This section of the national park is about one hour fifteen minutes drive north of Brisbane, behind Kawana Waters on the Sunshine Coast. A 6 km section of the Mooloolah River adjoins the Mooloolah River National Park protecting remnants of coastal lowland habitat.
On this trip we decided to explore the upper reaches of the Mooloolah River by a small boat using an electric motor. We launched from the boat ramp at Outrigger Park, off Brisbane Road, entry is south bound only from Mooloolaba. This river trail can also be done by canoe or kayak.
Boat Ramp to Mooloolah River National Park:
We turned west and traveled under the first two bridges, beneath Brisbane Road and the Sunshine Motorway. These bridges are noisy to pass under but that doesn't seem to bother the feral pigeons and nesting welcome swallows/fairy martins (sorry we weren't taking enough notice at this point as to exactly which birds they were).
The muddy mangrove banks support a large variety of birds. We were rewarded with sightings of Pied Oystercatcher, Little Black Cormorant, Pelican, Striated Heron, Pied Cormorant, White-faced Heron and Sacred Kingfisher.
The second Striated Heron sighting of the morning.
The small mangrove islands support Flying Fox colonies and the taller mangroves serve as Osprey perches.
Near the third bridge, under the Kawana Way, Striated Pardalotes have made their nests in the river bank.
Mooloolah River National Park.
Extensive heath plains and sedgelands stretch away from the river and we have often seen kangaroos grazing here. However, over the last ten years their numbers have dropped and we did not see any on this trip.
This Brahminy Kite was watching over two young in a nest a few meters away.
|Juvenile Brahminy Kites|
White-throated Honeyeater, Olive-backed Oriole, Varied Trillers and Azure Kingfisher added a splash of colour in the mangroves.
Mooloolah River National Park to the Upper Reaches of Mooloolah River.
The third Striated Heron of the morning.
As the river narrowed we saw large numbers of Little Black Cormorants, a Pied Cormorant and more Egrets.
At about the 9 km mark, from the boat ramp, we came to the tree that has been lying across the river since 2010. We successfully drifted underneath it and continued for a short distance before heading back to the ramp.
The banks of the river change from saltpans to mangrove scrub land with some Melaleuca forest and the occasional clumps of mangrove fern.
On our return we saw Rainbow Bee-eaters and were able to get a photo of an interesting Osprey nest.
As we passed back along the national park we saw a person walking and swimming two dogs in Mooloolah River National Park.