Recently we visited the Coombabah Lakelands Mangrove Boardwalk And Birdhide – the short mangrove boardwalk on Shelter Road just before you get to The Animal Welfare League.
Not having been there before, we thought we would do a quick visit so we can see what there is and organise a longer stay another time.
We went on a late Sunday winter’s afternoon, and it looked quite promising when we saw several kangaroos eating grass along the roadside before we even got to the car park. We were the only ones there so it was nice and quite and still, although at first you can hear dogs barking at the animal shelter, but this noise quickly disappeared once you got deeper along the track.
The track is an easy walk with lots of informative signs along the way. I even saw this picture of a possum painted on the track.
The track is well looked after, asphalt all the way to the boardwalk and only about 500 metres. At the end is a bird hide.
The tide was still going out when we got there, so although we didn’t get to see any wader birds, I did spy this little bird in a tree near the hide. I have never seen one of these before and it took me awhile to look it up and find out what it is – a grey strike thrush. A first for me!
We spent some time just sitting and looking from the hide but apart from the occasional white ibis, there weren’t any other birds to be seen.
I did see this incredibly large striped mosquito, I have no idea what it is, so if you know what it is please let me know!
There was a small bit of mangrove where the water had receded and there were lots of holes in the mud, so I think you would probably see numerous small crabs at low tide. This was all I could see at the time –
On the way back to the car was when we had the most action. First, we saw a brush turkey.
Then we saw kangaroos, and lots of them! There were a couple on the edge of the mangrove and they had muddy paws and legs. They were quite close to the track and didn’t seem perturbed by us in the slightest.
Back on the asphalt track we came across numerous kangaroos, all eastern greys. We even saw one rather large muscly fellow who watched us warily from the forest.
Considering we were there for only an hour, we were happy seeing all the kangaroo activity and how close the animals were. Next time we will plan to head there at low tide and hope to observe more water birds.
I recommend this walk if you’re looking for a comfortable easy flat walk, especially if you have a pram, stroller or wheelchair, and you want to see some different forest environments and a bit of wildlife, all while being hidden away in an easy to get to place on the Gold Coast. Don’t forget the insect repellent!