Arriving at Brisbane airport it's a 10 minute cab ride to the wharf at Holt St Pinkenba. Ferry's depart 4 times a day and it's a comfortable 75 minute ride up the Brisbane River and across Moreton Bay to Tangalooma.
For families it's a great choice with plenty of activities, a great beach and a choice of pools, one heated year-round.
Tangalooma beach. image © Kids Holidays
Accommodation at the resort is a little dated however there are a number of options available. We stayed in a standard Beachfront Villa which was 2 story with 2 bedrooms, kitchen and a good sized living area. They can sleep up to 8 guests and have 2 balconies with great views and a short walk to the beach. The one we stayed in wasn't air conditioned but has ceiling fans that were adequate. There are Deluxe beachfront villas that have air cond as well as Resort units (4 guests), 1 Bedroom family suites (6 guests), Deep Blue holiday apartments (9 guests) and holiday rental homes (6 to 9 guests).
The food choices are reasonable but limited - breakfast was good with a buffet offering plenty of choices. There is a cafe serving lunch and dinner, a coffee lounge and an outdoor bbq grill. Healthy options are limited and after a week the meals on offer tend to get a bit repetitive, although we could happily eat the Moreton Bay bugs every day. There is a Chinese restaurant, 'Fire & Stone', that offers a good variety of tasty meals and is well worth visiting. Many locals would bring their own food in eskys (which is allowed) and a great idea as most accommodation has cooking facilities - but probably not an option if you are arriving from interstate. There is a small shop that has the basics but doesn't give you any real options for buying food to cook and it is expensive.
Drink prices are reasonable but take away liquor from the bar is expensive ($45 for a 6 pack!). They have regular happy hours if you want to save on drink prices.
Tangalooma Beachfront villa accommodation. image © Kids Holidays
The beach area is perfect for swimming with a sandy beach and shallow, clear water - great for young kids. The Tanglooma wrecks are about a 10 minute walk along the beach. You can snorkel out to the wrecks from the shore - but not ideal for kids as there was a strong current between the beach and the wrecks most of the time. You can go on an organised snorkelling tour of the wrecks where you get all your snorkelling gear and travel out on a boat with experienced guides. Probably the best (and safest) way to see the wrecks. Other water based activities available include fishing trips, boat hire, canoeing, diving, parasailing and whale watching in season.
One of the highlights is the dolphin feeding which happens each night at around 7pm. One free feeding will be included as part of your stay. You need to register during the day as it can get quite busy. You line in rows up on the beach and with the help of a dolphin trainer you get to give the dolphin a small fish. Weekends are busy and you might have to queue for a while but an experience well worth doing.
Quad bike tours are a good choice with older kids and adults. After a quick practice along the beach the tour leader then takes you up into the sandhills behind the resort, up and down hills, through winding tracks and back along the beach.
Fishing is a popular activity with many people bringing their own fishing gear. You can go on an organised fishing trip or hire a boat and find the best spots yourselves. There are also some great bushwalking tracks - up to a lookout and out to the sandhills.
Tangalooma beach view. image © Kids Holidays
There are numerous other activities including Segway tours, sand tobogganing, 4WD tours, kayaks, catamarans, parasailing, scuba diving, paddle boards, helicopter flights, banana boats, a kids playground, sightseeing tours, sea scooters, whale watching, kookaburra and pelican feeding.
There is usually some sort of nightly entertainment. Music on the weekends and during the week there is trivia, horse racing and bingo in the main lounge area.
Tangalooma wrecks. image © Kids Holidays
P&O have regular cruises from Sydney that stop at Tangalooma for the day. You need to plan ahead if you are there when the ship arrives as there will be a couple of thousand extra guests. Although the resort caters well, lunch can be a struggle and plan your activities for another day.
If you haven't been there Tangalooma is a great choice for your next family holiday. There are some minor negatives with the food and accommodation but if you're not expecting a 5 star resort then you won't be disappointed. Well worth a visit.