Offshore from Brisbane are the shallow waters of Moreton Bay, famous throughout Australia as the home of the unfortunately named Moreton Bay Bug, which is actually a small, delicious lobster-like crustacean. The largest of the bay’s islands, Moreton and North Stradbroke, are generously endowed with sand dunes and beaches, and are just the right distance from the city to make their beaches accessible but seldom crowded. The island of St Helena is not somewhere you’d visit for sun and surf, but its prison ruins recall the convict era and make for an interesting day-trip. In the bay itself, look for dolphins, dugong (sea cows) and humpback whales, which pass by in winter en route to their calving grounds up north.

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