North Stradbroke Island has an outstanding freshwater lake system that has been listed as one of the world’s most ecologically important wetlands. These waterways include Brown Lake, Blue Lake, the Keyholes, Eighteen Mile Swamp and a series of small lagoons.
Blue Lake is a window lake formed within a hollow in the island’s water table. Tortoise Lagoon, a small seasonal swamp, is a perched lake, located above the water table. Fringed with paperbarks, eucalypts, reeds and banksias, these lakes provide a quiet haven for native animals and visiting bushwalkers. Blue Lake’s crystal clear, blue waters are home to the soft-spined sunfish. It is a place of enormous significance to the Quandamooka people so please respect its precious environment and refrain from swimming in Blue Lake.
Blue Lake National Park’s Aboriginal name “Kaboora” means “deep silent pool” and offers a quiet haven (501ha) for visitors to appreciate the natural beauty. Early morning or dusk is the best time to see wildlife such as forest birds, goannas and other reptiles. Blue Lake is not accessible by car, and visitors must leave their vehicles in the allocated car park and walk to the lake, which is approximately 2.6km each way.
Brown Lake is only 4 km from Dunwich and accessed via Alfred Martin Way. There are barbecue and picnic facilities, making it a great place to relax with the family. Brown Lake is a perched lake containing tannin-stained water from the leaves of surrounding paperbarks and tea trees, as well as the organic matter on its floor. Outdoor activities at Brown Lake include walking around the lake on fire tracks, bird watching and viewing or photographing wildflowers.
Eighteen Mile Swamp is a shallow, groundwater fed, freshwater coastal wetland stretching almost the entire length of the eastern side of North Stradbroke Island. The swamp is approximately 3000 ha in size and is an example of a coastal and sub-coastal non-floodplain grass, sedge, herb swamp with organic soils in the South-East Queensland Bioregion. This wetland is the largest coastal peat swamp in eastern Australia.
Myora Springs (Capeembah) is a unique wetland site on the north west side of North Stradbroke Island, of particular cultural significance to the Quandamooka people as a sacred gathering site, and is also a declared fish habitat area.