Reedy Creek

A map showing the location of Reedy Creek Reserve in Queensland.

Established: 2004
Area: 475 ha
Location: 130km NW of Bundaberg
Traditional Owners: the Bailai, Gooreng Gooreng, Gurang and Taribelang Bunda peoples

Detailed map >

Visiting Reedy Creek >

Reedy Creek Reserve, home to an intact patch of endangered Queensland coastal forest, has some very special neighbours.

One of them, the Loggerhead Turtle, is among the biggest marine turtles on earth, and regularly comes in from the Coral Sea to nest on nearby beaches that Bush Heritage manages. Another is the rare Grey Goshawk, which has been spotted within the reserve.

And then there are the most recent arrivals: people who've joined a nearby residential project that underpins our conservation work here.

Broad-leaved Paperbark (Meleleuca quinquenerva) overhanging Deepewater Creek. Photo Carl Moller.
Broad-leaved Paperbark (Meleleuca quinquenerva) overhanging Deepewater Creek. Photo Carl Moller.
Called [email protected], it's part of a 600-hectare coastal strip bought by Michael Myer in the 1990s.

They kept a quarter of the land for housing and shared areas of native vegetation, and donated the rest to Bush Heritage to manage as a nature reserve. Residents pay a levy that funds management of the reserve – a superb example of how humans can help our non-human neighbours.

What Reedy Creek protects

This reserve protects a very rare thing intact Queensland coastal and riparian forest. Elsewhere it's been dramatically cleared for development. These significant species and communities are found on the reserve and adjacent foreshore that we help manage:

Grass trees (Xanthorrhoea species) on Reedy Creek. Photo Carl Moller.
Grass trees (Xanthorrhoea species) on Reedy Creek. Photo Carl Moller.
Animals

Red-tailed Black Cockatoo, Beach Stone-curlew, Grey Goshawk, Barking Owl, Rose-crowned Fruit Dove, Northern Brown Bandicoot, Little Red Flying Fox, Giant Burrowing Cockroach and marine turtles (Loggerhead Turtle, Flatback Turtle, Green Turtle).

Plants

Lobelia Nummularia, Broad-leaved Paperbark, Silver-leafed Paperbark, Swamp Mahogany, Ribbon Fan Palm, Pink Bloodwood, Moreton Bay Ash, Wallum Banksia.

Vegetation communities

Mixed vine forest (endangered), Melaleuca, Red Gum and Brushbox forest, Corymbia and eucalypt forests.

What we’re doing

‘The people who live at the neighbouring residential development [email protected] play an essential role in the protection and restoration of this reserve.'
– Reedy Creek's Reserve Manager, Mat McLean

Reserve Manager Matt McLean surveys the forest. Photo Annette Ruzicka.
Reserve Manager Matt McLean surveys the forest. Photo Annette Ruzicka.
As well as paying an annual environmental levy to look after the reserve, they also have to meet strict environmental guidelines, including using local native plants in their allotments.

Some residents even help with a turtle nest monitoring program on the beach abutting the reserve.

With the aim of protecting turtle eggs and young turtles, we regularly take concerted action to control foxes.

A Blue Tiger Butterfly. These are regular visitors to the reserve. Photo Jada Cavenagh.
A Blue Tiger Butterfly. These are regular visitors to the reserve. Photo Jada Cavenagh.
Revegetation work is also being carried out on the foreshore, to stabilise the dunes and protect nesting turtles from light pollution.

Further revegetation work is happening in cleared areas using endemic tree stock, and we're carefully managing areas of rare vine thicket rainforest, which have been degraded by unregulated recreation.

Because this reserve abuts a residential area, fire management is a priority for ecological and safety reasons.

Nesting turtles

The large head, strong jaws and tough shell of the Loggerhead Turtle should equip it well for a life in the oceans. Yet despite their rugged battle dress, these gentle giants are endangered throughout the world.

Flatback Turtles nest on Reedy Creek Reserve. Photo Steve Heggie.
Flatback Turtles nest on Reedy Creek Reserve. Photo Steve Heggie.
They're slow to reproduce, and many get caught in fishing nets or are hunted. And their eggs, which females lay in nests dug into sand, are highly vulnerable to predation by foxes and dogs.

That's why Reserve Manager Mat McLean is working with the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service to monitor and protect the nesting sites of the local Loggerhead and Flatback turtles.

At Reedy Creek Reserve, Mat controls foxes and carries out revegetation work to make sure the turtles have the best chance of nesting successfully on nearby beaches.

Take a look around

Reedy Creek is open to visitors and includes a short but spectacular walk that will take you into the heart of a very special paperbark forest, rarely seen in such pristine condition. More on visiting Reedy Creek.

Cultural values

This reserve contains cultural heritage materials of interest to Aboriginal people. A cultural values assessment is planned to better understand the significance of the reserve.

When Michael Myer bought this land he gifted an additional parcel of land to the Traditional Owners.