Skip to main content

How did the Tangalooma Wrecks get to Moreton Island?

The Island

Hidden off the Brisbane coast lies South East Queensland’s best-kept secret: Moreton Island (Mulgumpin) and the Tangalooma Wrecks. Boasting crystal clear water, pristine beaches, and an abundance of wildlife, it is one must-do on your bucket list. Home of the Tangalooma Wrecks, a group of purposely sunk ships, is one of the best snorkeling sites in Australia and the world.

Find out below how the Tangalooma Wrecks got to Moreton Island and answers to other need-to-know questions.

How did the Tangalooma Wrecks get to Moreton Island?

Are they World War II ruins? Are they old pirate ships? Did they all sink at the same time? Good questions, but not quite. The history of the Tangalooma Wrecks dates back to the 1960s when boat owners asked for safe anchorage on the island as small boats found it difficult to dock. Their request for a man-made harbour was granted in the form of the Tangalooma Wrecks. Fifteen vessels were deliberately sunk over the next two decades. Over time the shipwrecks have rusted into the skeletons of ships protruding from the turquoise water. The unique formation has become a popular tourist attraction.

Did you know that each shipwreck has a name of its own?

Where does the name Tangalooma Wrecks come from?

The formation originates from the Quandamooka language for ‘where fish gather’. Quandamooka is the name of the Traditional Custodians of the land and sea surrounding Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island) and Mulgumpin (Moreton Island). Tangalooma Wrecks is a fitting name for the abundance of fish and wildlife that call the island home.

Elaborate coral formations have formed on the wrecks over the decades, creating an underwater wonderland.

How can I visit the Tangalooma Wrecks?

One of the best ways to visit the Tangalooma Wrecks is See Moreton’s Dolphin & Tangalooma Wrecks Cruise! Our all-inclusive tour departs from Brisbane daily between November and May.

Departing from Brisbane, you will board our multi-million dollar vessel, Spirit of Migaloo II,  taking you on a 70-minute journey to Moreton Island. From here, our expert snorkel guides will lead you through the Tangalooma Wrecks, sharing their knowledge and secret turtle hiding spots. The ticket price includes all snorkel hire, a delicious tropical buffet lunch with fresh ocean king prawns, succulent roast chicken and maple glazed ham, and a selection of fresh seasonal fruit. Drinks and light refreshments are available for purchase onboard.

I’ve never been snorkeling before. Can I still go?

The best part of the Tangalooma Wrecks is how easy it is to snorkel, and there is no experience needed. Our expert guides will help you the entire way, starting with an in-depth brief on the way to the island. This includes safety hand signals, wearing a snorkel and fins, and everything else in between to make your experience comfortable. For many of our guests, this will be their first-ever snorkeling experience, and we’ll be sure to make it a positive one.

Over 250 fish species are found in the Tangalooma wrecks.

Want to see the iconic Tangalooma Wrecks for yourself? Book your seat and prepare to set sail to paradise.


More Like This


Beginners Guide to Snorkelling

Snorkelling at the Tangalooma Wrecks at Moreton Island (Mulgumpin) is the highlight of your See…

The Best Destination in Queensland 2021

The question of the year: “What are we going to do this summer?” With pins…
Responsible Tourism

5 rules to keep in mind to practice sustainable tourism

It is easier than you think to be a responsible and eco-friendly tourist. You don’t…

Leave a Reply