Friday, October 3, 2014

Wooroolin Wetlands

So there I was happily driving along the Bunya Highway, around 4 pm, thinking I must be getting close to Kingaroy, thinking that's where I'd stay the night, when I came upon a tiny township (population in 2006 census of 164). I said yesterday that I'd get back to my trip through Central Queensland but I had in fact moved south into the South Burnett region.  I slowed to the required speed limit, noticed a few houses on the right, a camping ground on the left, blinked once and was through the town.  But then, as I accelerated away, on my left, glimpses of  water, a lot of water caught my eye.  I stopped to turn around to go back to park in the township and go for a walk, then noticed a road just ahead on my left which ran alongside the water.  So I ventured up the side road for a look. 
 
 

I'd discovered the Wooroolin Wetlands. A friend jokingly pointed out when I was telling him with great enthusiasm about the huge wetlands ("they were massive, beautiful, went for miles, as far as the eye could see") that I hadn't really discovered the place but I honestly felt that I did.  They were so unexpected.  Wetlands.  209 ha (516 acres) of wetlands.  I had no idea there were wetlands out here anywhere.
 
The story goes that the dead trees originally grew in a dry lagoon. At the turn of the 19th century the lagoon suddenly dried up after an earthquake. In the mid ‘70s, I think it must have been the big floods of '73/'74 which occurred at the time I left to come to NZ, the wetlands filled again and the inundated trees drowned. They dried up again over time, at one stage the locals used to ride bikes through the area. Then came the floods of 2010 and 2011.  They tell the story of Australia - drought and flood.
 
For now they create a beautiful natural sculpture and a vital habitat for birds - around 80 species.  Not one of them would stay where they were when I got out of the car.  The place was teeming with birdlife.
 

9 comments:

  1. This looks a wet but interesting place. Birds always retreat when I turn up.

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  2. I love wetlands because there is usually so much wildlife poking in and about. Lucky you!

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  3. You would have loved this place, Adrian. I'm sure if I'd just sat and waited the birds would have returned. There wasn't another soul around nor a sound to be heard apart from a distant tractor working.

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  4. I felt very lucky indeed, Tabor. I felt like I'd stumbled upon a real treasure.

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  5. Thank you, Lyosha. I thought so too.

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  6. I never ceases to amaze me how quickly flora and fauna re-inhabit an area once there is sufficient water and the right conditions. It looks and sounds very interesting.

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  7. You would have loved this place, Graham.

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