Located 60km northwest of the NSW rural town of Moree these magnificent wetlands are one of the most significant inland wetlands systems in New South Wales. Since records began in the 1920s, at least 75 waterbird species (50 breeding) have been recorded in the Gwydir Wetlands.
Colonially-nesting species, including Straw-Necked Ibis, intermediate Egrets, glossy Ibis and Nankeen Night-Herons have nested in large colonies when heavy upstream rainfall and floodwaters cause floods to extend across the wide Gwydir River floodplain. At one time, this wetland extended over 100,000 hectares, west from Moree to the Barwon Darling River in the far west.
Today it exists as a mere remnant, being only 15% of its former extent. In a move to halt continual wetlands loss, four local land owners listed portions of their wetlands under the International Ramsar Wetlands Agreement in 1998.
At the time, the listed area (823 Ha @ 29°18'S 149°14'E) was entirely privately-owned. Today, these wetlands are preserved as the Gwydir Wetlands State Conservation Area (SCA). A simple bird hide is located at the 'Waterbird Lagoon', where visitors can observe the wetlands birdlife and if observant, the threatened, endangered and migratory species that call these wetlands home.
The more serious can explore further afield but be prepared for wet conditions. The shallow lagoon varies in depth, but can reach up to 90cm, a light weight canoe is a great way to get around. The National Parks and Wildlife Service provide a toilet and shaded seating area for your comfort, don't forget to pack your lifevest and be sunsafe at all times.
This trip is recommended in DRY WEATHER.
GWYDIR WATERBIRD GALLERY
Solar powered RMCAM internet enabled cameras & weather sensors were recently installed in remote locations across the Gwydir Wetlands State Conservation Area. The camera is now set up to take images every 10 minutes & upload to a dedicated non OEH website. The obvious advantage of using this approach is being able to monitor species in a remote location, with flexible regularity and without disturbance.
To access the Gwydir Waterbird Gallery, go to: www.rmcam.com.au
Username: Gwydir Waterbirds
Please Note: Access to the Gwydir Wetlands State Conservation Area is limited to only a few months of the year. Please contact Toursim Moree (02) 6757 3350 for more information.