Nudgee Beach is an extensive area of mangrove-lined mudflats between Kedron Brook and Cabbage Tree Creek, just to the north of Brisbane Airport. The mudflats are quite firm and it is a pleasant walk following the feeding waders along the entire length of the foreshore on mid to low tides. However, this general area is a popular recreational area, so a visit during the middle of the week is advisable.
A picnic area at the end of O’Quinn Street, Nudgee Beach, is a good place to access the mudflats. During autumn and winter, the short walk south to Kedron Brook will often bring sightings of Double-banded Plover either feeding close to the waterline or crouching down in small hollows. Both species of sand plover and Pacific Golden Plover frequent this area along with the ever-present Bar-tailed Godwit and Whimbrel. On the incoming tide, the sandbank at the mouth of Kedron Brook is used as a staging roost site by a number of species, especially Great Knot. The dog off-leash area at Tuckeroo Park is adjacent to Kedron Brook and unrestrained dogs often cause disturbance.
A bird hide overlooking Nudgee Creek can be reached by following a path north of the O’Quinn Street picnic area. Optimum viewing conditions at this hide usually occur around mid-tide, when the elegant Black-winged Stilt, known to breed in the wetlands behind the mangroves, join Common Greenshank, Grey-tailed Tattler and other species feeding along the mouth of the creek. While scanning the mangroves on the northern bank of the creek, keep an eye out for the nervous bobbing of a Common Sandpiper, which has been recorded here and also on the banks of Nundah Creek to the north. At high tide, close views of Whimbrel can be obtained as they roost in the old-growth mangroves directly in front of the bird hide. A mangrove boardwalk starting to the left of the entrance to the bird hide is well worth a stroll.
At low tide, it is possible to cross the mouth of Nudgee Creek and continue walking towards Cabbage Tree Creek. Footwear is essential if planning this walk, as highly venomous stonefish lie camouflaged in the shallow water.
How to get there: From the Brisbane River, drive north along the Gateway Motorway and take the Nudgee Beach exit about 4 km past the turn-off to Brisbane Airport. Follow Nudgee Road for about the same distance to the township. The road turns sharply to the left and becomes O’Quinn Street. A park is located at the end of this street, from where the beach can be accessed.
Site coordinates: Lat 27º 20’ 30” S, Long 153º 06’ 00” E.
Amenities/access: Of the four entrances to the foreshore, the picnic area at the end of Fortitude Street, Nudgee Beach, offers the best facilities: ample parking and toilets with easy access for disabled people. From the parking area, a concrete ramp leads directly on to the foreshore.
Wader species: Bar-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel, Eastern Curlew, Common Greenshank, Common Sandpiper, Grey-tailed Tattler, Great Knot, Red Knot (September to December), Curlew Sandpiper, Pied Oystercatcher, Black-winged Stilt, Pacific Golden Plover, Lesser Sand Plover, Greater Sand Plover, Double-banded Plover (March to August) and Masked Lapwing.