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Trip report - Moreton Island Solo Circumnavigation

PostPosted: Thu 06 May, 2010 12:53 am
by ozjolly
Last weekend (May Day long weekend in QLD) I headed to Moreton Island. What started as a plan to just walk for a few days and see where I'd get turned into a challenge to try and do the whole island in two days. I succeeded, arriving back where I started at 7:10pm Sunday night after disembarking the ferry at 10:10am the morning before. The journey was about 87km.

It was certainly an interesting walk and although it was quiet I ran into plenty of interesting people. Like the locals who predicted my undoing in walking a creek. They said it was like quicksand and very deep. It ended up being 30cm deep and the sand was fine!

Walking anti-clockwise around the island on a beach means that you're walking on a left to right slope the whole way. This caused some pretty good blisters on my right foot. I've walked many hundreds of kms in these boots without a blister before, but not this time.

Walked the sunset in bare feet on the first evening. The colours in the clouds with setting sun against a storm (missed me) was breathtaking.

I walked until 10pm the first night. No navigation issues on a beach. I was getting tired though, especially when I ran out of water, the tide was high so softer sand, it was warm, my blisters were sore and my other leg started to play up. Managed 50km in the first day and camped at Eager's Creek.

Took it easier the second day with a sleep in then a swim at blue lagoon. Ran into someone I knew at Cape Moreton. Managed the remaining 37km including the short detour to Cape Moreton lighthouse. The last hour or so walking under the stars on the calm western beach was just about the highlight.

Pack weight was 15kg with 3l of water and food. I ended up taking too much food (had planned for 3 days) but no sleeping bag. I just used the silk liner and that was enough. I'll try to get the weight down as I upgrade my gear. Could have shaved a few kg without the fishing gear and the extra food.

New gear I trialled:

Kathmandu Archon 65: I'm pretty much new to through walks on my own. I've managed overnighters in a group with my Berghaus 35+8 before (which I love), but for three days solo I needed something a bit bigger. Picked this up for $120 on sale. It's very basic - a hood compartment, one compartment, no external pockets. Weighs 1.5kg so pretty light. I was pretty happy with it. Fit well around the waste and after a few hours I had it setup to suit me. Only issue was that the strap from the shoulder to the bottom of the bag would loosen up a bit overtime time.

Katadyn Hiker Pro water filter: All the water I got was from a tap, so it's hardly giving this a good test. But it's recommended that it be treated and one or two spots have been known to have dodgy water. Pumps water pretty quickly and is easy to use.

8' 4 piece fishing rod: this sat in my pack the whole time. I didn't touch it, so it was wasted weight.


Re: Trip report - Moreton Island Solo Circumnavigation

PostPosted: Wed 12 May, 2010 10:36 am
by isoma
Top effort there Joel,
87 km on sand would have been hard work.
For more beach/sand walking I guess the next obvious options would be Fraser Island (southern lakes circuit) or Cooloola NP.
I prefer the hills and rock myself though.

Re: Trip report - Moreton Island Solo Circumnavigation

PostPosted: Mon 17 May, 2010 10:28 am
by benb
Did you start and finish at Tangalooma? I am guessing so.

Re: Trip report - Moreton Island Solo Circumnavigation

PostPosted: Mon 17 May, 2010 10:27 pm
by ozjolly
benb wrote:Did you start and finish at Tangalooma? I am guessing so.

Yes, from the miCat ferry which leaves from the Tangalooma Wrecks.

Re: Trip report - Moreton Island Solo Circumnavigation

PostPosted: Mon 05 Jul, 2010 11:52 pm
by ahmondjai
We did a similar walk a long time ago (back in high school times), group of 4, 2 males & 2 females, not so experience in camping nor hiking, in very cheap and heavy gears, arrived at the south tip of the island, expected to fill up water near the township, but there was no tap available at that time, so, short of water (1 half full Al army water bottle, 2L in plastic bottle). Followed the 4WD tracks, went past the air-strip to the east side of the island. set camp near little sand hills for the 1st night in dusk.

Early start for the next day due to the warmth from the sun projected into our tent, managed to get to big sand hills for some water filling from the pump action tap, gosh, the water was rusted like the tap, did not treat it and drank a bit (don't try this at home). set camp for 2nd night.

Rained in 3rd day, walked from big sand hill to tangalooma and separated from the girls who was holding our sleeping bag and rushed to the resort with minimal weighted packs, we were soaked from the rain and had to rely on our survival space blanket for warmth.
the next morning, the girls came look for us in the campsite and had woke us up. nothing much to say and depart the island. Home sweet home we go~~

Not a very pleasant experience, but very memorable for all of us, we still talk about it sometimes~~
What can I say, lovely teen times~~

Re: Trip report - Moreton Island Solo Circumnavigation

PostPosted: Wed 14 Jul, 2010 12:18 am
by benb
Just did a 5 day circumnavigation of the island from Monday to Friday with two friends.
In one day we did close to 30km with our packs (over 20kgs) and there was no way I could have gotten much further in that day. We left Rous Battery and walked to the North Point campground skipping Blue Lagoon. I was shagged by the end of that day (day three).
Our trip went like this:
Day 1: Ferry at The Wrecks to Big Sandhills
Day 2: Big Sandhills to Rous Battery (we tried to go via Mirrapool Lagoon but were blocked by the outlet and it was a too risky swim. Long day)
Day 3: Rous Battery to North Point (long day)
Day 4: North Point to just beyond Bulwer on the beach
Day 5: Near Bulwer to The Wrecks (short walk, so we went to Tanglalooma for lunch and a beer while waiting for the ferry back at the wrecks)

All up it was pretty fantastic except for the monotonous walking along the beach on day 3. No blisters either.
Am very impressed that you had done 50km with your pack in one day!?
Also, tried to get a free beer at the end of the trip at Tangalooma because of our accomplishment but the bar man told us we had to do the circumnavigation in a day to get a free beer!!