Tangalooma Wild Dolphin Resort

3.5 out of 5 stars3.5 Stars

Moreton Island, 4009, Australia

4 Reviews

Tangalooma Island Resort
Enter dates for best prices
Compare best prices from top travel partners
Orbitz.com Booking.com Travelocity


Satisfaction Poor
Very Good

Value Score Poor Value

Costs 39% more than similarly rated 3.5 star hotels

Show Prices

Good For Business
  • Families48
  • Couples53
  • Solo53
  • Business72
  • Re: Tangalooma Wild Dolphin Resort - Bad Choice


    I am a person that has travelled extensively across the world and I have stayed in quality 5 star establishments as well as roughed it in interesting places as a back packer. So when my partner and I saw this resort advertised on a well known holiday destination program we thought what a great place to chill out after a busy and hard working year. WRONG! We have two daughters one of which got sea sick as we crossed in the ferry, which isn't anyones fault but you certainly want to get into your room quickly, we were told when we arrived at 11.45am that we couldn't get into our room until between 2pm and 3pm so explained our situation, this was met with a scowl and a response of we will sms you when its ready. At 3pm no SMS had come at 3.05pm I decided to ask the check in desk if our room was ready, the response of "I should be able to find out for you in just 1 minute" 15 minutes later nothing. So enquired a 3rd time, this time getting a more positive response. As the checkin asisstant was processing me I simply took in the sight of chaos and couldn't believe what I was watching. I immediately asked for a feedback fom to the shock of the assistant. Not a good start. After getting into our room and getting our daughter sorted we decided to venture out for a walk to the shops. My jaw almost broke hitting the floor as i looked at the prices for the most basic of commodities. Tiny steaks at 7 bucks each, I couldn't believe it a pack of crisps 7.50 and to top it off they charge you an extra 15 percent on a bank or public holiday! Luckily we took some food with us. I would advise anyone visiting the resort to do this. I was hoping that day 2 would prove to be better how wrong I was. It started with a breakfast that could only be described as vile. The choices we fruit(pear and peaches) that looked definately out of a tin, manky old watermelon and pineapple. 4 different types of cereal and what was supposed to be a cooked breakfast. My daughter loves bacon but took one bite and her response was that it tasted as good as it looked, terrible. in fact it was so bad that we never ate anything other than toast for breakfast fro the rest of the stay. At night we were sourrounded by people who had nothing but complaints of the food, breakfast and dinner. Overrall this holiday boasts to be extremely family orientated but is probably the most overated place I have ever been to, the location is great and the owers should feel priviledged to have such a great location, however our room was never cleaned by staff, they need a proper chef, they need to overhaul their customer service on the check in desk. they need to lower their prices in the retail shop so people can buy things without leaving behind an arm and a leg. they need to reasess the "40 free" activities as guess what most of them aren't, they need to reasses the fact that people CANNOT bring over ther own alcohol. If the resort is unwilling to do this then people WILL either look elsewhere or Never recommend the resort.

  • Queenslands Worst Resort


    For legal reasons I should also point out this is my own point of view based on our own personal experience, and perception of the resort. (Something that I believe from recent events is of little value to the Management of the resort)
    Following a traumatic 3 months of in and out of hospital with our little miracle premature baby (born at 26weeks) I decided to treat my wife to a well-deserved R & R weekend at the Tangalooma Resort for the 20th to the 22nd May. We picked the resort as we didn't want to stray too far from the RBH and having been ex rescue services myself I knew we could get back from the island pretty quickly if required.
    And looking on the web the resort sounded fairly exclusive.
    I booked on line selecting the Deluxe Room and booking a range of activities for the weekend.
    Unfortunately the weather turned bad which couldn't be helped so I decided to pay for the parents to come also (as a baby sitter) and booked the parents into a standard room so we could at least enjoy our first evening meal out together without the kids and possible the entertainment on the evening.
    On arrival at the island we were met of the boat and taken for a slow guided tour along the beach front which was a little frustrating as we wanted to get checked in and feed the baby.
    After 15 minutes I decided to leave the crowd and go straight to reception, only to find out we couldn't check in for another 2 hours.
    I was told it said on the booking form which I suppose is my own fault as I assumed the check-in would be similar to other hotels as we nominated what time we were arriving.
    When we eventually received the Key and had a look at our Deluxe Room I wasn't convinced is was actually up to the four star standard advertised and the bed certainly wasn't a queen or king as advertised but two singles pushed together with slightly different height mattresses which weren’t very comfortable at all.
    When the parents arrived and checked in I couldn't believe it when I realised the standard room was identical to the deluxe room other than a slightly newer TV, a pair of disposable slippers and a dressing gown.

    That first evening it rained heavy so we decided to take room service, our choice was limited to pizza, or spaghetti, we settled on pizza and a bottle of wine.
    After 50 minutes the pizza came but no bottle of wine, another 35 minutes later our bottle of wine arrived.
    Both my wife and I found the Pizza's to be totally disgusting and were clearly made from the cheapest thrown together products bonded together with cheese.
    My daughter on the other hand ate a few slices.
    After spending the night in the very uncomfortable pushed together single beds the following morning we awoke with my daughter having a bad stomach, clearly from the Pizza she ate, went to the breakfast buffet at 7:30am and were told to find ourselves a seat.
    After walking round the dining area and looking at the numerous empty tables were unable to find one table that had been cleared or cleaned so I ended up taking the liberty of doing this myself with baby wipes while a staff member watched me from the corner of the room.
    Having found a table we looked at the choice of breakfast which sadly did not look appealing at all.
    In fact I would go as far to see the little hot food truck that parks at the end of our office had a better selection and clearly higher quality food than what out that day.
    The fruit was brown, the bacon was a tangle of pig fat with no bacon actually on it, two sausages I selected were actually still a little raw in the centre the scrambled egg was grey and the baked beans represented two lost sailors bobbing in an ocean of tomato juice.
    As for the continental selection this was limited to toast a few rubbery pancakes and a bit of brown fruit,
    Having decided that it was probably best to skip breakfast and wait for the Cafe to open.
    With a morning of pouring rain we decided to relax in the CAFE area, we were very disappointed to find only plastic garden chairs and wooden benches, not exactly the relaxing furniture you expect to find in a luxury resort.
    The next challenge came around lunch time with a very limited food choice and equally as poor quality as the breakfast.
    My three year old wouldn't even eat her microwaved hot dog which is a surprise as my three year old eats anything.
    We spent the day doing a few of the free activities and took and participated in a couple of the organised boat tours, which weren’t too bad but didn’t seem to keep the interest of my little girl and weren't really appropriate for the weather.
    Both my wife and I were looking forward to an evening without the kids and decided to eat at the resort beach front restaurant for a relaxing evening meal.
    We upgraded to the special menu ordering Angus steak.
    The starter soup wasn’t too bad in fact it was the nicest thing we had tasted on the island in over 24 hours. I was quite excited about the steak.
    The steak came out, with less presentation than you would receive at sizzlers however I wasn't too concerned as some of the best steaks I have had come out looking like $10 bar meals.

    Having taken the first bite of the steak I was horrified by rotten meat taste that filled my mouth and even more horrified when I moved the onion in the centre of the steak that was covering what could only be described as a cist or tumorous lump the size of a small tea cup in the centre of the steak. I immediately showed the waitress who was nearly sick herself at the sight of what was on my plate; she said she would take it back to the chef immediately.
    10 minutes later she came back and asked me if I wanted the chef to cook me another one, by this time my wife had almost finished her dinner and I still felt physically sickened by what had been presented on my plate the waitress apologised and I a requested a refund for the meal.
    I was rather amused when I was refunded only the additional cost of the steak, and quickly prompted the waitress that I wanted a full refund for my meal not just the steak.
    We decided to settle on the bar with a couple of packets of potato chips, by far the best quality food on the resort.
    The entertainment was almost hilarious and consisted of an aged DJ trying his best to control the dance floor including public shaming over the PA system of people who stepped on to the dance floor with a glass or bottle in there hand. It was a real nostalgic evening as I felt we had returned to one of my old school discos back in 1982.
    After spending another evening in the uncomfortable pushed together single beds the following morning we decided it safer to skip breakfast as I couldn't stomach the poor quality buffet again and decided to grab something of the bar on the boat.

    At checkout I was confronted with an additional charge on the bill for $100 for missing beach towels.
    I explained to the staff that the cleaners took the towels on the Saturday morning only to receive the following reply "I don’t think so, the cleaners wouldn't take the beach towels" I insisted on my innocence and explained that were weren't that hard done by that we had to steal resort towels and she told me that she would have to speak to maid services. She rang maid services and they confirmed that one of the new team members had actually accidentally taken the beach towels from our room and so the staff member advised that she would indeed deduct the cost from my bill.
    Thank you! For a moment there I thought I may be wrong and actually a towel thief because the receptionist said so.
    Wow, not even an apology for the embarrassment caused in front of the other guests.
    All in all I would have to say that it was by far the most disappointing holiday I have ever been on and I could have spent the $2,230 on somewhere really nice.
    I have since raised the issue with management at the resort which resulted in an email war between myself and the manager, who instead of showing a little understanding in our disappointment especially considering the circumstances tried his hardest to further insult me and accuse me of blackmail when I advised them that I intended to publicly share my experience and further attempted to convince me that I was being un reasonable.
    Not the kind of customer service I would expect from a resort like this however we can only learn from our experience’s (Sentiment that I don’t believe the Management of the resort share).

  • Openseas's Profile Photo

    Fabulous weekend getaway.


    The resort is located on the waterfront and approx 2 minute walk from the ferry wharf

    The resort is divided into various segments and named, there seemed to be a range of different accommodation you could choose from hotel standard rooms to units and family apartments and villas.

    Our room D14 was called the driftwood unit located in the Adventure’s lodges section. The unit was a large spacious one-bedroom apartment, which could easily sleep six. Our open planned lounge room consisted of two single beds, and one fold out divan, large TV, coffee table, dining table and chairs. The kitchen consisted of sizeable fridge with no mini contents, tea and coffee facilities, cutlery and crockery. Off the lounge, room was a small veranda with table and two chairs; this area we utilized for taking in the water views and watching the glorious sunsets. (D15 looked directly onto the water)

    The resort is not a five star but more like a 3.5 star but it is extremely comfortable offering excellent facilities and tours. There is one main swimming pool with a spa attached, which the children seem to enjoy. Tennis courts, squash courts, snorkelling gear, tinnies, catamarans, fishing rods can be hired at the resort, and the main attraction hand feeding the dolphins.

    This has to be pre booked between 1pm-5pm, the feeding starts at 7.00pm. We found this to be rather touristy, as you had to line up with one small fish in hand whilst someone takes your photo. My suggestion is to take a seat on the pier; you do get a better view of the dolphins especially when they come into shore.

    Overall, we had a great weekend and enjoyed exploring the island and our unit, although not modern or trendy, it was very comfortable. I have given this resort a 4 star rating not for the rooms or the resort; but for the overall experience of Moreton Island.

    Unique Quality: There are ample restaurants to dine at from café’s to restaurant dining, all offering standard reasonable food. The Steak house restaurant is the best if you happen to enjoy a good steak, as they are generously proportioned and frankly enormous.The restaurants need to be seriously updated, as they are still in the 60's time wrap.

    Just a few tips : When checking in ask to hire your beach towels, as your unit could be miles away from the reception and you can certainly do your daily exercise walking to and fro from tour desk or reception.

    Directions: A transfer shuttle bus operates from the CBD otherwise taxis are available. On the return launch, an announcement is made regarding booking a taxi to take you back to CBD from Holt Wharf. (15 minute taxi ride) or 10 minutes from the airport

  • sorcieus's Profile Photo

    Great View, Teribble Service


    Tangalooma - which means where the fishes meet/gather - is the only resort hotel on moreton island.
    It has a beatiful view, but the service was teribble!
    Chamber maid did not come to make the room until late in the afternoon, but on the check out day, they were knocking on my door at the crack of dawn (for it was the busy season, so they need to turn over the room quick).
    The staff who took order at the Beach Cafe sneeze & clean his nose and did not clean his hands/cover his mouth.
    All tours that I booked did not depart between 10-20 minutes from its scheduled time. All 4 of them.

    The only good thing about this resort is the view.

    Unique Quality: Great View. Beautiful Island. Wild dolphins feeding experience.

More about Tangalooma Wild Dolphin Resort

Tangalooma Wild Dolphin Resort

by KJTrinity

You can go to Moreton Island by Ferry from Brisbane. It takes round about an 1,5 hours to go there.
A very good place for celebrating your Honeymoon.

You can do a lot of activities like: parasailing, quad bike riding, tennis, volleyball etc....

The special thing on Tangalooma is the Wild Dolphin feeding in the evening. Approximately 8 wild Dolphin`s come every evening to the beach and the visitors of the Resort may be able to feed them with fresh fish. Thats really an adventure...

Shopping essentials.

by Openseas about Tangalooma Resort.

There is a small supermarket selling your essentials in the resort. This is expensive due to the fact of the extra cost of transporting goods to the island.

The Licensed General Store at Bulwar. Has your basic essentials like bread and milk and
Bulwer Garage has fuel, gas refills, firewood, ice and bait.

Bring some of your own essentials with you from Brisbane, this will save you some $$$

Two day Tour - from Brisbane

by Openseas

This tour takes two days and includes all meals, activities, camping, sleeping bags, guide, and heaps of fun activities.

Costs $ 195.00pp Adult $150pp Child. - all inclusive.

The tour departs Saturday, Monday and Wednesday from Roma Transit Centre Level 3 Gate 36 at 6.45am and returns at 7.00pm.

Day 1. includes ferry ride to Moreton Island - visiting and swimming Blue Lagoon. Lunch. 4WD to the sand dunes for sand tobogganing and a visit to Cape Moreton Lighthouse. Drive along the east coast beaches and much much more.

Day 2. Includes breakfast snorkeling the wrecks looking for dugongs, turtles and reef fish. Body surfing and board-riding at the beach and time alone for walking and exploring Tangalooma Resort.

Not so Spooky Island

by A TripAdvisor Member

Tangalooma Resort - also the site of the first Scooby Doo movie 'Spooky Island" is a great place to have a family break but you pay for what you get.

We stayed in one of the Villas at the end of the resort - excellent value in the off season - with direct access to the beach and spent endless nights watching the fantastic sunsets over the mainland.

Whale watching and sand surfing was great and if we had wanted there was many other activities.

The resort is showing its age and from a number of reviews it appears the main building rooms may be a little past their used date - but we found the staff very friendly, the location idyllice and we will definitely return.

It is a shame some of the other reviewers focused on negative aspects instead of focusing on this gem of Moreton Bay.

relaxed on tanglaooma!

by A TripAdvisor Member

Yes, Tangalooma resort is looking tired and run down and when we were there, there are building works going on but it just didnt seem to matter as the location and scenery are just fabulous. The staff were extremely helpful and friendly. We stayed for two nights and 3 days and loved every minute, the boys loved the sand tobogganing and I can wholeheartly recommend the relaxing body massage! We hired a small boat for three hours and sailed to the wrecks for some snorkelling - very excited to see so many different fish! but the highlight was walking along the beach to the jetty in the setting sun and seeing the dolphins swimming along with us then actually getting into the sea,seeing and hand feeding these magnificent creatures close up will be a memory I will always treasure!
We did eat in the main restaurant which is a buffet style but found it very disappointing,the bar cafe is much better and you can sit overlooking the beach, but if you can bring your own food onto the island especially breakfast things the better.

Hope the resort reads our reviews!

by TripAdvisor Member Kitten8

I wish that we had been fortunate enough to read the negative but accurate reviews like those posted in Feb/March/April 2005 before our visit in March 2005.

I can back up any comments about poor standards and expensive food.
We visited Tangalooma at the very end of our month holiday travelling the East Coast of Oz and without a doubt this was the worst and most expensive destination that we visited (compared with other 5 star resorts in Queensland). Without the over commercialised Dolphin feeding (which my kids really enjoyed) we would not have gone in the first place, but the resort management know this and exploit it.

If you must go, stay one night only in the Kookaburra Lodge hotel (only place that's air con) or better still, do what the many Japanese tourists do and stay for the day only and book the late ferry back after the Dolphin feeding is over.

Oh, I nearly forgot to mention, loads of building work going on to build new luxury 5 star accommodation.

A visit to Paradise

by A TripAdvisor Member

We stayed at a villa, this was our second visit and we find the entire island incredible, its a real island paradise and there are all the facilities you need for a holiday.

Some of the food is expensive but there are reasonable alternatives. The staff are so caring of the wildlife and to watch kookaburras feeding only 2 foot away is wonderful. The dolphins of course are the creme de la creme and there were 2 babies, truly adorable and fantastic to think that the mothers have enough confidence to bring their babies in shore near to man.

not worth it

by TripAdvisor Member r10623

1. very expensive, not good value for money, we paid about A$200 per night, and were "forced" to stay 2 days, because "it was high season" (x'mas)

2. we wouldn't have stayed if it weren't for dolphin feeding, it was the highlight

3. every single activity (except swimming) needs to be separately paid for (e.g. excursion, 4WD ... $$$) -- it's too obvious that this resort is all out to get your money

4. the eating places were *TOO* expensive, even for Australians (e.g. A$4 for chicken pie, A$7 for OVERLY SWEET cheese cake), plus the 15% tax because of "public holiday" makes having a light snack became gourmet dining price !!!

5. be sure to bring your own food and drinks, that's what locals did, and they had their own barbecues!

6. we tried the Rotunda restaurant (where the chef barbecues for you). The salad buffet was included, and I had a whole chicken for A$29. But as I was a light eater, I couldn't finish it (only half), and I asked for a "doggy bag", but the restaurant wouldn't allow, saying the food would spoil. Not wanting to waste food (and good money), we smuggled the food back to the room and put it in the fridge. We boiled the chicken the next day, and had no problems. By the way, we didn't feel the food at the restaurant was really barbecue -- my chicken seemed to be boiled first, then grilled, so as to quicken the cooking process. Some parts of the food were overcooked (charcoal).

7. the timing of the ferry was way off -- we had to check out at 10 am (or 11 am?), but the ferry that takes people back to the Brisbane pier leaves at 4 pm !!! Which means we may be forced to either book some expensive excursion, or eat at its expensive place. Never had we been to a "resort" that we wanted to leave ASAP !!! Luckily, there was an extra ferry leaving at 12 noon, and we took that -- a plus side that we didn't need to pay extra.

8. overall speaking -- go if you've got money to burn, and remember to bring all your own food, but you can't cook if you live in the hotel. For the amount we paid, we would've more fun at Sea World.


tangalooma resorttangalooma resort

Tangalooma resortTangalooma resort

Forum Posts

Swimming with Dolphins in Queensland

by Leah&Clare

Hi! We are driving from Cairns to Brisbane in December and wondered if there's anywhere along the East coast where we could swim with dolphins. Also, any other ideas on places to go along the way would be great!

Re: Swimming with Dolphins in Queensland

by denaligriz

Heron Island is a wonderful island located directly on the reef, if you like marine life. I don't recall seeing dolphins but it will be sea turtle nesting time. Heron is very small, remote, and a natural preserve. If you would like to go make sure you make reservations in advance. You can take a boat out of Gladstone on the way from Cairns-Brisbane.

At night the sea turtles, like small volkswagons, come on the shore and lay eggs. During the day you just walk outside of your cottage and go snorkelling.

Re: Swimming with Dolphins in Queensland

by pmarshuk

If possible stop off at Airlie Beach and take a trip out to the Whitsundday Islands. Whitehaven Beach is one of the best in the world, but totally undeveloped because its in a nature reserve.

Re: Swimming with Dolphins in Queensland

by AnnikaW

Don't miss Fraser Island! I had an amazing experience there!

Re: Swimming with Dolphins in Queensland

by Dani_aus

Tangalooma has a good option to feed the dolphins i think. and to swim, you would probably have to check out seaworld.... not the same as the real thing, but you do get to get in the water with them :) and its not too expensive either,
i will try and get more info for tangalooma for you,.
hope this helps

Re: Swimming with Dolphins in Queensland

by Krill

If you want to actually SWIM with the dolphins you would need to go to Seaworld on the Gold Coast. If yo are happy to see them up close and feed them then try Tangalooma Resort at Moreton Island. If there are a few of you and you would prefer a villa to a hotel room we rent out our villa. You can take the flyer over there for the day and stay late for the dolphin feeding


Popular Hotels in Moreton Island

Tangalooma Wild Dolphin Resort

Hotel Class 3.5 out of 5 stars 4 Reviews

Moreton Island, 4009, Australia

Show Prices

View all Moreton Island hotels

View all Moreton Island hotels

 Tangalooma Wild Dolphin Resort

We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:

Dolphin Resort Tangalooma Wild
Tangalooma Island Hotel
Hotel Tangalooma Island
Tangalooma Beachcomber / Driftwood Hotel Moreton Island

Address: Moreton Island, 4009, Australia