Tangalooma Wrecks

Tangalooma Day Trip: Wrecks & Dolphins

This post may contain affiliate links. Read the full disclosure

Australia is known for its beautiful beaches and snorkeling opportunities and a Tangalooma day trip is a worthy mention!

Tangalooma, located in Queensland, is part of the Moreton Bay region. Situated approximately a 75-minute catamaran ride from Brisbane, this is one day trip worth making. Not only do you get the chance to witness 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 and share why you should do this too if you are visiting Queensland.

Tangalooma Wrecks


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.

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 25 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 day trip cruise

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 cruise - Tangalooma day trip

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 worth sharing though, so you will need to take our word for it that we saw plenty during the cruise. Our photography skills were mediocre back then!

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.

Related ReadingTop 10 Dive Sites in the World

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! Instead we got really sunburnt on deck as there was not a lot of shade on the boat and it was the middle of the day.

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 dolphin cruise

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 dolphin cruise day trip

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.

Related:  Dolphin Spotting in Tasmania Australia

There is 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 day trip and dolphin cruise

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 day trip

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 walks to dolphin spotting, and of course snorkelling around the Tangalooma Wrecks.

Tangalooma Wrecks - Tangalooma day trip


How to Get to Tangalooma & Moreton Island

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

Best Time to Snorkel Tangalooma Wrecks

Australia is known for incredible weather but still gets pretty cold in the southern states. In Queensland, the weather is fairly mild all year round so if you’re up for it, you can absolutely snorkel during the cooler seasons. But I wouldn’t without a wetsuit!

The summer and shoulder months are perfect for tangalooma wrecks diving and snorkelling with temperatures ranging from mid 20 to mid 30 degrees celsius during these seasons – September to March.

Tangalooma Cruise

Our dolphin and tangalooma wrecks cruise was with Dolphin Wild Moreton Island Cruises who are located in the Redcliffe Peninsula, Queensland. The Tangalooma day trip from redcliffe leaves 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. Check their website for latest pricing information.

Book your Moreton Island Tangalooma day trip online

Want to see more? Be sure to check out our top 25 Brisbane day trips to see more of this beautiful part of Australia.

Have you seen dolphins in the wild? Tell us where. 

Dolphin Spotting & the Tangalooma Wrecks