Local Wetlands to Visit

The Fraser Coast has many wetlands that are accessible and easy to explore.

Please remember to leave the area as you found it (or better yet, pick up any litter you find) and enjoy wildlife from a distance without disturbing them. Binoculars are always a great way to view wildlife more closely.

  • LOCATION: around Ann, Margaret and Truro Streets, Torquay.

    This series of lagoons was once a coastal wetland. Although modified, the lakes provide important habitat, especially for waterbirds and help filter urban run-off before it enters the Bay.

  • LOCATION: Corner Panorama Drive and Sempfs Road, Dundowran Beach

    Tracks allow you to explore the different lagoons of the wetlands and observe a range of flora and fauna, particularly wetland birds.

  • LOCATION: Ivor Drive, Burrum Heads

    This lagoon is named after the near-threatened Melaleuca Cheelii, a species of paperbark which grows naturally here and at a few other locations within our region.

  • LOCATION: corner Victory and Neptune Streets, Maryborough

    Walking tracks, including a boardwalk allow you to wander through this haven for birds and other wildlife

  • LOCATION: Elizabeth Street, Urangan.

    Several lakes and wetland areas to explore and enjoy. Dayman Street Walkway and the bridge crossing behind Aldi Urangan provide views of the wetlands to the rear of the Gardens.

  • K’gari, Fraser Island has many beautiful wetlands throughout the island.

  • Our coastal townships are the best places to see the Great Sandy Ramsar.
    At this time of year migratory waders can be seen on mudflats throughout the Strait.

    Please take extra caution not to disturb shorebirds when visiting these areas as they must feed and rest, in preparation for their return flight to the northern hemisphere to breed. Insect repellent is advised when visiting these coastal areas.

  • LOCATION: between Nissen Street and Conservation Drive, Urraween

    This wetland area is part of the Eli Creek Catchment and includes remnant vine forest, man-made lakes and remaining paperbark forest areas. Kingfisher lakes Estate was built in the wetland area that was formerly “Nature World” wildlife park.

    Pantlin’s Reserve is best accessed from Nissen Street or Spotted Gum Court. Parking space is limited within the Kingfisher Lakes Estate but is possible to park along Fairway Drive or at Eli Waters Shopping Centre and follow the paths which lead to the lake.

  • LOCATION: the walking track between the Boat Ramp and Davidson St (approx. 900m)

    This track provides some excellent view points of the Strait as well as the mouths of both Mary and Susan River. The track entrance is located on the Susan River (southern) side of the boaties carpark, at the edge of the rainforest patch.

Our Great Sandy Strait – a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance

We all love our incredible Great Sandy Strait but did you know that it is recognised as a wetland of International Importance, also called a Ramsar Wetland?
Mostly located within the Fraser Coast Regional LGA boundary, it is one of only 5 such wetlands recognised in Queensland.
This places us in an important position of responsibility to preserve its many significant values.

  • What is a "Ramsar"

    The Ramsar Convention is an international, intergovernmental treaty adopted in the city of Ramsar, Iran in 1971 and coming into force in 1975. The broad aims of the Ramsar Convention are to halt and, where possible, reverse, the worldwide loss of wetlands and to conserve those that remain through wise use and management.

The Convention’s mission is:

the conservation and wise use of all wetlands through local, regional and national actions and international cooperation, as a contribution towards achieving sustainable development throughout the world.

It is our duty to ensure that activities which might affect wetlands will not lead to the loss of biodiversity or diminish the many ecological, hydrological, cultural or social values of wetlands.

The wise use of wetlands is defined as:

“the maintenance of their ecological character, achieved through implementation of ecosystem approaches, within the context of sustainable development.”

World Wetlands Day and Ramsar 50th Anniversary

World Wetlands Day is celebrated every year on 2 February - the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands in 1971. To celebrate this anniversary and remind ourselves of the many reasons our Great Sandy Strait Ramsar Wetland is so precious and what we can do to help care for it, Council is organising a range of activities for the community to participate in.

  • There are 2412 Ramsar sites around the world and 66 are in Australia (with 5 in Qld). The first ever Ramsar declared wetland was here in Australia - Cobourg Penninsula, NT.
  • Great Sandy Strait was listed as Ramsar 14th June 1999
  • Great Sandy Strait is approximately 93,160 hectares 
  • Our Great Sandy Strait is one of 5 Ramsar wetlands recognised in Qld
  • To be classed as a Wetland of International Importance (Ramsar Site) a wetland must meet at least one of nine qualifying criteria. Our Great Sandy Strait meets six!!


Value our Wetlands!

Banner photo by Gary Cranitch ©Queensland Museum

To celebrate World Wetlands Day 2021 and raise awareness and understanding of the importance of our wetlands, Council, in partnership with Qld Wetlands Program, Burnett Mary Regional Group and local conservation groups held a range of activities for the community to get involved.

Wetlands day

Our month of events included

  • Find a frog !

    These successful events in Poona and Walligan were fully booked.
    We got to know some of our local frog species, why they are important, what threats are they facing and how we can help.

  • Mangrove, Freshwater Wetlands and Botany guided walks

    Participants of all ages enjoyed guided walks to learn about our mangrove species and their function, we visited freshwater wetland and discovered plants, insects and birds along the way and our Botany walk included how to identify mangrove and saltmarsh species.

  • Wetlands Photography Competition

    Entry was open to Fraser Coast residents, in the following age groups: Under 12 years; 12-17 years and over 18 years. To enter the competition, entrants emailed a photograph inspired by the theme: ‘Wetlands, Water and Life’.
    Winners of each category won a Whale Watch trip for 2!

  • Turtles of the Great Sandy Strait

    Our Great Sandy Strait Ramsar site provides feeding grounds that are used by six species of threatened marine turtle.
    Workshop participants learnt about different species and their lifecycles, how to tell if a turtle needs help and what to do if you encounter an injured turtle or other marine animal.

  • Great Sandy Strait Boat Cruise

    This was a very popular event, a morning cruise of the northern Great Sandy Strait to observe and learn about this internationally important wetland. Expert tour guides pointed out important features and explained the values that make GSS so significant.
    We also learnt what we can do as a community to help protect it now and into the future.

  • Community Planting Day

    Many joined Council’s Natural Environment team as they revegetated Fay Smith Wetlands, corner Victory and Neptune streets, Maryborough by replacing weed species with local natives, to improve ecological health of the site and restore local species biodiversity.