Dolphin Spotting and the Tangalooma Wrecks

Tangalooma, located in Queensland, Australia is part of the Moreton Bay region. Situated approximately a 75 minute catamaran ride from Brisbane, this is one day trip that is worth making. Not only do you get the chance to witnessย some memorable wildlife experiences, but the area is also home of the popular diving spot of the Tangalooma wrecks.

We took a day trip to the Tangalooma Wrecks as part of a dolphin watching cruise. We had a Red Balloon voucher given to us as a gift so we decided the dolphin cruise would be a fun way to use it, as something we could do together.

Dolphin Spotting & the Tangalooma Wrecks

The cruise was with Dolphin Wild Moreton Island Cruises. They are the longest operating cruise company in the area, having been in operation for more than 20 years as a family owned business. The cruise is a popular choice for both locals and tourists as a way of seeing dolphins in the wild, but with the added bonus of seeing the impressive Tangalooma Wrecks.

Tangalooma Wrecks

The cruise left from Redcliffe, which is about a 50 minute drive from home. The initial stages of the cruise were fairly uneventful, simply enjoy the ride out to sea. It wasn’t until we got close to Tangalooma did the dolphins make their appearance.

Tangalooma Dolphins

They were a little shy at first, but it wasn’t long before they started surfing along beside the catamaran and showing off nearby. We were told that they love to swim along in front and along the side of boats, as it gives them a little bit of a thrill with added speed. Dolphins are known for their playful nature. They are also incredibly intelligent creatures.

We spotted a mum and baby dolphin during the cruise. That was an added bit of excitement. Unfortunately we didn’t capture many dolphin photos work sharing though, so you will need to take our word for it that we saw plenty during the cruise.

Tangalooma Wrecks

After a bit of time cruising around with the dolphins, doing some circles around the bay area, the boat was anchored to the Tangalooma Wrecks and we had the opportunity to go snorkelling around the wrecks. One of the Dolphin Wild crew took passengers on a guided snorkel if they wanted, or they were free to snorkel at their own leisure.

Tangalooma Wrecks

I’m not entirely sure why, but for some reason we didn’t go snorkelling on the day. I think it had something to do with the time of year and the fact that it was a bit cold… and I think we were of only 4 who didn’t. In hindsight, I regret not doing the snorkelling part of the cruise, since the Tangalooma Wrecks are one of the most popular snorkelling areas in the world. Ahh well.. there’s always next time!

Tangalooma Wrecks

Tangalooma Wrecks

The Tangalooma Wrecks are impressive even from above the water and the crystal clear waters mean you have a fair bit of visibility even from the boat. Nothing like being under the water though I’m sure.

Tangalooma Wrecks

The crew threw some fish food into the water at the back of the boat though, which resulted in a total fish frenzy. There were so many colourful fish popping up to the surface, which was cool to watch. Although at the time of this photo, it there wasn’t a lot of colour. Just lots of grey fish… don’t ask me what kind. No clue!

Tangalooma Wrecks

After snorkelling, or in our case, chilling out on the boat and enjoying the sunshine (and forgetting to put sunscreen on the tops of our feet… ouch), it was time for lunch on the beach. Lunch was a smorgasbord that included seafood, chicken, salads and plenty of other variety.

Then it was free time on the beach, with the option to go for a walk and explore, relax on the beach or have a swim. There was a massive sand dune not far from the wrecks that a lot of people were tobogganing down or just going up the top for a look. Simon walked to the top to get some photos but I preserved my legs and soaked up some rays near the bottom.

Tangalooma Wrecks

Then it was back on the boat and time to head back to Redcliffe and on our way home, after a great day out on the water.

Tangalooma Wrecks

Tangalooma was originally a whaling station and is now home of Tangalooma Island Resort – a popular getaway for families due to the range of activities on offer, from the natural scenery and nature walksย to dolphin spotting, and of course snorkelling around the Tangalooma Wrecks.

Tangalooma Wrecks




Tangalooma is located in the Moreton Bay region, approximately 70-75 minutes from Brisbane via catamaran. There are several cruise companies that travel to the area, as well as the option to stay at Tangalooma Island Resort.

Center map
Google MapsGet Directions


Our cruise was with Dolphin Wild Moreton Island Cruises who are located in the Redcliffe Peninsular, Queensland. Cruises leave from the Newport Marina, 158 Griffith Road Scarborough and cost from $125 per person for adults. This price includes the cruise, lunch and some inclusive activities. Snorkelling the Tangalooma Wrecks is at an extra cost due to the hire of equipment.

Have you seen dolphins in the wild? If so, where?

27 comments Add yours
  1. I want to take my girls to Tangalooma Island when they are older. I didn’t know that there are one day cruises out there and I had no idea that there were wrecks that you could snorkel around. So much I don’t know about my own area just in this post! Thanks for sharing Holly. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Bec @ Styled by Bec recently posted…When in doubt choose MONOCHROMEMy Profile

    1. It’s amazing what is practically on our doorstep. I’ve discovered so much since writing for Brisbane Kids too. We have some good stuff. The kids will have fun x

    1. A perfect warm weather activity. At least you can snorkel or swim without freezing. It’s a really lovely area so I’m glad to have helped you find a future family day out ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I have always wanted to go over to Tangalooma. I’ve seen dolphins in the wild a few times, but the most memorable was during an overnight cruise on Milford Sound in the South Island of New Zealand. We were headed back to the dock the next morning and all of a sudden there they were up the front of the boat, swimming, jumping and playing. It was incredible! I loved every second. I’ve also seen them playing in the waves down around the Ocecan Shores/Fingal Head area but they passed through pretty quickly.
    Aroha @ Colours of Sunset recently posted…Saying Goodbye To FacebookMy Profile

    1. Milford Sound is something we haven’t done yet & I definitely want to. It sounds so beautiful and I never even realised there were dolphins in the area too. Bonus! They are amazing animals.

    1. There have been a couple of occasions I have seen a dolphin at a distance in the wild too & it’s always such an unexpected thing. You don’t expect it so always exciting. Some things never grow old.

    1. I have maybe only seen one other wreck before but this one is relatively shallow & clear water so fairly safe. People have been snorkelling there for years. Thankfully it’s easy to enjoy from the boat & land too ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Awesome pictures. Sounds like it was a great day. My husband and I took a snorkeling tour out of Nassau, Bahamas and they did the same thing with dumping food and having a fish frenzy. We just did circles around and around and they were everywhere. It was so awesome. Something I will never forget. Thanks for sharing and bringing up great memories. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Very timely discovery! We’re coming up to BrisVegas in 4 weeks & I found a snorkelling tour around Moreton Island including that area! I thought we would do that with the kids instead of the theme parks which we did a couple of years ago. Great post I think it’s sold now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge