Located on the southern tip of Moreton Island, the Big and Little Sandhills are very popular with Moreton Bay sailors and boaties. With turquoise waters, an abundance of sea life and good protection from the prevailing south east winds, it’s an ideal location for a day trip or overnight stay.
How to get there
Access to the anchorage is from the western side of Moreton Island. Heading out from the leads at Manly Habour, the most direct routes are passing between Green and St Helena Islands or through the more southerly channel between Green and King Islands via the Lockyer Light. A couple of hours sailing in a north easterly direction will find you at your destination. The west cardinal just to the south of anchorage provides a good reference point for the entrance to the anchorage.
Best winds: South East, East or North East.
Depth: 2-5 mtrs
Bottom: Mostly sand
Getting into the anchorage
The anchorage has a “U” shape entrance with the opening out to the west. A lighted beacon is placed close to the shore in the middle of the anchorage although it can be a bit tricky finding this at night when other yachts are at anchor. Most yachts in the area tend to anchor either side of the marker in about four to five metres of water. The tide retreats a long way from the dunes to be careful not to anchor up too close on a falling tide. The marker in the centre of the anchorage is out of the water completely at low tide.
What to do there
The sand dunes provide a stunning backdrop and glow bright white in the mornings with orange and pink shades at sunset. Climbing the dunes offers a spectacular view of the entire bay all the way back the mainland and nearby North Stradbroke Island. If the winds are soft watch out for swarms of sand flies as the can be pretty nasty in the valleys of the dunes. The best way to come down the hills is by toboggan or a quick stroll and/or roll for those not keen on the adrenalin rush!
Whiting and sand crabs are common in the area but be mindful that a few hundred metres south is a marine park zone. As always check with the National Parks and Wildlife department to ensure you’re not fishing or crabbing in protected areas.
The Sandhills are an ideal location for lunch on a day trip as well as being a safe and calm overnight stop in the right wind conditions. It’s a favourite with Yachtshare owners and a great place to experience the best of Moreton Bay.
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