Fauna & Flora Coochiemudlo Island Day Trip
This is 1-day Coochiemudlo Island Wildlife Day Trip which starts off with a short 10-minute ferry ride from a Brisbane suburb to an attractive little island. During this leisurely-paced fully guided day trip, you can expect to see around 30 species of bird and other native Australian wildlife depending on the season. Previous guests enjoy looking at and photography unique shells on the secluded sandy beaches that the locals call the “Emerald Fringe”.
It’s easy to walk around Coochiemudlo Island in about two hours, but we take longer than that because there is so much for the nature-lover to explore. Despite its small size, there’s a lot of variety: coastal woodlands dominated by eucalypts, tea-trees or native conifers, mangroves, long sandy beaches and rocky platforms, plus small cliffs of the red rock which gives the island its name - “Coochiemudlo,” from the language of the Quandamooka people. The red ochre was used for painting, including painting bodies for corroborees and traded with other clans far into the mainland.
White-bellied sea-eagles (second-largest eagle in Australia) and the beautiful Brahminy kite nest on the island. So does the bush stone-curlew, often seen strolling across the golf course or other open habitats, with big yellow eyes staring at us, or sitting with eyes closed, its camouflage making it near-invisible.
Other birds include oystercatchers, cormorants and various waders on the beaches, and honeyeaters, lorikeets, kookaburras and others in the forests. Butterflies and lizards are common in the warmer months, and a seasonal colony of large (one-metre wingspan) flying foxes spend the winter here, feasting on the nectar of banksias and tea-trees. Very occasionally we’re lucky enough to glimpse a dugong.
On the Coochiemudlo Island beach, as well as finding shells and other remnants of marine creatures, as the tide recedes we may see whelks burrowing through the sand, crabs scuttling from the shelter of one rock to another, or small fish darting across the little temporary inlets of water.
A star attraction on the beach though, and often encountered on our tours, is the parade of hundreds of bright blue soldier crabs, emerging from burrows as the tide recedes and marching forwards (not sideways as most crabs do) across the sand to feed as quickly as possible and return to their burrows before ibis and other foraging birds find them.
Coochiemudlo Coast Care group pull a few of these to improve the habitat for young native plants, lizards and ground-foraging birds.
Please note: this day trip can be extended for 2 or 3 days. Please enquire if this is of interest.
Alternative Trip Name: Coochiemudlo Island Trip