This particular trip was truly special to me. Not only I had visited the Gem of South-East Queensland, it was also my birthday!
The day began with drama, like every good story begins. After a one hour drive from Goldcoast to Brisbane, we parked the car near the port and called a taxi to complete the journey.
We got to the port and something didn’t seem right. The boats that were docked at this port didn’t look like passenger ships, they were a lot larger and seemed to be for industrial use. We soon realised we were at the wrong port and the panic began!
We called the company that we booked the ferry with, who told us we had 20 minutes to get to the right port which was 25 minutes away. We were told that the ferry wasn’t going to wait for us either.
If our taxi driver is reading this, we’d like to say we are super super sorry! But he got us there, we made it! After a few dissapointed looks, we found a spot at the top of the boat, and my birthday began!
I explain this story so that nobody else makes this same mistake as we did. Please please please read all ticket instructions carefully, and if getting the ferry to Morten Island from Brisbane, get to Pinkenba port to board your ferry.
The ferry took approximately one hour and believe me, it was worth every second of that journey!
First up, snorkelling at Tangalooma shipwrecks..
A short boat journey from the island is the shipwrecks. We hired aqua jets (feeling like pro snorkelers) to pull us along and under the water. The visibility under the water wasn’t great on that day but the experience was truly magical – definitely recommend! The guide will give you a tour of the shipwrecks and a histroy lesson of how they got there.
Next up, ATVs…
We were lucky enough to have a private session out on the island, so the instructors took us out for a lot longer than they usually do. The thing that really spiced things up was the beefy 550cc ATVs we were given to ride. Beasts! They really roared through the terrain.
We went full speed through windey sand dunes, tricky woodland, washed up beaches and gritty tarmac. We definitely got the full package!
As I got confident on the ATV (and it was my birthday) I gave it more throttle in the corners on sand dunes, at points where it seemed we were at a 45 degree gradient, spraying sand absolutely everywhere. At this point my girlfriend hung on to me like a Koala as everything began to get louder and faster. Not to mention her face and eyes were covered in sand! TIP: wear glasses or something to cover your eyes when on the ATVs.
There it was, the largest of the sand dunes, here was the opportunity I had been looking for to give it everything the ATV had, I wasn’t going to miss this opportunity. I went for it, flying into the bend and thats when time stood still. Everything slowed down, my girlfriend pulled even harder on me, little did I remember about weight transfer at the time. We were leaning the wrong way into the turn, it was too late, I felt the ATV lift off the dune, and at that point I knew it was going to tip.
I managed to push us both off before it came crashing down on us, she would have killed me if we hurt ourselves (if I didn’t already kill us first). Before we even got on the ATVs, she was telling me all her friends that rode one had fallen off and hurt themselves. So I’m glad she saw the funny side to our fall. I’m glad I pushed the ATV to its limits and slyly glad we fell off, probably the best part of the ride, and it gave me the chance to write this story too 🙂
If you would like to see the video footage of the ATVs in action and the fall on the dune, message below in the comments and I’ll release the footage in another post.
Needed a break
After a swim in the resort pool and dinner, it was already sunset. For the first time we weren’t upset that the sun was going down, this sunset was like no other. Like a painting, I managed to capture every tone of the sunset.
We watched the whole sunset from this beach. It was like the sky was dancing – the tones, the shapes, the clouds, changing by the second. This would have been a good one for timelapse!
Last up, feeding the wild dolphins
Now this was pretty cool, I’ve never actually seen a dolphin up close before and now I was about to meet a pod of wild ones and feed them. Although they are wild dolphins, they arrive everyday at the pier around 7pm for their dinner (little fish).
This was the main event.
We got our insider information, knew exactly which dolphin we were going to feed.
Tinkerbell, she was a mother dolphin and her baby always swam not too far away from her. Being the smart mammals they are, they arrived at 7pm on the dot as if they had a restaurant reservation.
We had our fish in our hands and we were ready to feed Tinkerbell. Before taking the fish, you’re required to wash your hands in a bucket of anti-bacterial mixed water, which is fantastic – you could tell how much the staff cared for every single one of the dolphins.
The imagine of that excitement in my girlfriends face when Tinkerbell and her baby arrived will stay with me forever, I was pretty chuffed myself just for the record – just look at the beauty!
This was on my never ending bucket list for a while now, and its finally ticked! It will be the most rememberable birthday and so tough to beat next year, that’s for sure!
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