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Lake Weyba, the best kept secret on the Sunshine Coast

Updated on April 28, 2008

Where on earth is Lake Weyba?

Lake Weyba is a large tidal lake just five minutes inland of Noosa and Peregian Beaches on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia.

Lake Weyba can be accessed to the north via Noosaville, to the west via Doonan and to the south via Weyba Downs (formerly known as Peregian Beach South).

"Weyba" has aboriginal origins and is said to mean "place of stingrays" or "place of flying squirrels". 

The Sunshine Coast's best kept secret

Lake Weyba is a tidal lake and a fish breeding ground that feeds into the estuary at Noosa Heads. The relatively shallow waters and surrounding Noosa National Park provide a tranquil environment for non-motorised water sports.

You'll often find visitors on horseback wading through the shallows, kiteboarders, locals on kayaks, paddleboards, and small dinghys dropping crab pots.

The lake is home to a host of native birds and wildlife, with kangaroos regularly at waters edge. There are more than 24 species of waterbirds and osprey nest on the water's edge. There is very limited housing on the north, west and south shores. The lake is surrounded by Noosa National Park.

The best part about Lake Weyba? This peaceful recreational area is only 5 minutes from Coolum, Peregian Beach and Noosa. Definitely the coast's best kept secret.

Location

From the Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia

26 26¢ 28" S, 153 04¢ 41" E; the site has a general north-south orientation with a length of 13 km and a width of up to 5 km, with its centre 1 km south of Noosa Heads. It falls within the Sunshine Coast catchment (Queensland Department of Primary Industries 1993).

* Bioregion: South Eastern Queensland.

* Shire: Noosa and Maroochy.

* Area : 2860 ha.

* Elevation : 2-3 m ASL.

* Other listed wetlands in same aggregation : The northern part of the Lake Weyba site is continguous with the Noosa River Wetlands (SEQ010QL).

Notable Fauna

From the Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia

Rare and threatened species at Weyba wetlands are:

* Oxyleyan Pygmy Perch Nannoperca oxleyana (Sv)

* Honey Blue-eye Pseudomugil mellis (Nv, Sv)

* Wallum Froglet Crinia tinnula (Sv)

* Wallum Rocket Frog Litoria freycineti (Sv)

* Wallum Sedge Frog Litoria olongburensis (Sv)

* Ground Parrot Pezoporus wallicus (Sv)

* Glossy Black Cockatoo Calyptorhynchus lathami (Sv)

* Black-necked Stork Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus (Sr)

Emu Swamp is known to currently support Ground Parrots within the closed/open heath communities. It is the largest suitable habitat currently supporting Ground Parrots south of the Noosa River, with the Coolum Environmental Park and possibly land near Maroochy Airport the only other known areas for Ground Parrots in this area.

The area provides important habitat for other bird species including honeyeaters and Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos Calyptorhynchus funereus which were observed in the E. signata communities. The area is also used by macropods.

Land tenure:

On site - National park and fish sanctuary.

Surrounding areas - Freehold and national park.

Current land use:

On site Nature conservation.

Surrounding areas - Residential and conservation.

Conservation measures taken: Declaration of national park over the land portion, and fish sanctuary over Lake Weyba.

Activities around Lake Weyba

The area surrounding Lake Weyba is full of activities for locals and visitors. There are two local golf courses - Noosa Springs Golf Course on the northern shore, and Peregian Springs Golf Course just a few minutes from the southern shore. The Eumundi markets are only 10 minutes drive inland, and the Sunshine Coast beaches just 5 minutes drive towards the coast.

Geology

From the Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia

Site description

The site comprises the area which covers that part of Noosa National Park south of the original headland park and the adjacent Lake Weyba.

General geology

Two geological units are represented. The majority of the area is of Pleistocene origins as old tidal delta sand deposits. The landform is level sand plain with humus podosols and peaty podosols on poorly drained plains and depressions. These low lying areas are seasonally waterlogged and the water table can be permanently close to the surface. Depression areas are permanently waterlogged. The western part of the block is on Myrtle Creek sandstones of Triassic/Jurassic origins. The landform here is gently undulating rises of coarse grained quartzose sandstones. Soils are yellow podosolics or yellow earths, low in nutrients and with little or no structure.

Notable Flora

From the Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia

Rare and threatened species at Weyba wetlands are:

* Swamp Orchid Phaius australis (Se),

* Allocasuarina emuina (Se),

* Christmas Bells Blandfordia grandiflora (Sr) and

* Tiny Wattle Acacia baueri (Sv).

Eight vegetation types are recognised for the area. Of these, four are structurally open forests/woodlands, two are heaths, one is sedgelands and one is free water:

(i) Open forest/woodland:

ia. Eucalyptus signata open forest

ib. E. signata woodland

ic. Melaleuca quinquenervia open forest/woodland

id. Banksia open forest/woodland

(ii) Heathland:

iia. Banksia oblongifolia open heath/closed heath

iib. Banksia robur closed heath

Type la: the Scribbly Gum Eucalyptus signata open forest and woodland communities are the main vegetation types occurring on the Myrtle Creek sandstones. The main area of E. signata open forest occurs in the southwest corner of the site with associated canopy species of E. intermedia and E. resinifera. There is a very shrubby understorey with a taller shrub layer represented by Banksia integrifolia, Petalostigma triloculare, Leptospermum attenuatum and Acacia complanata and lower layer of Daviesia umbellulata, Platylobium formosum, Jacksonia scoparia, Notelaea ovata and Hovea acutifolia. The ground cover is open and composed largely of monocotyledonous species including Caustis blakei.

Type ib: the E. signata woodland community south of Emu Mt Road is very open and has a predominantly Banksia oblongifolia/sedge understorey with species typical of type iia present. Other areas have a mixed shrub understorey and one area has a predominantly Ptilanthelium deustum ground cover. E. signata woodland communities occur on a portion of the national parkwest of Lake Weyba.

Type ic: Melaleuca quinquenervia Paper-barked Tea-tree open forest/woodland occurs on low lying seasonally waterlogged sites. Understorey species at drier sites include Banksia robur, Hakea sp. aff. H. sericea, Pultenaea paleacea and species typical of type iib. At wetter sites sedges and restiads are common as well as the fern Blechnum indicum and shrubs Callistemon pachyphyllus and Melastoma affine.

Type id: Banksia open forest/woodland communities are dominated by Wallum Banksia Banksia aemula although one small area of woodland is dominated by Coast Banksia B. integrifolia. Other canopy species include Melaleuca quinquenervia, Casuarina littoralis and Elaeocarpus reticulatus. Lower stratum species include Leucopogon lanceolatus, L. leptospermoides and Leptospermum flavescens. Ground cover is sparse in many areas and includes Selaginella uliginosa and Pomax umbellata. Banksia aemula open forest/woodland is not a frequently encountered community from the Noosa River to Maroochy River and is not well conserved in this area.

Type iia: The Dwarf Banksia Banksia oblongifolia open/closed heath occurs on the gently rising sandstone areas to the west and is a dry heath. It grades into the E. signata woodland community. Associated species include Hakea sp. aff. H. sericea, Bauera capitata, Restio pallens, Xanthorrhoea fulva, Patersonia sericea and Eriostemon myoporoides. Eucalyptus bancroftii is an emergent species growing in clumps as a stunted mallee form.

Type iib: The Swamp Banksia Banksia robur closed heaths occur on low lying areas and are generally wet heaths. Species well represented include Empodisma minus, Sprengelia sprengelioides, Melaleuca thymifolia, Boronia falcifolia and Epacris microphylla.

Type iii: Sedgelands occur on permanently wet areas and form the drainage depressions of the area. Prominent species are Baumea articulata or Lepironia articulata in pure stands in the wettest areas with Baumea rubiginosa sometimes present. In less wet areas Callistemon pachyphyllus and Blechnum indicum occur. Species typical of type iib occur on the margins of sedgelands.

Type iv: An area of open water occurs just west of the David Low Way and parallel with it. This area supports true aquatic herb species of both bottom rooted and floating habitats. A preliminary list of 146 plant species has been compiled for portion of the area.

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