Brisbane's coastline is dotted with picturesque atolls, all within easy reach of the city centre. Moreton Island is one of the world's largest sand islands, offering uncrowded beaches, sparkling lagoons and walking trails. Ferries depart from Port of Brisbane and take about 75 minutes. Once you’ve arrived you can chill out on sandy beaches or take a short walk to Blue Lagoon or Honeyeater Lake, where you can swim and spot flocks of waterbirds. Follow the 1.3 kilometre (0.8 mile) circuit route to Cape Moreton and see Queensland's oldest lighthouse, built in 1857. If it's between June and November, keep a lookout for migrating whales. Grab a bite at the Castaways Store & Café, located in the small township of Bulwer.
Moreton Island is home to 15 sunken shipwrecks, creating spectacular snorkelling sites with colourful fish and marine life. For diving, Flinders Reef has more than 100 different coral species about five kilometres (3.1 miles) north-west of Cape Moreton. Tangatours at Tangalooma Resort offers snorkelling and diving equipment hire and a great range of tours and activities, including stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking and beach bikes. If you're looking for adventure, climb Mount Tempest, the highest vegetated sand dune in the world. You’ll be rewarded with 360-degree views and can get your thrills tobogganing down. Hand feed the wild bottlenose dolphins that swim up to Tangalooma Beach every evening, then sleep under the stars at one of the campsites on the island. Alternatively, you can jump back on the ferry in the afternoon for a night of multicultural dining in Brisbane’s West End – tuck into pan-Asian street food at Chop Chop Chang’s.