Wetlands are one of Mother Nature's great accomplishments, effectively removing nutrients and sediments from waterways to improve water quality, which in turn then provides a green location where flora and fauna can prosper. Another thriving wetland and fun location for walks, fauna and bird spotting on the Sunshine Coast is the Maroochy Wetlands Sanctuary in Bli Bli.
Level, gravel trail suitable for all ages and abilities
Unitywater purchased the 191-hectare parcel of former cane farming land in 2016 and restored it to a natural wetland to offset nutrients and sediments going into the Maroochy River. This 'green engineering' solution protects the water quality and helps to offset the nutrients released to the river from local communities. It is a site with cultural and environmental benefits that will be enjoyed by locals and visitors for many years to come.
There are more than one hundred species of birdlife that have been identified at the Yandina Creek Wetland. Depending on the time of year, bird enthusiasts will have fun identifying various species and of course, the awesome new viewing hide adds to the mystique and excitement of who can see what!
Should the birds prove to be elusive, one can always take photos of the educational boards
Look out for the Glossy Ibis, who love to probe the mud of shallow wetlands in pursuit of their favourite food; or
The Black Winged Stilt, foraging along the muddy margins of the wetlands; or perhaps
The beautiful Black Swans that are widespread throughout much of Australia and can generally be seen wherever there is a wetland. In saying this, I might add that my significant other and I have yet to spot one of these majestic birds out in the wild.
Not quite the Black Swans that we were hoping for ...
We were very fortunate to spot a flock of, what we think were falcons, swooping, soaring and just chilling at a vacant farm field. They might even have been Swamp Harriers, we are really not sure ... but it was definitely a Raptor of some sort.
Even though the Yandina Creek Wetland is about fifteen kilometres away from the ocean, the ocean's tides flood the Yandina Creek Wetland through the Maroochy River. Tidal volumes into the wetlands are managed through a series of tidal gates, which are all part of the larger program to improve the health of the rivers and creeks in this region.
The Yandina Creek Wetland and its inter-tidal connection to Yandina Creek and the Maroochy River provide sheltering and feeding habitats for a variety of aquatic fauna, including eel, catfish and glass shrimp. With the tidal flooding from the ocean, sea mullet, yellowfin bream, estuary perchlet and even mud crabs have been seen.
We enjoyed the little crabs on the banks of the creek, scurrying here, there and everywhere, with the slightest sound or movement startling them back into their mud homes.
The Yandina Creek Wetland walking trail is a level, gravel trail, perfect for all ages and abilities, including visitors with prams and strollers. The walking trail is interspersed with informative signage, giving visitors an educational insight into the fauna, flora and waterways of this beautifully restored natural wetland. A generous parking area at the entrance to the Yandina Creek Wetland also includes a disabled parking spot.
To ensure your visit is enjoyable and safe, please take note of the following do's and don't's:
Do - ✔️ Keep the area beautiful and clean, by removing and taking home any litter you may have; ✔️ Wear enclosed footwear, long sleeves and sun protection; ✔️ Use insect repellant during the summer mosquito season - we visited late September and luckily did not see one mozzie. ✔️ Take drinking water; ✔️ Stay on the designated track - do not wander off it; ✔️ Only park in the designated car park; ✔️ Adhere to the speed limit, the access road to Yandina Creek Wetland is a shared road with residents.
Don't - ✖️ Handle or remove any plants, plant parts or animals from the site; ✖️ Bring domestic animals into the wetland; ✖️ Bring any plants into the wetland.
The Yandina Creek Wetland is the beginning of an environmental hub for the Sunshine Coast region, allowing outdoor adventurers and bird enthusiasts to explore a natural 'green' paradise right on our doorstep. Take a walk with nature that can and will, only improve with time.