Our World Pristine place to paddle about in

Photo of Bonita Grima

BONITA GRIMA discovers Australia’s very own everglades — in Noosa, Queensland

Most Australians have heard of Florida’s Everglades but most don’t know that we have our own version right here in Australia. Well known for its beaches and laid back lifestyle, Queensland’s Sunshine Coast is also home to one of only two ecosystems of its kind in the world.

Consisting of the waterways of the upper reaches of the Noosa River, the Noosa Everglades are protected within the Cooloola section of the Great Sandy National Park, and form part of the 150,000ha that make up the Noosa UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Considered one of the most pristine wetlands on Earth, it’s home to more than 44 per cent of Australia’s bird species, 1365 species of plants, and some 700 native animal species.

Keen to explore some of this 60km stretch of undisturbed wilderness, I join a guided day tour with Kanu Kapers.

“The experience of paddling on these waterways is unique,” says the kayaking tour company’s founder, former world champion gold medal kayaker, Vivienne Golding. “You don’t have a noisy motor and you can get up close to the birds, plants and wildlife without infringing on the environment at all.”

Departing from Elanda Point, our group of six, paired in three double sea kayaks, set out early across Lake Cootharaba, in perfect conditions...

This is an edited version of the original, full-length story, which you can read here.

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