Maroochy Cruise

The Blue Laguna

The Blue Laguna awaits its passengers for an ecocruise down the Maroochy River, at Maroochydore, on the Sunshine Coast, South East Queensland.

The  Maroochy River is tidal and the water is salty. Along its banks are estuarine wetlands, containing mangrove forests, birds, crabs and other wildlife species that have adapted to life in wetland areas.  In July 2012 we enjoyed a four hour cruise down the river.

Young mangrove trees

Casaurina tree (centre)

Mangrove tree roots

Old sugar cane bridge

In years gone by, this bridge was used to transport sugar cane from the fields to the mill.  This is the farthest point to which The Blue Laguna travels on this cruise.

Boardwalk at Maroochy Wetlands Sanctuary

At lunchtime the boat moors at the Maroochy Wetlands Sanctuary.  Visitors disembark for  a walk through the mangrove swamp.

Pneumatophores

From the boardwalk it is possible to see pneumatophores.  Normally plants absorb oxygen through their roots, but mangroves, in waterlogged conditions, have no available oxygen.  Their lateral roots grow upwards above the water, serving as  breathing tubes.

Fiddler crab

Fiddler crabs enjoy swampy mangrove habitats, and can be seen from the boardwalk.

Mangrove tree flower

Though the mangrove trees are surviving in very harsh conditions, they manage to produce a coarse but brightly coloured flower. The coarseness is more obvious when looking into the flower.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snake bird

From the boat we saw plenty of bird life.  Some birds cruise the air, some wade on the muddy river banks,  and others dive beneath the water for their food. The Snake Bird is named because of its very long neck, which is ideal for diving and catching fish.

Great Egret, Spoonbill (in background)

At low tide the wading birds are more likely to be about, foraging for insects, crustaceans and tiny fish.

Female Darter (left) and Great Egret

Juvenile White Bellied Sea Eagle

And soaring above are the birds of prey, including the White Bellied Sea Eagle.

And so our ecocruise, from rivermouth to rainforest, came to an end.

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2 thoughts on “Maroochy Cruise

  1. I holidayed at Maroochydore for the first 16 years of my life, camping at Cotton Tree at the mouth of the river. It is a wonderful place and I have many fond memories of fishing in the river in my dads boat. Pumping for yabbies (to use as bait ) off the sandbanks was another experience I loved as a child. I have watched Maroochydore change and grow over the years and will shout myself to the cruise you described one day.

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