All aboard! New Redcliffe to Moreton Island passenger service
New Redcliffe to Moreton Island passenger service announced 29 August, 2017 Moreton Bay Region Industry & Tourism (MBRIT) has today launched a new passenger ferry service direct from Redcliffe jetty to Moreton Island, in a landmark move that will bring a welcome boost to local tourism.
From marine life-spotting and swimming to snorkelling and ship wrecks, beach-goers will be able to enjoy all Moreton Island has to offer, right from Redcliffe’s doorstep. Starting next month, locals and visitors can take the 40-minute journey across the calm waters of Moreton Bay to the township of Bulwer, located at the northern end of Moreton Island, on the Redcliffe2Moreton Express.
The service, operated by long-running Redcliffe eco cruise company Dolphin Wild Island Cruises, is an initiative of MBRIT and the Queensland Government with the support of Moreton Bay Regional Council.
MBRIT CEO, Shane Newcombe, said that the new service marks an exciting opportunity for the local tourism industry with the creation of a new tourism product in the local market. “The Redcliffe2Moreton Express service will bring hundreds of new visitors to the region every month and drive additional overnight stays in hotel and tourism accommodation in the Moreton Bay Region,” Mr Newcombe said.
He explained that the foot passenger service operating from the Redcliffe jetty to Moreton Island will start as a weekly trial, with a return service initially operating on Sundays. “Together, with the support of the local community, council and businesses, we hope to expand on this weekly service, so more people can enjoy all Moreton Island has to offer. “This trial would not have been possible without the strong support of Queensland’s Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, the Hon Yvette D’Ath, State Member for Redcliffe who has worked tirelessly with the Queensland Environment Minister, Dr Steven Miles to see this idea become a reality.”
Environment Minister Steven Miles welcomed the new venture, saying it would give visitors and locals more opportunities to take in what the bay had to offer. “Moreton Bay is one of our most popular marine parks. It’s right on Brisbane’s doorstep and it has some of the best places to swim and snorkel, and spot marine life like turtles, dolphins and dugong, as well as migrating shorebirds.
“The northern end of Moreton Island is a very tranquil spot to pitch a tent at one of our campgrounds, wet a line, or just enjoy nature. You can imagine you’re a long way from the city. “We’re so lucky to have this natural wonderland so close to a metropolitan area, and now it will be easier to enjoy,” he said.
The service itself will be headed by local operator Dolphin Wild Island Cruises, which can transport up to 100 passengers on its 22-metre, air-conditioned vessel Supercat. With the previous barge service from the Redcliffe Peninsula to Moreton Island ceasing in 2008, Dolphin Wild Island Cruises and Redcliffe2Moreton Express owners and operators, Jim and Lisa Edwards, say the new ferry service will bring the island back in reach for residents, and help to showcase the region.
“We are the only operator to offer this service in the Moreton Bay Region, catering to visitors coming to our region to holiday, and will complement existing services in Brisbane,” says Lisa Edwards. “Incoming visitors can check out the Redcliffe markets in the morning, grab breakfast on the Peninsula, then head across to Moreton Island for the day where they can swim, snorkel, have a picnic, and be back on the mainland in time for dinner.”
She adds that the service is not only perfect for day-trippers, but those who may want to extend their stay and holiday at one of the island’s designated camping areas, house rentals, or resort accommodation options. Councillor for Division Six, Koliana Winchester said the trial was an example of the strong results secured for Redcliffe and the Moreton Bay Region through council’s strategic partnership with MBRIT.
“For far too long a visit to Moreton Island has been out of reach for many locals and it is my hope this new service can restore a vital link between Redcliffe and Moreton Island,” Cr Winchester said. “A little over twelve months ago, council commenced its strategic partnership with MBRIT which has already seen increased visitation to the region, major new festivals and events, an uplift in economic benefit and exciting new experiences created for local residents and visitors alike through MBRIT’s collaboration with local industry and businesses.”
The first public trip on the Redcliffe2Moreton Express will be on Sunday, 24 September, with tickets exclusively available for purchase online through visitmoretonbayregion.com.au, as well as Redcliffe Cruise & Travel. Ferry services will depart from the Redcliffe jetty on Sundays at 10.00am and return at around 4.00pm (leaving Bulwer, Moreton Island at 3.00pm).
Tickets are now available to be pre-purchased online ahead of the maiden voyage.
For more information go to visitmoretonbayregion.com.au/redcliffe2moretonexpress or Redcliffe Cruise & Travel.
More information about Moreton Island National Park is available at the Department of National Parks, Sport and Racing, npsr.qld.gov.au/parks/moreton-island/about.html.