Lockout on Moreton Bay Beaches

The beautiful Tangalooma wrecks at sunset. Photo courtesy D. Baker.

Dave took this photo from the back of my boat after we’d spent the day sailing to Tangalooma.

I think it is wrong ot the Tangalooma Resort to barricade the beach and prevent visitors walking along the beach after 5.30pm.

The resort chopped down several large gum trees which it placed at the north and south ends of the beach to form a blockade preventing access to the beach. Signs at either end of the beach proclaim that the resort owns the land down to the low water mark. The resort placed security guards on motorbikes at either end of the beach, only allowing access to guests who were staying at the resort.

It is outrageous to have resort operators in Queensland barricading beaches and stopping people going for an evening stroll.

I visited Moreton Island with my family this week and took them for a walk along the beach. We were confronted with a barricade of trees, and a security guard on a motorbike who said we weren’t allowed on the beach near the resort after 5.30pm. Not only is this a terrible restriction of freedom, it is a huge embarrassment for tourism in Queensland. Imagine if word got out that tourists weren’t allowed to walk on some beaches here after dark? The Tangalooma resort is doing a grave disservice to Queensland Tourism.


Either the resort has got its wires crossed about where its property boundaries extend to, or the Queensland Government is allowing corporations to buy up our beaches, and stop us walking along them. If that’s the case, then the law has to be changed.

Most coastal property boundaries in Queensland extend to the high water mark, which gives anyone free access to the beach. Who did a deal that allows tourism operators to lock us out of our own beaches?

Not only that, who chopped down the huge eucalypts on the island to build this ugly barricade?”

The Tangalooma Resort should lift its ban on visitors walking along the beach outside the resort after 5.30pm. The Queensland Government should review laws which allow resorts to restrict access to beaches to anyone but resort guests.


7 Replies to “Lockout on Moreton Bay Beaches”

    1. Peter
      It ultimately went nowhere.
      The property boundaries extend to the low water mark because of Tangaloomas grisly past as a whaling station. They hold an even tighter rein on property access now. Even if you want to buy a coffee as a day visitor you have to book in advance on their website. The barricades are still there on the beach, and guards on quad bikes patrol the boundaries.
      When we visited last month we were asked 3 times in the space of an hour whether or not we were guests, and could we show our booking ticket.
      Its a lovely spot run by control freaks.

  1. We were also told to get of the beach. It was in the middle of the day. An over zealous person on a quad bike telling us this is private property, and to get off. He initially asked if we had a day pass and then was quite aggressive in telling us to get back over the tree. The Property arrangements/deal was a product of the Bjelke-Peterson era. I don’t know that they own the beach. I think they own the marine park near the jetty? It looks like the boundary is the high water which is the norm in Australia. I agree with the first post, though. The Queensland government (or Federal Government) should look into the the practices. It is after all a national park. Stradbroke has Native title, so, maybe that wood be a solution.

  2. Hate to inform all of you but they are getting even worse. I believe their action may even now be in be in breach of their lease and right to occupy. We moored our vessel on Good Friday out the front of Tangalooma, but not too close and at low water. We went ashore with our 8 year old daughter who already kayaked in and we were in a tender and were swimming in the water at low tide only to be approached and told by the 4 wheeler security thug that ‘they are now associated with P&O so that gives them rights to the water all the way to international waters and we were asked to move on. We refused and kept swimming, then stayed the night at anchor.

    It is of note however I would have to transgress Tangalooma property to reach the taxpayers Police station to make formal complaint.

    Something needs to be done now. I have noticed on Trip Adviser they initially bullied people from visiting the resort due to ‘controlling numbers for visitor comfort’ however they approached us swimming at low tide. Our vessel was way out. We had no intentions to visit the resort.

    I’ve found by freedom of information the lease outline and their property ends at the esplanade or HAT tide limit.

    A response from Bernie, who apologised for his thugs actions to trip adviser comment April 2017, and I similarly received a response from Bernie who believed it was the outsourced Security firm being over zealous. I responded I believed it was a top down company initiative, then I found the Trip Advisor comments, that further my experience and they are increasing their grab on our public access to quiet enjoyment of our national parks.

    Bernie said basically they fund the Police and Ambulance to be based there, but if the public can’t get access to them, then in my mind it is us, the Australian Taxpayer to are subsidising police and ambulance for their paying guests and not an island hub at all that the resort receives reciprocal and incidental access.

    I vote that all boaties moor up and use the beach and take a walk to the police station to say g’day to the officers stationed there in protest.

  3. Please spread this message far and wide.

    DNRME response as received today. They have no right to exclusive access. From Principal Land Officer, DNRME. 20 April 2018.

    “I refer to your email received 13 April 2018 to the Department of Natural Resources Mines and Energy (DNRME) regarding beach access at Tangalooma, Moreton Island. Your concerns were referred to me for reply.

    Tangalooma resort holds a lease over an area of Moreton Island described as NCL 6/2593 Lot 8 on SL8209 and Lot 25 on SP237385 which is surveyed to the high water mark. The land that forms the beach between high water mark and low water mark abutting the western boundary of Lot 8 on SL8209 has a permit to occupy over it also held by the resort.

    The resort was first granted this permit to occupy approximately 40 years ago and, under the conditions of the permit, is allowed to fence the northern and southern boundaries. This was permitted as a safety measure to protect users of the beach from vehicles that would have normally used the beach were it open to traffic.

    It is generally not the government’s policy to extend occupancy rights to low water mark. At the time, the resort’s situation was considered exceptional as mixing large numbers of people using the beach with four wheel drive vehicles travelling the beach was not considered to be in the best interests of public safety.

    However, as you have correctly stated, the permit to occupy does not give the resort exclusive rights to occupy the beach. The general public are entitled to access the beach in front of the resort by boat or on foot at all times. Officers of DNRME will take this issue up with resort management.

    If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.”

  4. Last time I was at Tangalooma in January that ridiculously overzealous security guard started a fight with the other security guard in front of other resort guests. It was the most bizarre and unprofessional thing I’ve ever seen and I dare say it’s provoked by equally unprofessional management. We were camping on the island and diving. We had our tanks needing to have them filled with air so we rang the dive centre which is located on the beach and asked them if we can bring our tanks in to have them filled. They said yes sure bring them in. So we drove down there and were confronted by two security guards who did not let anyone pass. We explained we only wanted 20 minutes to get the tanks filled and we’d be out of there. The senior guard would not have any of it, he rang his manager on the phone and the manager told him that no, he cannot let anyone who is not a resort guest or who doesn’t have a day pass through to any part of the resort property. As we were about to leave one of the security guards left on his quad bike leaving the other security guard alone. The other one said sorry my coworker is crazy and taking this job way too serious, he won’t even let injured people onto resort property to get medical help. So the other one told us to get in and get our tanks filled which we did. As we were leaving the resort 20 minutes later the security guard returned on his quad bike. As soon as he saw us he zoomed right towards us and started yelling that we’re trespassing the resort property (on the BEACH walking out). He then jumped off the quad, threw his helmet to the ground and started throwing punches at the other junior security guard for letting us in. Bizarre. Clearly this over-zealousness is encouraged by the resort management who think they own that beach and have the right to patrol is like Nazis.

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