Tweed Eco Cruises offers trips to Stott’s Island NSW from Tweed Heads Marina.
Join us on our Tweed River and Rainforest Lunch Cruise on the Tweed River and relax into the surrounding nature and scenery. Enjoy locally sourced foods and beverages from the Northern NSW region.
Along with a busload of Seniors from Cleveland, we boarded The Golden Swan to travel to Stotts Reserve and back with a running commentary by Captain Jeff. The River Tweed is a tributary tidal inlet and the shores were lined with mangroves. The banks had been strengthened with a retaining rock wall. Further up the river where a retaining wall had not been built, there was erosion. This was also the area where sugar cane was growing.
We saw man made osprey nests on top of electricity pylons, and an osprey was in residence in one of the nests. It was really a room with a view
The Stotts Island Nature Reserve is a protected nature reserve containing the Stotts Island, a river island, that is located in the Tweed River, in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales in eastern Australia. The 141-hectare reserve is situated near Tweed Heads and 12 kilometres northeast of Murwillumbah. The island was named after James Stott, an early cedar cutter. Originally an Irish convict, he was sentenced in 1826 to seven years transportation to New South Wales.
Stotts Island is composed of alluvium deposited from the Pleistocene to the present. It is prone to flooding, during which times silt and weed material accumulate on the island. The island is continuously being reshaped by erosion. The reserve contains an intact 77-hectare (190-acre) segment of lowland sub-tropical rainforest. Most of this rainforest type has been destroyed for agriculture, mining or housing. Stotts Island is declared critical habitat for the endangered Mitchell’s rainforest snail, rediscovered in 1976, 47 species of bird, 6 species of lizard, 3 species of snakes and 3 species of frogs have been recorded on Stotts Island Nature Reserve.
The tour boat stopped in this area and fed Birds with fish. Two Osprey circled the boat and it was mainly seagulls that came to the feeding.
There were two major types of mangroves growing in this area…the Grey Mangrove and the Red Mangrove, which is also known as Stilt Mangrove. The Stilt mangrove looks like feet running over the water…
Mangroves roots perform a number of functions for a plant, they support it and they obtain essential nutrients and oxygen.
In unstable, sometimes semi-fluid, soil an extensive root system is necessary to keep the trees upright. As a result, most mangroves have more living matter below the ground than above it. The main mass of roots, however, is generally within the top 2m—mangroves do not grow deep tap roots, probably because of the poor oxygen supply below the surface.
Roots have different functions and 3 different forms. Radiating cable roots, punctuated by descending anchor roots, provide support. From this framework sprout many little nutritive roots that feed on the rich soil just below the surface and collect oxygen.
Little oxygen is available in fine, often waterlogged, mud. Many mangroves adapt by raising part of their roots above the mud. These roots are covered with special breathing cells (lenticels) which draw in air. The lenticels are connected to spongy tissue within the roots. When the roots are submerged by water, the pressure within these tissues falls as the plant uses up the internal oxygen. The resulting negative pressure means that when the root is re-exposed when the tide drops, more air is drawn in through the lenticels.
Grey mangrove (Avicennia marina) grows a series of snorkels or peg or pencil roots, (pneumatophores). Experiments with related Avicennia species have shown that plants growing in coarse coral sand, with a good air supply to the roots, were able to survive after their pneumatophores were removed. However, those living in poorly aerated soil died when the pneumatophores were covered. In one situation, where they were covered with oil, the plants responded by growing aerial roots.
Lunch was a generous serve of Fresh King Prawns and a platter with ham, salami, quiche, cheese and melon and orange with a generous serve of fresh bread and Olive oil. It was delicious. Drinks were from locally grown coffee and tea, and a bar service offered the usual drinks and snacks. The return trip was relaxing as we lunched and made our way back to the Marina past a line-up of fishing vessels at the Jetty. Then it was bus back to Cleveland and home.