Tag Archives: Gold Coast Parks

Wildlife in Broadbeach

Wildlife in Broadbeach

There’s a lot of wildlife in Broadbeach the feathered variety…
Do you ever get the feeling something is watching you, but you can’t see it. Well this happened to me recently, and of all places near the Transit Centre in Broadbeach. It was one of those days; I wasn’t feeling great, a little flat for no particular reason. Well suddenly I felt compelled to look at the palm trees and there it was, staring and standing motionless with its big eyes trained on me. It was so close and larger than I expected, it was a Curlew, and I believe a “Bush stone curlew” this was the last place I expected to see one.

During the day, bush stone-curlews tend to remain inactive, sheltering amongst tall grass or low shrubs and relying on their cryptic plumage to protect them from predators. When disturbed, they freeze motionless, often in odd-looking postures. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bush_stone-curlew

My mood instantly lifted… It started me thinking… these were wetlands a hundred years ago and this very spot would have been alive with birds. So I decided I would walk to Cascade Gardens following Little Tallebudgera Creek, there is a footpath all the way to the gardens and this walk is one that should be put on your list of Gold Coast walks to do.

Curlew-Broadbeach Gold Coast

But first I just want to talk briefly about our wetland areas.
The Gold Coast is known for its beautiful beaches and coastline, however not a lot of people come to see its wetlands. Wetlands still have a sort of stigma attached to them. Most people immediately think of mosquitoes and snakes and stinking water, or useless land that needs to be drained. But the reality is that much of the Gold Coast beyond the beach was wetlands a vast wetland area. This is very visible in Broadbeach; it seems funny to say that this tourist mecca is home to a delicate balance of wildlife, most locals and visitors don’t think about Broadbeach in this way.

 I’ve never heard of anyone say we are going to check out what remains of one of the Gold Coast’s vast wetlands in Broadbeach.

When all is still and the traffic noise dies down you will hear the wetland wildlife sounds and now the haunting eerie, wailing cry of the Curlews. Everything from fruit bats to water birds and much more is still clinging to its heritage. This area was also home to the Kombumerri people, (saltwater people)  however early history indicates that even a hundred years ago few would have been here, this rich landscape full of food and resources only echoes their past. A feasting ground for the aboriginal people was found at Cascade Gardens, along with a large burial site, indicating the importance of indigenous history and culture attached to this location

Gold Coast Wetlands

For centuries this land beyond the beach was home to an abundance of flora and fauna. It was said that in the early days the Nerang River was a carpet of yellow from the fallen flowers of the native hibiscus (cotton tree). They are still there on her banks in places, their branches cascading into the water below.
Pockets of wetlands still exist all over the Gold Coast, Palm Beach and Elanora along Tallebudgera Creek and further west Schuster Park and Eddie Kornhauser Recreational Reserve.  A small picturesque pocket at David Fleay’s further north we have Coombabah Lakelands which boast an extensive wetland area, not to forget Macintosh Island and Gold Coast Botanic Gardens to name just a few.
 However the vast Miami Swamp no longer exists, it was a place renowned for its beautiful wildflowers particularly Christmas Bell that grew even alongside the South Coast Road, which now is the Gold Coast Hwy.

The Islands of Broadbeach – Main Beach
When you take a look at Google maps, you can clearly see that this area would have been a vast mangrove swamp and many of these natural islands would have been covered with mangroves, secluded and off the main channel of the Nerang River. I’m not sure which or if any are man-made, however remnants of the wetlands are still clinging on… the colony of bats at Cascade Gardens is another example.

  • Surf Street
  • Broadbeach Island
  • Florida Gardens
  • Isle of Capri
  • Girung Island
  • Paradise Island
  • Chevron Island
  • Cronin Island
  • Macintosh Island

 
What makes Broadbeach so interesting and unique is that nowhere on the coast that I can recall is a location full of high-rises, restaurants and bars, including a casino and monorail and Transit Centre with light rail and buses, but still surrounded by wetlands and now the eerie night calls of the Curlews.  
If I was a tourist visiting the Gold Coast and loved nature and birds, this walk along the Gold Coast Hwy, following  ‘Little Tallebudgera Creek’ to Cascade Gardens would be one I would love to know about.

Laguna Park Palm Beach

Laguna Park Palm Beach

Tucked away in the sleepy suburb of Palm Beach is Laguna Park; most people refer to it as Laguna Park and Laguna Lake. However the real name is Elizabeth Sloper Gardens, more about that a little later. What is so special about this park? Laguna Park isn’t a huge park; however it’s got something for… Continue Reading

The Spit

The Spit

I know without doing a survey that many Gold Coasters haven’t driven down Sea World Drive to the Spit in a while, this is especially true if you live on the Southern Gold Coast.    Many are familiar with Sea World and the wonderful day out they can have, however beyond ‘Sea World‘ is another… Continue Reading

Peacocks in the park

Peacocks in the park

Can you think of a place on the Gold Coast that isn’t a wildlife sanctuary, where you can see beautiful peacocks in their full plumage, not just one but many? Continue Reading

Take a walk through the Botanic Gardens

Take a walk through the Botanic Gardens

How long is the walk through the Gold Coast Regional Gardens? This is a peaceful location for a walk; there are over 4km of pathways, starting from the shaded tranquil lagoons to open sweeping wide spaces that extend right down to the Nerang River. Along the pathway next to the river is a small patch… Continue Reading

Urban Walk Laguna Park

Here on the Gold Coast we are very fortunate to be able to walk safely and in some of the most beautiful locations on earth. However urban walking is still part of the daily routine of many who live away from the beachfront suburbs. And with that thought in mind I want to highlight a… Continue Reading