The Noosa Everglades, famous for being a great place for kayaking and camping tours, is part of the Cooloola National Park, recognised as a ‘Wetland of International Importance’.
The Noosa River system is the southernmost boundary of the Great Sandy region (which includes Fraser Island, Cooloola National Park and Hervey Bay). This area contains the oldest and largest number of independent coastal dune systems recorded in the world.
Over 44% of all Australia’s bird species reside within this spectacular region. 1,365 species of plants have been identified and over 700 native animals co-exist here.
The second biosphere reserve in Queensland is Great Sandy Biosphere Reserve, which has a rich biodiversity:
- more than 300 bird species accounting for almost half Australia’s total bird varieties;
- 60 distinct ecosystems;
- some 1300 plant species including Noosa’s floral symbol Key’s Boronia, endemic to Cooloola;
- a species-rich lakes and river system that one researcher of Noosa’s fishing history says was ‘phenomenally productive’ in the past;
- unique landscapes with massive sand-blows; and
- an ocean corridor important to mega marine fauna such as the 18,000 annual humpback whale migration, some resting with their calves in the region’s bay on their journey south.
- Thirty-five per cent of its area is protected in national parks, conservation parks, State forests, lakes and systems.
The Noosa Shire as a region is distinct from other more developed urban areas and has achieved global recognition for the high values of its natural environment. In 2007, this exceptionalism was internationally recognised with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) consenting to the designation of our Shire as the Noosa Biosphere Reserve under its Man and the Biosphere program (MaB).