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Where to Look

Buckley’s Hole Conservation Park

Possibly the best place on Bribie Island to see birds, especially when the water levels are lower, inducing some of the rarer crakes and rails to come out of shelter. It includes a freshwater lagoon with bird hide, a sandy track to the beach and adjoining mangroves and sand bar, although the latter is often disturbed by humans and dogs.  Over 275 bird species have been recorded at Buckley’s Hole including rarer ducks, rails and crakes, bitterns and seabirds.  Its location on the southeastern tip of the island makes it a focal place for migrants and one never knows what might turn up.

Red Beach

Accessed via a bush track off Tully Street to the beach past wetlands that form the upper part of Buckley’s Hole Conservation Park.  The beach is often busy and has unrestrained dog use. However, it is a great place for seabirds with a scope or field glasses.  Less well known is a bush track off Kendall Street (Kendall Access Track) that leads through lovely bushland along a fire trail to the beach.  Although most bush birds are found, there are also rarer species for Bribie Island, such as fruit-doves, pittas and honeyeaters.

Kakadu Beach shorebird roost

This is a manmade lagoon and sandbar used at high tide by hundreds (often thousands) of migratory shorebirds ‒ included the endangered Far Eastern Curlew, Beach Stone-Curlews, godwits, knots, plovers, sandpipers, stilts, gulls and terns.  Double-banded plovers from New Zealand use the roost during winter. Occasional rarities like Asian Dowitchers and Oriental Plovers turn up, particularly during the seasonal migrations from September to March.  Most shorebirds are difficult to identify in the non-breeding plumage, but assume their breeding plumage in late February before their huge flights to northern Asia and Alaska. Accessed off Solander Esplanade with easy parking and walking, there are two bird hides overlooking the roost with great views across the Passage to the Glass House Mountains as a backdrop.

Bibimulya Wetlands

Many common waterbirds can be seen in the centre of Bellara where a series of manmade ponds on a former wetland are readily accessible from the carpark near the Bribie Island Information Centre and cross Melrose Avenue. Alternatively, park in Bibimulya Avenue.  Several species use the three ponds for nesting, including spoonbills, ibis and herons.  Occasional rarities visit and the ponds are always worth a visit.

White Patch

This is the area of bushland from Wright’s Creek to the start of the Bribie Island National Park.  There is easy road access and numerous parking areas.  Numerous bush bird and butterfly species can be seen and the area around the national park carpark is useful for fruit-doves when corkbarks Endiandra siberi are fruiting.  There are sandy tracks into the national park which lead to extensive wallum heathlands and cypress forests with spectacular seasonal flowering. 

Bribie Island National Park and Marine Park

Unsuitable for most vehicles, a 4-wheel drive is really recommended for this area, although there are great walks along the numerous sandy tracks radiating from the Ranger centre and carpark.  There is a fee for vehicles. The roads open up the northern and eastern sections of the island.  Much of this is covered by exotic pine plantations but are extensive heathlands and patches of wet sclerophyll forest and cypress open forest in the national park.  This includes camping spots at Gallaghers Point, Poverty Creek, Mission Point (boat access only) and Lighthouse Reach.  Boat access is required for much of Pumicestone Passage and the tourist cruises that operate are excellent viewing platforms. This gives an opportunity to look at the rich mangrove forests that line the beautiful reaches of Pumicestone Passage and dozens of little islands through The Narrows and northern section of the Passage.  The proximity of the mainland to Bribie means that new species may turn up from time to time that have crossed over to the northern end of the island.

Bribie Island Centennial Gardens

Accessed from the Bribie Island Community Arts Centre, this area offers a number of bush walks through heathland and banksia open forest.  There are small areas of cypress forest.  Dozens of species of wildflowers, including ground orchids, palms and native peas can be seen and the spring flowers are spectacular.  Many bush birds and butterflies are present although patience may be required in areas of thicker vegetation.

Sewerage Treatment Plant

It is the track to the sewerage plant that is recommended.  Turn off near the Butterfly House off First Avenue and walk along the sealed road.  It passes an extensive wetland surrounded by bushland, where numerous birds, butterflies and plant species can be seen. There are side tracks which can be rewarding but take care not to get lost.

Central Island Heathland

Several tracks lead off First Avenue between Bongaree and Woorim.  Park at McMahon Street at the gate and walk as far as you wish.  Another access point is via Cotterill Avenue, a route used for BIEPA’s annual wildflower walks in Spring.  The heathland is covered with wildflowers and numerous species can be identified, especially lilies, ground orchids, milkmaids, sundews, Leptospermums and native peas.  A range of heathland birds are also possible, including quail, woodswallows and raptors.

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