Boondall Wetlands: Bird Spotting in Brisbane’s Largest Wetlands

The Boondall Wetlands Reserve is Brisbane‘s largest wetlands, located just at the doorstep of the city. I find it ideal to escape from the city when you don’t have much time.  Although I would not place it amongst the must-do of the region, it is a nice way to spend few hours outside during a beautiful afternoon.

Boondall Wetlands: Bird Spotting in Brisbane's Largest Wetlands

What to do in Boondall Wetlands?

Bird-spotting

Boondall Wetlands: Bird Spotting in Brisbane's Largest Wetlands
Egret at Boondall Wetlands

There is a large variety of bird life, mainly migratory shorebirds, in this area: over 190 species of birds live there.  On Nundah Creek, at the end of the boardwalk through the mangrove, they have installed a cabin to hide to spot them. I am not really good for activities where I have to stand still so bird spotting is not what I am best at, although I do like to see birds. It’s just that it makes me very impatient to look and wait for them, which in the end does not help at all to spot them.

Boondall Wetlands - Kingfisher
Kingfisher at Boondall Wetlands

I managed to stay quiet and still for long enough to spot some birds I like at Boondall Wetlands, the fish jumping high out of the water probably helped to keep me entertained. I’d like to give a special mention to the Kingfisher that we came for so I was very excited to spot it. It has brilliant green and blue colours that stand out from the dark brown ground and rocks near the creek. Amongst the birds I recognised, we also saw kites, pelicans, lorikeets (parrots), cormorants and egrets. And an ibis and huge crows, but if you’ve been to Australia you probably noticed these are not hard to spot at all…!

Boondall Wetlands: Bird Spotting in Brisbane's Largest Wetlands

Walking

Boondall Wetlands Swamp
Boondall Wetlands Swamp

There is an easy and relaxing stroll that I found interesting and special: it was unusual to be able to walk above the swamp like this. The colours at the end of the afternoon were gorgeous as the red plants were sticking out even more. The vegetation changes a lot during the walk as we start through a forest to then reach the mangrove.

At the entrance of the wetlands, there is an environment centre to learn a bit more about the wildlife and the wetlands flora. It is more targeted to kids but still fun for a very brief visit. We did not do it as we arrived a bit late for this, but from there it is possible to join a free guided tour with a volunteer or to borrow a self-guided booklet to get the most out of your walk.

Boondall Wetlands: Bird Spotting in Brisbane's Largest Wetlands
Forest leading to Boondall Wetlands

Cycling

Boondall Wetlands is also ideal for cycling in a scenic landscape. It is very easy to catch the train with the bikes to spend more time out of the city.

Tips when you go to Boondall Wetlands

Don’t forget your insect repellent: wetlands are famous for attracting mosquitoes!

Early in the morning or the end of the afternoon is known to be the best moments to spot birds (and wildlife in general).

Nudgee Beach is nearby – if you are looking for an extra place where to relax before heading home.

Sunset at Nudgee Beach
Sunset at Nudgee Beach

Where is Boondall Wetlands?

It takes around 1/2h to drive up to the Boondall Wetlands from Brisbane city centre. It is just at the start of the Moreton Bay.

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