The tiny population of 298 Moreton Islanders got a huge boost last week when the Pacific Jewel arrived for one of its first visits of the season.
And Moreton, which is the world’s third largest sand island, is set to receive an even bigger influx of guests in coming months.
The Jewel’s visit was the first of 31 trips, bringing over 60,000 to the island’s shores and injecting millions into the local economy.
According to P&O, many of the passengers will disembark on their one-day stop-over during a four-night P&O SeaBreak, when they are hosted by the Tangalooma Resort.
There is plenty to do: dolphin feeding, snorkelling and diving, quad biking, adventure safaris and sand tobogganing down some of the world’s highest hills, bushwalking or simply walking along the beach.
Resort director David James says: “We are thrilled to showcase Moreton Island’s spectacular natural beauty and leisure experiences to P&O guests.”
Located off the coast of South-East Queensland and 37km long, Moreton is on the “Nemo super highway” or East Australian Current, meaning the waters are teeming with sea life.
Our man on-the-spot, photographer and self-professed “veteran cruiser” Tim Faircloth was aboard the ship with his daughter and had a fantastic experience.
His highlight was snorkelling among the fish and shipwrecks at Tangalooma wreck, although he didn’t spot the dolphins and dugongs he was hoping for.
“There was plenty to see, a collection of partially submerged shipwrecks, plenty of fish, ocean game fish, lots of smaller ones. It was fascinating. Absolutely loved it.”
Tim highly recommends the cruise, and says it is perfect “for a long weekend getaway or a first time cruiser, because they get that true port experience.”
Moreton Island is one of a number of destinations P&O is opening up