South-East Queensland

South-East Queensland is one of the most bird-diverse regions in Australia, with many types of habitats.

These include wetlands (like Eagleby Wetlands, Sandy Camp Wetlands), rainforest (e.g. Maiala Tracks), lakes and creeks (Oxley Creek Common, Eprapah Creek), beaches and foreshore areas (Nudgee Beach, Wellington Point, Buckley’s Hole), reservoirs and dams (Atkinson Dam, Enoggera Reservoir, etc) and many others besides.

Common birds you will find (including in suburban areas) include the Pied Currawong, Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo, Galah, Rainbow Lorikeet, Pied Butcherbird, Torresian Crow, Noisy Miner, Common Myna, White Ibis, Magpie, Magpie-Lark, Welcome Swallow, Laughing Kookaburra, Crested Pigeon and Pacific Black Duck.

Many birds also migrate to South-East Queensland in the Australian summer months, such as waders that fly from Siberia (Bar-Tailed Godwit, Eastern Curlew), cuckoos and other birds from North Queensland and Papua New Guinea (Dollarbird, Channel-Billed Cuckoo, Pacific Koel). Many species of Honeyeaters as well as Silvereye and Wattlebirds spend their summers breeding in southern Australian states and then fly to Queensland for the winter.

Top Hotspots:

Handy maps

Click for larger version, and see the individual posts for each hotspot for more contextual information.

Anstead Bushland Reserve

Good spot for bush bird diversity out west of Brisbane

Anstead SES Depot

Excellent birding location right near Anstead Bushland Reserve

Aqua Promenade

Compact creek/lake location on the Gold Coast with some interesting birds

Archerfield Wetlands

Excellent, large site for a variety of bird species, with good light and easy paths

Atkinson Dam

Incredible array of all sorts of birds despite the huge lake at very low water level

Bellbird Grove

Nice little spot with a few tracks and decent variety of birds

Belliss Rd / Clagiraba Creek Trail

Delightful patch of creekside rainforest inland from Nerang on the Gold Coast with good birds

Berrinba Wetlands

Agreeable place well set-up for birding, with lots of Pelicans

Boondall Wetlands

Sprawling wetlands/bush that is a bit hit and miss

Buckley’s Hole

Excellent location for water birds, sea birds and raptors on Bribie Island

Bunyaville Conservation Park

Large eucalypt-dominated forest with many biking tracks that can be hit-and-miss for birds

Cannon Hill Bushland Reserve

Messy patch of bush near golf course construction with mediocre birding

Capalaba Regional Park

Surprisingly good suburban spot for water birds (and Corellas)

Cliveden Reserve

Decent enough for birds, but no comparison to adjacent Oxley Creek Common

Colleges Crossing

Beautiful little spot in an inlet off the Brisbane River with wonderful bird encounters possible

Coombabah Conservation Area

Huge, premier birding hotspot on the Gold Coast with plenty for the birder happy to do a lot of walking

Cunningham’s Gap

Excellent bushwalking and great rainforest birding, with good chances of seeing Lyrebird

Cunningham’s Gap – Mt Mitchell

Enjoyable hike passing through a few different bird habitats along the way

Dowse Lagoon

Nice lake area in suburbia with three birds hides and some fringing bush

Eagleby Wetlands

One of the premier birding spots in Brisbane: easy access, mix of bush and lake and river side, bird hides, great bird diversity

Eddie Kornhauser Reserve

Large reserve just south of Schuster Park, on the Gold Coast with water areas and some good birds

Enoggera Reservoir

Very good bird sightings possible on short track; even better if you can slog the dirt roads out to the western section

Eprapah Creek

Good creek and bush birds, small area but nice parklands and bridges, good photography potential

Federation Walk

Sandy coastal trail on the Gold Coast with some good bird encounters possible

Forest Lake

Beautiful suburban lake which is fantastic for bird photography

Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens

Lovely compact gardens good for getting up close to water birds

Gold Creek Reservoir

Exceptional birds on a loop track, though sometimes frustrating

Golds Scrub Lane

Superlatively wonderful area for birding, but note access limitations


Stunning rainforest bushwalking with superlative birds

Greenwood Lakes

Pleasant area to visit with a better range of birds than you might expect

John Oxley Reserve

Good birds to be found in a short paved path and mangrove boardwalk loop in north Brisbane

Kedron Brook Wetlands

Bush, mangroves, grasses and lagoons provide a variety of birds in quite close to Brisbane city

Kholo Botanic Gardens

Lovely lesser-known botanic gardens near Ipswich with a few birds

Kumbartcho Sanctuary

Small but pleasant and fruitful creekside nature area on Brisbane’s northside

Lake Galletly, Gatton

Excellent compact site with bird hides for uncommon duck and water bird species

Lake Manchester and Shelley Road Park

Vast area to explore with a few bird-rich habitats mainly along the creeks; longest loop is a whopping 17km

Lamington NP – O’Reilly’s end

Incredible hotspot for almost-tame rainforest birds along with awesome bushwalking

Maiala Tracks

Awesome patch of bird-rich rainforest quite near Brisbane

Minnippi Parklands

Gorgeous parklands near central Brisbane with some reasonable water and bush birds

Mookin-Bah Reserve

Strange mix of trails and features, but pretty decent birds

Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens

Lovely manicured gardens with birds just waiting to be photographed

Mt Gravatt Summit Trails

Scenic views and a couple of tasty spots for birds

Mudgeeraba Hinterland Regional Park

A strange multi-use spot with a small but awesomely bird-rich patch of bush on the Gold Coast

Noosa Headland

Satisfying coastal and forest birding with some decent scenery

Nudgee Beach

Large beach good for waders and Osprey, with creek exploration options for the more adventurous

Oxenford Weir

Unique site to watch birds (including Osprey) hunting for fish at close quarters

Oxley Creek Common

Premier birding site in Brisbane with reliably great bird encounters and wonderful photography opportunities (see also Oxley Creek Common Revisited)

Pimpana River Conservation Area

Troublesome to explore, rarely visited, swampy location with some decent birds and maddening mosquitoes

Plunkett Conservation Park

Huge, dry sandstone forest off the beaten track with long confusing paths and mediocre birding

Point Halloran Conservation Area

Reasonable spot for birds n Redlands but not many trails for finding them

Postman’s Track

Well-located hotspot with potential for large number of bird species

Priors Pocket

Delightful spot with river and lagoon views plus excellent birdlife

Sandy Camp Road Wetlands

Excellent birding site where water birds and bush birds are both in wonderful abundance

Sargeant Dan Stiller Memorial Reserve

Lesser-known hotspot with a good birding spot at the southern end but otherwise unremarkable

Sargent Reserve

Small patch of creekside bush worth a quick look if visiting the nearby Kumbartcho Sanctuary

Schuster Park

Large suburban park on the Gold Coast with a few excellent bird habitats

Seven Hills Bushland Reserve

Small bushland patch with lots of trails and mostly unremarkable dry forest birds

Sheep Station Creek Conservation Park

Dry uninspiring bushland near Caboolture that nevertheless has some decent birds

Sherwood Arboretum

Grand parkland, riverside and small lake area with some okay birds

Shorncliffe Pier and Headland

Scenic birding with good chances of Gannets and raptors on the shores of Moreton Bay 

Southport Pelagic

A full day of seabird spotting on the big bad ocean

Springbrook – Twin Falls Circuit

Superlative short bushwalk with good rainforest birds

Stumers Creek, Coolum

Excellent creek-side birding trail with grass tree side-track

Swan Lake

Small lake by the ocean worth a quick visit if you’re birding in the Port of Brisbane or Wynnum area

Thylogale Track

Lovely 8km track with decent rainforest birds and occasional scenic views

Toohey Forest

Large dry sandstone bushland 10km from Brisbane CBD with loads of good paths and reasonable bird action depending on time of year

Toorbul High Tide Roost

Renowned high tide roost for shorebirds across from Bribie Island, but worth visiting for other birds in the area too

Wellington Point

Great variety of migratory shorebirds and others in Redlands, with a sand bar walk to a little island

West Lake, Robina

Fairly typical Gold Coast suburban lake with some interesting bird life

Whites Hill Reserve

Large forest that is a cut above many similar reserves in Brisbane for birding

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