
It doesn't take long before the barge full of 4WDs disappear to various spots on the island and you can soon find yourself a quite spot somewhere on the eastern or western side of the island where you are lucky to see a few other vehicles for the day.
Even more so if you visit during the quieter week days.
This quick trip was a bit different for me as it was more about the 4WD learning side of things for a story on Creek to Coast so they had given me strict instructions not to bring my fishing gear.
Hard call I know, but no doubt they knew I'd disappear for a quick cast when they needed me to be doing my job,
As tough as that was I really enjoyed another side of the island as it was guided with constant information across the two way about the history, wildlife and driving conditions of the island for all the 'newbies'.
After driving up the western beach we ducked in behind Cowan and Bulwer before coming back out on the beach at Comboyuro Point and up to North Point at the most north-western point of the island.
It's an ideal strip of beach here when there is any wind blowing from the east as the high dunes protect the inshore waters, giving you very calm clear waters and making it perfect for the family.
It's pretty good fishing along here too and the next few months offer a good mix of species from tailor and dart to whiting, bream and flathead.
After a bite to eat here and some demos on how to get out of the bog using either Max Tracs or snatch em strap by the Motorama boys we headed up the short track to Cape Moreton Lighthouse.
Of all the times I've been to Moreton Island I've never taken the time to actually walk up to the lighthouse.
Crazy I know, as it is only a short easy walk from the carpark below. The lighthouse was actually one of the first built on the east coast when Queensland was part of NSW.
These days the candle-powered light has been replaced by laser and is fully automatic.
The old lighthouse keepers dwellings still remain although they are fenced off and it doesn't take much to think back to the solitary life these families lead.
As lonely as it may have been, the 360 degree views are spectacular.
I especially love the view to the south looking down that great stretch of beach and all the surf gutters I could be fishing.
At this time of the year there are plenty of whales making their way north and in a few months returning south.
We saw quite a few in close as they casually frolicked about.
The surf beach is my big passion and anglers can enjoy some great camp sites along the dunes, where unlike a lot of other islands you can actually enjoy a nice warm camp fire at night.
The ARB Moreton Island Fishing Classic is only a few weeks away (August 23-27) where anglers will be chasing beach species up and down both sides of the island.
Last year's competition saw some good quality tailor caught down the southern end of the island along with a number of jew fish.
If those two species aren't your passion, a more casual approach to catching a few whiting during the day isn't too hard to do.
I've no doubt that you'll enjoy some relaxing time at Moreton Island, whether it be chasing fish, enjoying the scenery or snapping away a few magic moments on the camera.
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