Noosa Ecology: Edge

Our unique ecosystems which exist where the water meets the land need to be managed carefully.

The Noosa River system is the southernmost boundary of the Great Sandy region (which includes Fraser Island, Cooloola National Park and Hervey Bay). This area contains the oldest and largest number of independent coastal dune systems recorded in the world. Equally important are the extensive areas of mangrove, saline saltmarsh, herb-fields and seagrass beds associated with the lower Noosa River and its lake system.

Sand

The biosphere reserve includes highly accessible ocean beaches stretching from South Peregian to around 15km north of Teewah on Noosa’s North Shore. The topography of the region’s northern sand mass results from a series of overlapping dune systems.

Wetlands

The Noosa River Wetlands are a spectacular and extensive system of freshwater, brackish and saline lakes, marshes, heathlands and estuarine wetlands associated with the Noosa River and have unique landforms vegetation and fauna.

Sand

The older, stabilised sand and giant dunes can be very steep while the younger dunes are mostly level. It is part of Australia’s largest deposit of wind-blown sands (the Cooloola sand mass), which together with Fraser Island comprises the largest single coastal sand mass in the world. The highest dunes reach 260m in elevation.

For the past 100,000 years the sand masses have been repeatedly renewed by transgressive dunes or sand blows which overwhelm existing vegetation. Sandblows are natural features of interest that demonstrated powerful landforming processes and reveal landscape history as buried layers are uncovered.

Wetlands

The lakes and adjacent wetlands are one of few such wetland complexes on the entire Eastern Australian seaboard and as part of the Great Sandy Region are considered to have World Heritage value. The largest and most complex areas of heath and sedge swamps and marshes of the region also occur within this area.

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