Great Sandy Strait Located between the mainland and Fraser Island, the Great Sandy Strait is a diverse mix of marine and coastal wetlands, officially recognised as one of the most important wet land areas on earth. Patterned fens have been recorded alon the Strait, a wetland unique in the world. Add to this crystal clear torquoise water, long stretches of white sand guarded by high sand dunes, native woodlands, heath awash with wild flowers and dense rainforest.
Dotted along its coastline are the charming coastal townships of Poona, Tuan, Boonooroo, Maaroom and Tinnanbar. All retain that elusive 'old fishing village' character and charm and are popular holiday and fishing retreats. The divers habitats of the region offer amazing bird watching opportunities and the Hervey Bay Bird Watching Club has up to 80 places on its calling card from Kingfisher Bay to Hervey Bay and Maryborough.
Arkarra Lagoons at Dundowran is one of the best bird watching areas on the coast. 10 years ago the Hervey Bay Birdwatchers identified 32 bird species in just one visit. The Great Sandy Strait is officially recognised as among the most important roosting sites for migratory shorebirds in Australia and is home to several rare and threatened species including the rare little tern. Some 1.5 million shorebirds experience an endless summer, flying an annual round trip migration of 25,000 kilometers from their northern hemisphere Arctic breeding grounds to the wetlands of the southern hemisphere. At least 40,000 birds choose the wetlands of the Great Sandy Strait as their summer feeding grounds, coming from as far away as Japan, Alaska and Siberia.
The forces that formed the Great Sandy Strait have created a stunning aquatic playground, perfect fo sailing, canoeing, bushwalking, bird watching and fishing, or just relaxing by the waters edge. Three species of dolphins, the common dolphin, bottlenosed dolphin and the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin are also in residence in the area.
All six species of marine turtles found in Queensland inhabit the Strait, an important feeding ground for juvenile turtles. Sand, wind and water have sculpted a varied landscape at Cooloola, the largest coastal vegetation remnant on southern Queensland’s mainland. High sand dunes, coloured sand cliffs, sweeping beaches, sandblows, freshwater lakes, tall forests, paperbark swamps and wildflower heath plains make this a spectacular part of Great Sandy National Park.