D of E Silver Qualifying Expedition – Moreton Island

On Friday 12 October, fourteen Silver Duke of Edinburgh students caught the MICAT Ferry to the World Heritage listed Moreton Island.  This was the final Qualifying Expedition for the Silver Award.  Moreton Island is a beautiful and spectacular sand island with clear waters, sandy beaches and freshwater lakes.   We set out for the east coast of Moreton, crossing over Middle Road. The forecast was for a wet weekend but we experienced only a few light showers on the Friday, but windy conditions on the ocean side.  After crossing the island there was an 8km hike up the beach to Blue Lagoon Campground. Some had a refreshing dip in the fresh water of Blue Lagoon.  The water wasn’t too cold but the breeze out of the water was very chilly when wet.

The next day we headed to northern tip of the island. The forecast wet weather and wind arrived as we left camp.  The sea had numerous white caps from the prevailing south east ocean breeze. The Museum at Cape Moreton provide a welcome refuge from the rain to have lunch. We camped at Northpoint Campground – a spacious, grassy campsite. We walked to Honeymoon Bay and visited Champagne Pools where water cascades into the shallow pool and forms a natural spa.  There were a few breaks between showers and we had fun setting up a large tarp with the windy conditions.

On Sunday we set out early in the morning to walk all the way down the western beach to where we started. The day started overcast and dry, which made packing up so much easier after the rain during the night. It was a big walk of over 22 km!  Late morning we stopped off at the tiny village of Bulwer and visited a shop called “Castaways” for our lunch break. After lunch heavy rain and wind provided challenging conditions as we headed to our final campsite – Ben-Ewa near The Wrecks – but all kept up a quick walking pace and arrived in good spirits.  A tarp was set up which provided a dry area to cook and socialise. We managed to get a nice fire going where we were able to have our traditional-“Campfire Time”.

On Monday we were blessed again to have dry conditions while we packed up camp. The final day was a very short walk down to ‘The Wrecks’ landing area to catch the MICAT ferry back to the mainland. We were able to reach the shelter just as the shower activity set in. Some were able to snorkel around The Wrecks and enjoy the calm water, clear visibility and amazing colours of the tropical fish and coral.

Congratulations Silver group on completing your expeditions.  Your positive attitude and teamwork were both appreciated.  Thank you to my helpers, Luisa Coleman, Jaeden Vardon and Darry Hobson.

The Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme is open to all students who are 14 or over. It aims to provide a challenging and fun environment where students learn to become more independent and learn new skills. For more information go to http://dukes.northpine.qld.edu.au or contact Mr Hobson or Mr Wilson.