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A walk through Tinchi Tamba Wetlands

Tinchi Tamba Wetlands

The Tinchi Tamba wetlands, a name meaning ‘mangroves and ibis’ in the local Aboriginal dialect, was our destination for the day.  Only a half hour drive north of Brisbane it’s an easily accessible park covering 380 hectares on the banks of the Pine River.

The Day Use Area

The day use area has gas barbeques, picnic tables, shelters and a fishing platform out over the river complete with a fish cleaning station.  A covered childrens playground and plenty of grass  areas shaded by large trees provide entertainment for younger visitors.   There are also toilet facilities and carparking in this area.

The fishing here is supposed to be pretty good.  You can launch your boat or kayak from the ramp but even from the shore there are some decent catches at Deep Water Bend.  Cast close to make the most of the rocky area close in.  Local fisherman report catches including mostly Bream, Whiting and Flathead.  Seasonal catches of Luderick, Tailor, Mulloway and Mangrove Jack are also possible here.

The area was formed by sediment washed down from the D’Aguilar Ranges over thousands of years.  It’s consistently changing as a result of seasonal flooding that sees significant portions regularly go underwater, tidal patterns and the faster flowing Tinchi Tamba side of the Pine River constantly etching into the sand bank.   The dynamic and healthy ecosystem this creates has made it a fisherman’s paradise with the local Aboriginal people believed to have fished it as long as 1000 years ago.

Fishing on the Pine River

 

Tinchi Tamba Wetland Walk

Walk from the day use area past the boat ramp and you’ll come to the start of the walking track.  There’s more carparking here at the boat ramp and another section that gives easy access to the start of the walking trails.

The Island Circuit loop track is around 2km long and is an easy walk.  A large portion is boardwalk and the rest drains reasonably well.  We went after two days of quite heavy rain and aside from a large puddle at the entrance to the boat ramp car park and another where the boardwalk turned to track it was comfortable walking.  The track makes it way through mangroves, tidal wetlands, salt marshes, casuarina trees, eucalypt woodlands and grasslands.

The track is best walked around the high tide when it’s at it’s most attractive and you can see the sealife in the water on either side of the boardwalk.

I’d read there are 200+ bird species documented in the area but we went on the wrong tide for seeing much in the way of waders.  You’re pretty much guaranteed to see Osprey and Brahminy Kites over the river at any time of day and with the mangroves in flower there were plenty of honey eaters, mostly the Yellow-Faced, Lewins and Brown.  It’s late spring so there are plenty of new season fledglings looking cute and fluffy too like this grey fantail and butcher bird.

Young Grey Fantail
Young Grey Fantail
Young Butcher Bird
Young Butcher Bird

One one section of the boardwalk you pass through Cassuarina trees and each time the Rufous Whistlers were taunting us but hiding well.  We spotted the male and female eventually, this is the male singing his little heart out.

Rufous whistler

For me the only better way to see this area is if you could get hold of a kayak.  The waterways were full of life and so flat and still.  There’s a map in the visitor information section below which gives you an idea of the extent of waterways to explore, there’s even a mapped kayak trail if you like to follow the beaten path.

 

The Bird Hide

A second walking track branches off away from the Pine River heading towards the Bald Hills Creek.  The track starts off as a boardwalk turning into a wide all-weather graveled track.  Keep an eye on the grassed areas to the side, there’s a large mob of Eastern Grey Kanagaroo in the area and you’re likely to spot a few through here.

In about 500 metres you’ll come to the bird hide nestled into the river bank.

Tinchi Tamba Bird Hide

Unfortunately our timing was a bit off to see the wading birds that the area is well known for.  The best time is 2 – 3 hours after low tide when there’s some shallow water over the muddy banks for the birds to feed.  We were there closer to high tide and that mean the creek looked very attractive but there were no mud flats for the birds to rest on.  Again how perfect does that look for paddling on!

Tinchi Tamba Bird Hide

 

Saved from becoming a residential subdivision

Tinchi Tamba boardwalk

In 1993 the area of Tinchi Tamba was earmarked for a housing estate.  The council stepped in and used the Bushcare Acquisition Fund to secure it’s long term protection as a space for nature and visitors to enjoy.  Some old houses were removed and the park area expanded.  Walkways were added for easy access and to protect the delicate ecosystem.

Introduced grasses for cattle grazing and weeds have been removed and now some 15 species of native grass have re-established.  Clearly these grasses are somewhat of a delicacy for Eastern Grey Kangaroos as a large mob has moved back to the area from the other side of Bald Hills creek.  Although we frequently see red necked and swamp wallaby on our walks in South East Queensland these larger roo’s are less common.  Some of the large bucks in this group were quite impressive.

Eastern Grey Kangaroo

 

Visitor information for Tinchi Tamba Wetlands

Getting there

The wetland area is only 19km from Brisbane and an easy 30 minute drive from the CBD.  Take the Bracken Ridge off-ramp and loop back along the side of the motorway to cross over to the eastern side.  The reserve is off Wyampa Road, Bald Hills.

The day use area is situated on Deep Water Bend, a popular area for fishing.  There are plenty of carparks conveniently located for the day use area, boat ramp and the start of the walking tracks.
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You can also view or print the councils map of Tinchi Tamba walking and canoe tracks from their site.

What you’ll need

While there are shady trees and man made shelters available the area is open.  You’ll want a sunhat and sunscreen.  The area is also a haven for mosquitos, particularly during the warmer wetter months of the year so remember to take and use your insect repellent.  I’m still trying to figure out how I painted all my exposed bits except my face and hands in tropical strength DEET repellent which claims 6 hour protection and 3 hours later I had a dozen very itchy bites.  Going out to buy a new bottle tomorrow and will try a different brand.  I hate getting bitten, not just for the itch factor but there are too many other health risks.  If you have any suggestions you’ve had success with PLEASE let me know.

Gas powered BBQ’s are provided and there are well maintained picnic areas so consider bringing your lunch and making a day of it.

Fees and charges

There’s no entry fee to the Tinchi Tamba Wetlands park area or for use of the boat ramps, BBQ’s etc.

 

Interested?  Pin these images or any pictures on this page to Pinterest for easy reference.

Explore Tinchi Tamba in Brisbane, Australia for walking, kayaking, wildlife or just a day in the cooling river breeze
Explore Tinchi Tamba in Brisbane, Australia for walking, kayaking, wildlife or just a day in the cooling river breeze

 

 

19 Comments

  • I can’t believe we had never visited here when we were living in Brisbane! This is a great informative post. We might have to check it out next time we are up visiting family. I am glad that it is protected and looked after.

  • Isn’t it fabulous that we are so spoilt for nature refuges, such as this, so close to the Brisbane CBD 🙂
    I love mangrove type wetlands as they’re so full of wonderful wildlife –
    Well done to the local council for having the foresight to preserve this area from more bricks and mortar!

  • I am so glad to find out that the area is protected. It really looks like an amazing place – I love wildlife and I would be glad to visit. Well done to the authorities for taking charge of the protection!

  • What a lovely scenery! I’m not sure if bird watching is the thing for me, but I would want to try it out, your pictures surely look great 🙂

    • Thanks Erica. It takes all sorts as they say 🙂 I wouldn’t do it every day but we personally don’t find birding any slower than photographing whales, seals or snow monkeys – all experiences we enjoy when we are in the right place at the right time. Natural places and the wildlife are definitely another aspect of travel that adds to our enjoyment of a location.

  • Looks like a great place and it is so close to Brisbane. I’m always in transit when in Brisbane and I think have gone over the Pine River many times or at least near it, but I didn’t know about Tinchi Tamba. I agree that water would be amazing for kayaking but as you say probably lots of biteys. 🙂 I take Vitamin B Tablets every day, a side effect of which is supposed to deter insects. Probably an old wives tale. Apart from that I use Aerogard Tropical Strength personal insect repellent. When we are stationary in a mangrove creek in our boat we also each have a mossie coil lit under our seat and cover up with socks and long legged pants and sleeves. I wear a hat even at sunset and spray the underneath of the brim which keeps them away from forehead and ears. After all this I still do get the occasional bite!

    • Hi Jan, the highway passes directly over the Pine River so yes you’ll have driven over it many times, it always looks so pretty 🙂 I had on the Aeroguard Tropical when I got all those bites, I’ve used it many times before and it’s been good but for some reason this new bottle was like I had nothing on at all and i am really excessive when I apply it. Of course not the smartest idea to go into a mangrove area at this time of year after a lot of rain but I really wanted a flat walk to stretch out my legs after the physio. Will take on many of your ideas too – I will be a ‘real Aussie’ very soon 🙂

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