We are blessed when it comes to stunning waterways on the Sunshine Coast. And one of the most environmentally significant and picturesque of these has to be Currimundi Lake. Named by Sir Leslie Wilson, the name ‘Currimundi’ is derived from the aboriginal word “Girraman-dha” meaning place of Flying Foxes.
A saltwater lake, Currimundi lays behind the patrolled Currimundi Beach just north of Caloundra so it certainly attracts its fair share of both, local and holidaying tourists during the year. For the locals it’s a favoured family spot that offers great still water fun for the kids and even the chance to wet a line for mum and dad. More on the fishing a little further in.
Currimundi Lake is also a great place for family canoeing as the area provides a peaceful haven for both wildlife and canoeists alike. To make your trip more interesting and informative, visit the Sunshine Coast Regional Council’s webpage for a stack of information and maps for the Currimundi Lake Canoe Trail, a safe, sheltered 6km paddle through urban and bushland areas fringed with paperbarks and she-oaks.
Included in the canoe trail brochure:
- A map of the canoe, walking and cycling trails
- Pathways, including coastal pathways, property boundaries and the beach
- Park areas and facilities.
Hard copies of the canoe trail map and ecosystem brochure are available through visitor information or council customer service centres.
Another great resource is the ‘Friends of Currimundi Lake’ website which can be found at www.currimundicatchment.org.au
However it’s not the lake that attracts all the attention, as on the northern shore you will find Currimundi Lake (Kathleen McArthur ) Conservation Park. Named after Kathleen McArthur, a local artist, conservationist and founding member of the Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland (1962). Kathleen was passionate about wallum heathlands and campaigned to have these plant communities protected within the Sunshine Coast region. The heathland wildflowers were a favourite subject for her botanical illustrations.
The park has some great short walks, where you will discover wildflowers, coastal birds, and beautiful views to both the ocean beach and lake. If you are particular into wildflowers the best time to view the coloured heath wildflowers is in late winter and spring months during their flowering time.
The park’s exceptional pocket of ‘wallum heath’ is a plant community rich in plant species, many of which attracting native birds and insects seeking food and shelter. This type of coastal heathland once covered much of coastal SE Queensland. Fortunately, our pocket of ‘wallum heath’ thrives within Lake Currimundi’s now protected northern shore.
Wander down the track from Coongarra Esplanade through the park to the beach. After the first 130 metres of wheelchair-accessible track, take some time out to check out the lookout. It’s a great vantage point from which to spot the spectacular ‘yellow-spiked flower’ or ‘knobbly seed pods’ of the wallum banksia. If you walk quietly enough and keep a sharp eye out you will be rewarded by sightings of native wrens, finches and honeyeaters such as the noisy friarbird.
Easily found by travel on the Nicklin Way, at Wurtulla turn east into Gayandi Street, then right into Mandara Drive and left into Coongarra Esplanade. As a matter of interest, the Nicklin Way, the main road between Caloundra and Maroochydore, crosses over Currimundi Lake via the Ahern Bridge. A bridge named after John Ahern, a local firefighter who saved many lives and won a bravery award.
Picnic facilities are not provided in Currimundi (Kathleen McArthur) Conservation Park. They are provided in the adjoining Sunshine Coast Regional Council Crummunda Park where facilities include picnic tables, barbecues, toilets and a viewing platform/canoe launching area.
Currimundi Lake is a great place for family canoeing. Visit Sunshine Coast Regional Council’s webpage for information and maps for the Currimundi Lake Canoe Trail.
Fishing on Currimundi Lake
Some sound advise from www.fishingmonthly.com.au
“Whilst quite a shallow, lake Currimundi can accommodate small boats, like a tinnie, can be comfortably launched at the boat ramp from there you can work your way down under the bridge and right around the canals at Wurtulla and beyond.
Precautions have to be taken as it is very shallow in parts but local Intel says that if you cross the lake directly from the boat ramp and stay on the eastern side you can motor down as far as the rocks sign situated in the middle of the lake before having to cross again. Once you have made this correction you are OK to go down under the bridge.
This area has many submerged logs and high banks with drop-offs that are perfect for a fish and are good locations for mangrove jack. The average depth in this area is around 1.5-3m.
Casting your hardbodied lures or soft plastics right up onto the edge of the bank and letting them sink before winding them back to the boat is one of the most successful methods.
Most people rush the retrieve and don’t leave the lure long enough in the strike zone. It seems that the adrenaline starts to pump and the lure is back in the boat in no time. Always be conscious of slowing down and pausing your retrieve.
Down the western side of Lake Currimundi the main water goes to a sharp right hand turn and heads up through the canal areas. This is an easy area to identify because of the pontoon put in for fishermen.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking there is nothing worth targeting in these areas as big mullet and herring frequent these places attracting all sorts of predators.
Fish around the pontoons and bridge pylons for bream, trevally and lazy lizards and don’t forget to troll the deeper waters on either the way out or in.
The speed limit around these waters is a cool 6 knots to minimise wash from boats; the banks show strong signs of corrosion and we don’t want to contribute to its destruction.
If you make a right turn when leaving the boat ramp you will head towards the mouth of the lake and into shallow water. Again cross the lake and head along the northern side.
There are many sand bars and drop-offs worthy of your attention so watch your sounder for good spots to cast a lure or throw a bait in.”