Our place – Noosa Biosphere Reserve

World Class. It’s in our Nature.

Our region is distinct from other, more developed urban areas on the Sunshine Coast and elsewhere in Australia.

The Noosa Shire is a unique learning site for sustainable living. The factors that have helped shape the Noosa Biosphere Reserve include its unique natural landscape, social history, cultural traditions, government and regulatory systems as well as its political, social and economic activities.

The Noosa Biosphere boundary, known as the Noosa Shire, extends from Peregian Beach in the south to Kin Kin in the north and from neighbouring townships in the western hinterland to Noosa’s eastern beaches plus three kilometres offshore.

Designation as a biosphere reserve reinforces Noosa’s reputation as an environmental success story. Our biosphere reserve status helps Noosa demonstrate to communities around the world how environmental protection lies at the heart of a community’s prosperity and success.

The Noosa Biosphere Reserve area

  • The Noosa Biosphere Reserve is the geographical area known as the Noosa Shire plus three kilometres offshore.
  • The Noosa Biosphere Reserve is the first in Queensland and covers approximately 150,000 hectares of freshwater/tidal and terrestrial areas.
  • Noosa is one of two biosphere reserves in Queensland with neighbouring Great Sandy Biosphere Reserve.
  • The second biosphere reserve in Queensland is Great Sandy Biosphere Reserve.
  • Both local biospheres have a close working and planning relationship.
Noosa Biosphere Reserve Boundary

What makes the Noosa Biosphere Reserve so unique

The Noosa community lives in harmony with its rich biodiversity:

  • The total population of Noosa in 2016 was 54,033.
  • Tourism is a key priority for the local economy with more than 2 million visitors to the Noosa Shire in 2016.
  • The Noosa Biosphere Reserve is located within the MacPherson-Macleay overlap, where temperate and subtropical climate zones meet.
  • Thirty-five per cent of its area is protected in national parks, conservation parks, State forests, lakes and systems.
  • An ocean corridor important to mega marine fauna such as the 18,000 annual humpback whale migration, some resting with their calves in the region’s bay on their journey south.
  • There are 61 distinct regional ecosystems in the Noosa Biosphere Reserve, 8 of them are on the endangered list, and 12 are rated as regionally significant.
  • A species-rich river and lakes system with 2 nationally important wetlands, the Noosa River and Lake Weyba.
  • 2,346 different plant species in the Noosa Biosphere Reserve area including Noosa’s floral symbol Key’s Boronia, endemic to Cooloola.
  • 3,023 wildlife species, including 10 iconic species.
  • 313 bird species account for almost half of Australia’s total bird varieties; 35 of which are listed under international migratory bird agreements.

Find out what we do to protect our place.