Low tide Mudflats and Mangroves

Low Tide on the Bay When the tide is really low, usually during the New Moon, you can walk out in the bay wearing gumboots and the mud flats are rich in shellfish. You can see herons, ibis and spoonbill along with black swans and pelicans amidst the sea grass…

Low tide Mudflats and Mangroves

Carnarvon Gorge Queensland

Hidden in the rugged ranges of Queensland’s central highlands, 720km by road north-west of Brisbane, Carnarvon Gorge features towering sandstone cliffs, vibrantly coloured side gorges, diverse flora and fauna and Aboriginal rock art. Just five minutes drive from Carnarvon National Park, Takarakka Bush Resort offers it all: powered and unpowered campsites, permanent tents with and without […]

Carnarvon Gorge Queensland

Color of the Wash

Colored water from the floods

Yesterday when returning on the ferry from Redland Bay back home to Macleay Island, I saw that the water which is usually pristine blue and aqua was now a muddy brown from the flood waters running to the Bay from the Logan River. The wash from the ferry was quite golden. Redland Bay will soon be living up to its name and turning red….with mud.

Healthy Land and Water, the peak environmental management agency for south-east Queensland, said the massive sediment loss from the river came because no large-scale riverbank revegetation projects were conducted in the decade between the floods. …the longer-term effects on the Port of Brisbane’s silt levels, seagrass beds, dugongs and turtles were being evaluated “There is going to be an impact on seagrass, but we know it will recover.

A research study was done in 2016 by a group of 12 students…..The Mud Rising project was run as part of The Icarus Program which gives undergraduate engineers the opportunity to work on interdisciplinary projects with academic mentors and other students. They found the area of mud in the bay has more than doubled in the past 45 years… That was 2016…. This is 2022. The islands are now mostly mud with only a handful of small sandy beaches.

Researcher James Lockington from UQ’s School of Civil Engineering said the Mud Rising project revealed that mud now covered more than 50 per cent, or 800sq km, of Moreton Bay’s floor. “This compares to 400sq km at the time of the last major survey, in 1970,” he said. “The increase is likely due to the large floods in the past 45 years – including those in 1974 and 2011.

Mr Lockington said historical land clearing increased the amount of mud in the bay. A team of 12 students spent three months surveying 220 sites over an area of more than 1500sq km, in the bay’s most comprehensive sediment survey in 40 years. Mr Lockington said fine sediment had an impact on the seagrass and coral communities. “Fine mud particles entering Moreton Bay results in less sunlight striking the sea floor,” he said. “It can also smother plant and animal communities.

“We hope our findings will support Moreton Bay ecosystem health assessments and guide regional management actions.”

The team is a finalist in the Healthy Waterways Awards 2016 People’s Choice Award.

Sandy Beach at Karaggara Island

Every day you read about another research or survey. I wonder why something is not done as a result of these comprehensive surveys. This survey was 6 years ago and the problems identified are still here and not addressed. The South Moreton Bay Islands are very beautiful and the home to a rapidly increasing population, and soon could be renamed The Mud Islands as that is what is happening. Time to clean the bay and value and preserve the Maritime Park instead of simply exploiting its rich resources and ignoring the damage being done to the environment.

Southern Moreton Bay Islands is a national park in Queensland, Australia, 44 km southeast of Brisbane. It forms part of the Moreton Bay and Pumicestone Passage Important Bird Area, so identified by BirdLife International because it supports large numbers of migratory waders, or shorebirds

Mud Crabs Russell island

Mangroves Australia

Mud Crab Russell Island

The mangroves have mudcrabs the months with an ‘r’ in them….. I treat the flushing/flooding effect of the king tides as an ideal time for crabbing. Crabs caught during months with the letter ‘r’ (e.g.  March) tend to be much fuller than those caught during the winter months. This is generally due to the belief that mud crabs hide in their holes during winter and malt their shell. They tend to remain empty during these months until they get a chance to grow into their new larger shell. Partially full crabs tend to have a greenish ting to their shells and full crabs have a darker more browny-blue colour. 


I was so excited with my first catch of Mud crabs. A bit scared to take them out of the crab pot, I called a neighbour for help and together we dragged the pots up…

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Sandy Beach Russell island

Mangroves Australia

Russell Island Sandy Beach

At the Bottom end of Russell island is Sandy Beach. As the name suggests, the beach here is sand, not mud flats and here too there are mangroves growing in the sands.

When the tide is low, birds come to feast on the oysters and shellfish and small fish in the water. The rocks are thick with oysters…but if you want any you have to beat the oyster catchers who are always here first.

The mangroves are different here. There is no mud to adhere to, and the roots spread out over the sand. Closer to the shore, the mangroves are more prolific but the root system is a flat spread out root rather than the curved thick roots of the mangroves growing in the mud. Here too many small crabs call this area home and at sunrise and sunset you can see soldier crabs marching…

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Undara Lava Caves and Resort, Queensland Australia

Undara Caves


Undara day tour from Cairns no longer runs just on the one day but there is a fantastic 2 day, 1 night option from Cairns.  It is very affordable and is a great alternative to the old one day Undara tour that previously operated.  Instead of squeezing your Undara day tour into one day, there is now the far more relaxed 2 day, 1 night option to enjoy.  Instead of driving four hours each way from Cairns to Undara, this tour is spread out over two days.


The two day tour to Undara from Cairns involves staying overnight at Undara in a restored railway carriage.  Undara calls this tour their Undara Day Outback Experience.  Your two day tour to Undara starts at Cairns Railway Station where the coach from there at 6.00 am.

You will travel with Transnorth Coaches with an option to be picked up and dropped off  from Smithfield, Kuranda, Mareeba, Atherton, Herberton, Ravenshoe, Innot Hot Springs, Mount Garnet or 40 Mile Scrub.

The coach arrives at Undara at approximately 10.45 am where you get collected from Undera’s front gate to be taken to reception for check-in.  Included in the two day, 1 night package is lunch, which is served from midday to 1.30 pm.  You can choose from their restaurant menu.

After lunch, you have free time to explore around Undara before going on the Wildlife at Sunset Tour at 5.30 pm which goes for about two hours.  When you get to the top of the Bluff, you can relax and watch the sunset over Undara while enjoying sparkling wine and cheese.   Then it’s off to the lava tubes to see spectacular sight of thousands of tiny insect eating mico bats emerge.  This attracts Pythons and Brown Tr4ee Snakes that hang from the trees and strike out at the bats to capture a meal.  This is a once in a lifetime nature experience that you’ll never forget!  During this tour, you will see other wildlife including Kangaroos, Wallabies, Cockatoos and Lorikeets.  You return from the tour at 7.30 pm just in time for dinner.  You can choose what you like from the selection of the three courses.  Drinks are at your own cost.

Your overnight stay is in Undara’s famous railway carriages which have their own ensuite and a choice of a queen size bed or two single beds.

The next morning after breakfast, start your day with a two hour Archway Tour where you will visit three different parts of the larva tubes as you hear about other interesting environmental, geological and historical features of the region.  Return at 10.00 am to have free time until lunch is served at midday.

Your return coach back to Cairns starts at 12.45 pm where your journey ends at approximately 5.00 pm.

For further information on Undara just phone our Visitor Information Centre on 07 4055 7158 where we can provide you with location, maps and times for the bus pick up  for the 2 day Undara Tour from Cairns.

Sunrise Today...

Undarra Resort Queensland Australia

Looking outhttp://undara.com.au/

Set in the Gulf Savannah country, Undara is as ancient and alluring as the continent itself, the Undara Lava Tubes stand as silent sentinels to our pre-history. Here you can walk in the path of a volcano and sleep cocooned in an antique railway carriage as your dreams connect you with the essence of this timeless land.

It’s a place where you can explore natural geological wonders, enjoy the comforts and hospitality of a unique outback setting and where the local wildlife are as abundant as they are at home in their surroundings. In short, Undara needs to be experienced!

A short flight, historic train ride or scenic half-day coach transfer or drive from Cairns, Undara is the experience that defines Australia’s Outback.
You’ve heard it said “You have to get lost to find yourself” – this is where you’ll find the sense of place…

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Mangroves at Macleay Island

Koonwarra Street Macleay Island Macleay Island is rich with mangroves. They edge the island and at almost every location you can see mangroves and mud flats. The mangroves provide blossom for bees, and there are mud crabs where you place crab pots, and the waters are rich with turtles, dugongs and also dolphins

Mangroves at Macleay Island
Perulpa passage….end of Scotts Road

There is Corroboree Park at the end of Scott’s Road and also Pats Park where the mangroves are adjacent to the Swimming enclosure

Pats Park Swimming enclosure

Mangroves beside Koonwarra Street Macleay island…

May Lion’s Market Macleay

The Lions Club have a market every month at the Community Centre. This month saw a great collection of stalls and almost every area was represented from plants to jewellery to sculpture to Art and food. The Lions had a sausage sizzle and also cooked egg and bacon sandwiches and a plate of scones or cakes with tea or coffee. There was a lot of interesting shoppers too all making for a friendly experience

The Islanders are a very friendly group of people and part of the markets is the chatting and socializing. This week I took my keyboard and played a medley of Country songs. There was another musician playing a drum and selling feather type fans and smoke clusters. Later a group came with a Guitar and sang across the way. It was quite a musical morning .

There was a good selection of plants for sale…I was wanting a chilli plant and none were available. Then when I was packing the van, the open car next to mine had a huge chilli plant with lots of fat chillies on it. How I wish I had seen it first. The lady from the Community Church stall gave everyone a small bouquet of Chrysanthemum from her own garden, and she also had a huge basket of free mandarins. It was Mothers Day weekend, and fresh flowers were on sale as well as some colourful floral plants


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