There aren’t many no-go areas within the range of our boat-hires, but Kakadu Beach is most definitely one of them. Kakadu Beach is a roosting area for local and migratory wading-birds and is recognized as of national and international importance.
It is an artificially created roost, made in 2002 – and is an already well and truly established stopover for waders on their annual holiday from exotic places like Mongolia and Siberia. The birds like to leave their wintry homes after they have finished breeding and fly south for warmth and a good feed (much like Victorians do in the Australian winter!). Kakadu Beach is busiest during early spring and in late summer when up to 15,000 migratory birds are visiting, although, any time of year, you will still see a variety of local waders and seabirds.
The beach was developed as an alternative to one on Dux Creek (now Pacific Harbour canal), which was lost in the development of the housing estate. This is a great example of how developers could work together with conservationist groups (in this case – the Queensland Wader Study Group) to protect areas of vital importance to the survival of so much of our wildlife.
The Kakadu Beach roost is situated immediately north of the entrance into Pacific Harbour and is 200 m long, with fencing and planted mangroves at either end. A long lagoon behind the roost site helps to buffer the birds from disturbance. Hides are positioned at either end of the site. Actually, because the roost has been constructed of sand and is regularly groomed, to maintain its intended sandy character, it is a very attractive little stretch of beach. A small and quite insignificant sign in the water indicates that this is a no-access area but perhaps it needs to be much larger, as it is easily overlooked.
The birds which come to the Pumicestone Passage for their winter break, share their time between Kakadu Beach, Buckley’s Hole and Toorbul. Kakadu Beach’s special claim to fame is that it sits well above all of the high tides in the Passage. So, when Toorbul is flooded out by the summer-time high tides, the waders all flock to Kakadu Beach. This is great, because most of the day-time tides over the summer, when our avian visitors are here, are over the 2m mark, which means there are plenty of opportunities for bird-watching, from boat or from the bird-hides.
Kakadu Beach is a wonderful asset to Bribie Island and the Pumicestone Passage. It deserves protection and we should all be grateful that we have such important migratory roosts in our own neighbourhood. Just remember – Stay off the beach!
The Bribie Island Boat Charters map of the Pumicestone Passage, showing the Kakadu Beach no-anchor zone.