Tangalooma Wrecks

It’s not often that you will get a chance to see ship wrecks up close. They are usually found in deeper waters and unless you are scuba diving, you won’t get anywhere near them. However, you can swim among some wrecked ships off the coast of eastern Australia near Brisbane. So if you’ve never heard of the Tangalooma Wrecks then read on.

The Tangalooma Wrecks are located off Moreton Island which is just off the coast of Queensland. There are many tours and ferries going to Moreton Island from Brisbane and many of them include the Tangalooma Wrecks in their site seeing itinerary.

Moreton Island itself is actually a huge sand island and you will find large sand dunes on it. Its also a protected site and hosts a large variety of marine life around it which includes dolphins, whales, sea turtles and dugongs. You can get to see some of these wildlife during your tour to Moreton Island.

The sand dunes on Moreton Island are really huge and they can form really high hills.

Why are there ship wrecks here, you may ask. They were intentionally sunk here to create an artificial break wall as a safe anchorage for small boats. Created in the 1960’s and 1970’s, 15 ships were sunk into a sand bank forming a calm space of water behind them. Over time, the wrecks have been colonized by corals forming an artificial coral reef and hosting marine life.

You can snorkel and swim amongst the wrecks. It’s not recommended for weak swimmers because of strong currents in the area.
People were also sailing smaller boats and riding their jet skis among the wrecks.
I decided to just stay on the beach which was a good thing. Despite the blazing summer sun, the water was actually quite cold at 22-23°C and I didn’t stay very long in the water.
There are vendors renting out surfing and snorkeling gear. You can also drive your car onto Moreton Island using a car ferry service. However, only 4WD vehicles are allowed since there are no sealed roads and its only sand tracks.
A drone view of the wrecks. The guide on our boat said that it actually costs more to scuttle the ships due to the cost of removing all possible contaminants from the ships before sinking it to prevent environmental damage.
You can see how large Moreton Island is in this picture. It’s 44 km in length and covers an area of 186 sq km. There’s even a resort on the island where you can stay if you are not the camping type.

2 thoughts on “Tangalooma Wrecks

  1. Wow, great photos ~ and I love the opening shot. Drone photography is so special, especially when it is done correctly, as it is here.

    1. Thanks, I’m still new at this drone photography and videography thing. A bit of planning is required and you can’t just fly around trying to figure out the best shot.

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