The Boondall Wetlands Reserve is Brisbane‘s largest wetlands, located just at the doorstep of the capital of Queensland. I find it ideal for escaping from the city when you don’t have much time. Although I would not place it amongst the must-do of the region if you’re only in Brisbane for a short time, it is a nice way to spend a few hours outside during a beautiful afternoon for those living in Brisbane.
What to do in Boondall Wetlands?
There is a large variety of birdlife, 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 at activities where I have to stand still, so bird spotting is not what I am best at, although I love seeing 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.
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. It was my first time seeing one, and I was really looking for it when visiting Boondall Wetlands, 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 live in Australia, you probably noticed these are not hard to spot at all!
There is an easy and relaxing stroll that I found interesting and special: it is unusual to be able to walk through various ecosystems like that. 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, walk above a swamp, to then reach the mangrove.
At the entrance of the wetlands, there is an environmental centre to learn a bit more about the wildlife and the wetlands’ flora. It is more targeted at 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 is also ideal for cycling in a scenic landscape for those who live in Brisbane. It is very easy to catch the train with 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 and midges.
Early in the morning or the end of the afternoon is known to be the best moment 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. The nearby boardwalk is fantastic for birdwatching too. It’s also part of Boondall Wetlands.
If you have a kayak, you can complete a loop around Boondall Wetlands. Kayaking Boondall Wetlands is one of the best micro-adventures for kayaking in Brisbane.
Are you thinking of buying an inflatable kayak? We love how we can now explore more places easily since we got one. Check out my tips on how to choose an inflatable kayak and the most important questions to answer first. You can see the single model of the inflatable kayak we chose here*.
Where is Boondall Wetlands?
It takes around half an hour to drive up to the Boondall Wetlands from Brisbane city centre. It is just at the start of Moreton Bay.