Moreton Island and The Whales

1770 Captain James Cook named Cape Moreton, also naming the body of water north of Stradbroke Island  Glass House Bay after naming the Glasshouse Mountains on the adjacent mainland.

1799 Flinders discovered that the land south of Cape Moreton was in fact an island and named it Moreton Island and Glass House Bay became Moreton Bay.

1848 Amity Point pilot station moved to Bulwer on Moreton Island. The township of Bulwer was named after Edward Bulwer Lytton, a novelist, playwright, British MP and Colonial Secretary at the time. Pilots at Bulwer guided ships into the channel.

1857 The iconic red and white banded Cape Moreton Lighthouse is lit on the Northern point of Moreton Island . The first and oldest standing lighthouse built in Queensland is constructed of sandstone quarried on the island and stands about 23 metres tall.

1865 Goats and pigs were left on the island by the navy as food for shipwrecked sailors. Goats were also kept at the headland as a source of food for the lighthouse keepers.

1951 Whale Industries Ltd secured a five-year license for the taking of 600 humpback whales per season in a 240km2 area north, south and east of Tangalooma.

1952 Tangalooma Whaling Station began operation as Queensland’s only whaling station The station consisted of a factory surmounted by a flensing deck with a log ramp into the Bay to land whales, a jetty, steam generator and staff accommodation. The season lasted from June 1st to October 31st. The station could process eleven whales per day.

1961 Whales become extremely scarce, virtually overnight.


1962 Whaling at Tangalooma was no longer economically viable and the station closed.

(Ref 1 2 )


And now  The whales regularly stop by the Island on their migratory route. Probably due to the warmer waters, more and more whales are having their babies here rather than Hervey Bay which is 280km further north.

I took my daughter whale watching for her birthday recently. Brisbane Whale Watching operates from the Redcliffe Jetty over the migratory season June to November.

About fluidicthought

Random posts and photographs of life, travel and stuff.
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4 Responses to Moreton Island and The Whales

  1. Pingback: Moreton Island and The Whales – Bush, Beaches and Being Alive: Queensland as I See It

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