Moreton Bay is a stunning lagoon located on the east coast of Australia, just 14 kilometers (8.7 miles) from the center of Brisbane, Queensland. It is one of the most important coastal resources in the state and is a popular destination for recreational anglers and divers alike. The bay is protected by three main islands in the Pacific Ocean, which keeps its shallow waters calm and clear. It stretches from Caloundra to the 125 km-long Gold Coast waterway, and is only half an hour away from Brisbane city center.
Once in danger of sand extraction and mining, Moreton Bay was estimated to be an economically viable alternative for tourism. As a result, control of the island became dependent on the state park service in 1993. Locations in Brisbane, on the bay, include Scarborough, Margate, Woody Point, Brighton, Sandgate, Shorncliffe, Nudgee Beach, Wynnum, Manly, Wellington Point, Cleveland and Victoria Point. The seagrass beds and corals of Moreton Bay are subject to the ongoing threat of soil runoff caused by agriculture in the Lockyer Valley and construction activity in southeastern Queensland. Despite this threat, Moreton Bay remains a playground for sailing, diving and swimming enthusiasts.
It is also a great spot for photographers, anglers and anyone looking to relax in a lagoon-style coastal environment. When Moreton Bay was opened to free settlers, it was inhabited by three tribes: Nooghie, Noonuccals and Goenpul. These tribes fought when they were forced to share their land with settlers. Today, Moreton Bay is a popular destination for anglers and is only a 30-minute drive from Brisbane.
Stradbroke Island and the populated Russell-Macleay group of islands in the south of the bay are described in separate entries. Moreton Island is the third largest sand island in the world and is an hour's boat ride from Moreton Bay. On a subsequent visit the following year, Oxley established the first European settlement in the bay on the current site of Redcliffe. You can easily spend a few days lounging at one of the few resorts on Moreton Island, swimming in its calm waters, snorkeling, tobogganing on its sand dunes or strolling through its park.
Moreton Bay is also home to many other water sports and activities such as canoeing, jet skiing, windsurfing and water skiing. The bay also houses many species of wildlife including The Moreton Bay insect (Thenus orientalis), a species of slipper lobster found in its waters.