Catchment areas of the Redlands | Redland City Council

Catchment areas of the Redlands

Our waterways start in the Mount Cotton hills from about 230 metres above sea level, and flow only occasionally during heavy summer storms.

Twelve creeks are on the mainland and ten on the islands. Nineteen creeks flow directly into Moreton Bay, and three creeks flow south and reach Moreton Bay via the lower Logan River – these are California, Native Dog and Serpentine Creeks.

There are no large rivers, although the lower Logan River forms a small part of Redland City's southern boundaries.

Catchment areas

Redland City mainland waterways are grouped into 13 catchments. The island waterways and catchments are grouped into three areas for monitoring.


Cleveland catchment

Catchment description

The Cleveland catchment area is about 11km2. It is dominated by urban residential and commercial land use covering the suburb of Cleveland. The catchment is highly urbanised and this trend will increase with higher density housing through infill development. Major features of this catchment include Black Swamp Wetlands next to Shore Street West, Raby Bay canal estate and Toondah Harbour ferry terminal.

Waterway description 

Ross Creek starts at the South Street Conservation area and another branch, north of the Redlands hospital. The upper branches join the main channel of Ross Creek that is a highly modified concrete lined drain flowing parallel to Bloomfield Street, then east and north out into central Moreton Bay through Raby Bay canals. During dry weather conditions there is almost no flow in the channel. The main role of the creek is to convey storm/flood water during rainfall events. Smaller drainage lines and channels drain the eastern part of Cleveland through foreshore areas and directly into Moreton Bay.


Eprapah creek catchment

Catchment description

Eprapah Creek catchment is about 39km2 in size, covering the western edges of Victoria Point and Redland Bay and the majority of Mount Cotton. West Mount Cotton Road forms part of the western catchment boundary. The western portion of the catchment is dominated by rural non-urban land use and bushland, while the eastern portion is urban residential and some park residential.

Major natural features on public land included Point Halloran, Eprapah estuary, Sandy Creek and Eastern Escarpment Conservation Area. The catchment also has many smaller parcels of bushland refuges and Eprapah Creek corridor conservation land.

Victoria Point Wastewater Treatment Plant is located within Eprapah catchment and discharges wastewater to the upper estuary of Eprapah Creek.

Waterway description

Eprapah Creek is made up of a main channel and two smaller tributary channels - Little Eprapah and Sandy Creeks. Eprapah Creek is about 52km long. The creek starts at the Mount Cotton hills west of Mount Cotton road, flows through cleared rural blocks and east towards the lower, urbanised reaches of Victoria Point. Eprapah Creek flows into a designated High Ecological Value area in western Moreton Bay with associated water quality objectives to be achieved.

Wetlands of state significance are located around the mouth of Eprapah Creek and foreshore area, for example Egret Colony Wetland. Fish species here include Empire gudgeon and Fire-tail gudgeon. It is also home to the locally rare and potentially threatened Ornate rainbowfish.

A high level of intact riparian vegetation cover remains around Eprapah Creek estuary. There are many farm dams in this catchment and the creeks regularly experience elevated levels of nutrients and sediments and excess algal growth. 


Hilliards creek catchment

Catchment description

Hilliards Creek catchment covers an area of 28km2 and is dominated by urban residential land use in the lower catchment, covering the suburbs of Wellington Point, Ormiston and the edges of Alexandra Hills and Capalaba. About the mid catchment (Alexandra Hills), is a patch of conservation land (Scribbly Gums and Weippin Street Conservation Areas) as well as some general industry at Cleveland. Rural, non-urban land use - horticulture, horse studs and lifestyle blocks dominates the upper catchment of Thornlands and Sheldon. Population growth and urban development has occurred around key development areas in Thornlands such as Kinross Road.

Cleveland Waste Water Treatment Plant is located within Hilliards Creek catchment. Wastewater is discharged to freshwater reaches and also via land disposal. Major wetland features include Geoff Skinner, Poloni Place, Fletcher Terrace and Beckwith Street Wetlands.

Waterways description

Hilliards Creek rises in the low hills of Sheldon and Thornlands either side of Taylor Road. Woodlands Drive forms part of the catchment boundary between Hilliards and Eprapah Creeks catchments. Hilliards Creek upper branches meet just north of Boundary Road and flows northward, through Alexandra Hills and Ormiston, draining into Central (Moreton) Bay. The creek is about 13km long.

The freshwater section of the creek ends at the road crossing at Sturgeon Street Ormiston and the estuarine section extends for three to four kilometres to the foreshore. Wetlands of state significance are located around the mouth of Hilliards Creek and foreshore of Wellington Point.

In the upper reaches of Hilliards Creek, many natural drainage lines connect to become minor waterways that link to join the main channel. Many farm dams occur here reflecting the past rural and agricultural land use. During dry weather conditions drainage lines and minor waterways often dry up, leaving isolated waterholes or constructed farm dams. Fish species include Empire gudgeon, Fly-speckled hardyhead, Western carb gudgeon, Duboulay's rainbow fish.


Lower  Tingalpa and Coolnwynpin Creek catchment

Catchment Description

The lower Tingalpa and Coolnwynpin catchment is about 34.4km2. Coolnwynpin starts just south of Mount Cotton Road, either side of Avalon Road. Land use is dominated by urban residential, commercial and park/open space. Tingalpa Creek below Leslie Harrison Dam forms the boundary between Brisbane and Redland cities and flows into Waterloo Bay. Waterloo Bay is recognised for its significant environmental values and seagrass habitats.

Waterway Description

Tingalpa Creek below Leslie Harrison dam flows past open space, sporting fields and low-lying land before flowing into Waterloo Bay, which is identified as a high ecological value receiving marine environment of central Moreton Bay. Coolnwynpin Creek flows from the edge of Sheldon and through park residential, urban and commercial areas of Capalaba and Alexandra Hills and is a major tributary of Tingalpa Creek. The eastern side of Thorneside drains into lower Tingalpa Creek and the Thorneside Wetlands. Coolwynpin Creel is 10.6km long and abundant fish species include Long-finned eel, Empire gudgeon and Ornate rainbow fish.

Moogurrapum Creek catchment

Catchment description

Moogurrapum Creek catchment covers an area of 14km2 and is dominated by rural non-urban and commercial land use to the west of the Cleveland Redland Bay Road. It also has closed and capped landfill sites, with one now being used as a waste transfer station.

East of the road the dominant land use is urban residential, bushland, waterway corridors and open space users. Many rural non-urban properties around Redland Bay are serviced by septic/on-site wastewater systems.

Natural features in the catchment on public land include conservation areas, bushland refuges and Moogurrapum Creek corridor.

Waterway description

Moogurrapum Creek rises in the Days Road Conservation Area and smaller tributaries drain rural land either side of German Church and Giles Road. The main channel flows through urban Redland Bay, into Victoria Point and flows out to Moreton Bay. Receiving waters form part of central and southern Moreton Bay Marine Park habitat protection zone. The creek is 31.5km in length.

Many farm dams and agricultural activities present in the rural areas are potential point sources of nutrients. Landfill leachate generated from the closed Redland Bay landfill site is collected in sumps and ponds and disposed outside the Redland Water catchment.

Sediments and nutrients are key pollutants of concern in freshwater reaches of the catchment. Significant fish species present include Empire gudgeon, Fir-tailed gudgeon and Crimson-spotted rainbowfish.

Native Dog Creek Catchment

Catchment description

Native Dog Creek catchment covers an area of about 32.4km2. Only one third of the catchment area (11.3km2 head waters, upper catchment) is within Redland City boundary. The remaining two thirds (21.1km2) is in Logan City. The catchment is bounded by Logan River to the south and Eprapah Creek catchment to the north.

Land use is dominated by rural non-urban, park and open space and some urban residential. Many rural non-urban properties are serviced by septic/on-site wastewater systems. Wastewater is treated within the catchment at the Mount Cotton waste treatment plant, which is discharged to an impoundment on the Carbrook Golf Course, Logan River.

Waterway description

Native Dog Creek and tributaries flows off the eastern side of Mount Cotton, through Mount Cotton Village and lakes, then south into the lower reach of Logan River. The upper western portion of the catchment is dotted with many farm dams, poultry farms and lifestyle blocks. The eastern and northern portions are mainly reserve land and covered with bushland.

Significant fish species present include Empire gudgeon, Flathead gudgeon and Cromson-spotted rainbowfish. Homestead Place Wetlands is of local significance located in Mount Cotton Village.

Serpentine Creek Catchment

Catchment description

Serpentine Creek catchment covers an area of about 16.8km2 and is bound by Moogurrapum catchment to the north, Southern Redland Bay catchment to the east and Native Dog catchment to the west. Two thirds of the catchment is National Park or Reserve land. Key natural features on public land include Days Road, Kidd Street and Serpentine Creek Conservation Areas along with Bay View Conservation Park. Land use is dominated by bushland and open space uses. Rural non-urban properties are serviced by septic/on-site wastewater systems.

Waterway description

Serpentine Creek rises in the Days Road Conservation Area and flows south into the lower reach of Logan River. There are Melaleuca wetlands in this catchment including Carbrook Wetlands of regional significance. Serpentine Creek is about 16.5km long and abundant fish species include Short-finned eel, Fire-tail gudgeon and Empire gudgeon.

Catchment description

Southern Redland Bay catchment is a narrow strip of coastal land with several short waterways that flow into southern Moreton Bay. Two named creeks, Weinam and Torquay Creeks drain the northern end of the catchment and many unnamed creeks flow short distances west to east and out to Moreton Bay. The dominant land use is rural non-urban and with recent urban residential development in lower Weinam and Torquay Creek catchments.

Rural non-urban properties around Redland Bay are serviced by septic/on-site wastewater systems.

Natural features of this catchment on public land are the Orchard Beach Wetlands and foreshore reserve land.

Waterway description

 These creeks rise in the rural non-urban land and flow north and out to Moreton Bay. Receiving waters form part of central and southern Moreton Bay Marine Park habitat protection zone.

Sediments and nutrients are key pollutants of concern in freshwater reaches of the catchment.

Tarradarrapin Creek Catchment

Catchment description

Tarradarrapin Creek catchment covers an area of 13.4km2 and is fully urbanised. There are small pockets of industrial, park and open space land use. The catchment covers the suburb of Birkdale, the edges of Alexandra Hills and Wellington Point. Aquatic Paradise canal estate and the constructed lake Sovereign Waters are located adjacent to the foreshore. Major wetland features include Tarradarrapin Wetland, a Ramsar listed wetland of international significance, an important habitat for migratory birds. There are closed landfill sites in Birkdale (Judy Holt Park and adjoining property) and Wellington Point (upstream of Sovereign Waters). The catchment drains to Waterloo Bay, which is declared a High Ecological Value area and with specific water quality objectives to maintain environmental values as per the Environmental Protection (Water and Wetland Biodiversity Policy 2019.

Waterway description

Tarradarrapin Creek originates in Alexandra Hills and drains north to Waterloo Bay. The creek consists of the western and eastern branches that flow through the completely urbanised catchment. The creek and its branches are mostly flanked by narrow corridors of park or conservation land. Many stretches of the creek are channelled, including the modified estuaries that are hard lined into Aquatic Paradise and Sovereign Waters. There is a bio-retention basin and swale on a western tributary of Tarradarrapin Creek (between Quarry Rd and Birkdale Rd). This tributary flows into Woodgate Canal of the Aquatic Paradise canal estate, Birkdale. Several Gross Pollutant Traps and constructed wetlands surround Sovereign Lake that treats stormwater runoff prior to entering the lake and Waterloo Bay. Native fish include Southern purple-spotted gudgeon, Long-finned eel, and Fire-tail gudgeon.


Thornlands Catchment

Catchment description

The Thornlands catchment covers an area of 9.8km2. The dominant land use is urban residential in the northern half of the catchment. Open space land use dominates along minor waterway corridors and adjacent to the Moreton Bay foreshore. The southern half of the catchment is dominated by park residential and rural non-urban land uses where horticulture, horse stables and lifestyle blocks are common uses. A major wetland within the catchment is Crystal Waters on public land at Riesling Street. Open space along the foreshore provides an important buffer for the central Moreton Bay environment.

Waterway description

The Thornlands catchment comprises several un-named minor waterways that flow east from Panorama Drive, the boundary between Hilliards and Thornlands catchments. Several minor branches start in the park residential lots of southern Thornlands, flowing through many farm dams and waterbodies, then drain east through Pinklands sports fields and out to central Moreton Bay.

Upper Tingalpa Creek Catchment

Catchment description

Tingalpa Creek catchment covers an area of about 117km2. Of this area, 38% is within Redland City boundary, and Tingalpa Creek catchment is our largest creek and catchment. Tingalpa catchment contains a diversity of land uses, with large areas of bushland, conservation and rural residential land use in the upper catchment and water supply at Leslie Harrison Dam. At the lower end of Upper Tingalpa catchment, urban residential uses and a major commercial and industrial centre at Capalaba became the dominant land uses. Key natural features on Council land include Venman Bushland National Park, Conservation Areas (Ford Road along with Don and Christine Bennett conservation areas), Emu Street Bushland Refuge and the edge of the Eastern Escarpment reserve land. Rural, non-urban properties are serviced by septic/on-site wastewater systems.

Waterway description

The upper Tingalpa Creek starts in the west Mount Cotton hills and the Venman Bushland National Park reserve land as many small meandering ephemeral streams. Wallaby and Buhot Creeks are tributaries and there are many more unnamed tributaries of Tingalpa creek. Tingalpa Creek flows into Leslie Harrison Dam, a major water supply dam connected to the south-east Queensland water grid. The upper catchment waterways mostly flow through bushland with minor modifications to riparian vegetation. Significant fish species include Crimson spotted rainbow-fish and Empire gudgeon.



The main waterway on Coochiemudlo Island is called Curlew Creek which originates within the Melaleuca wetland in the middle of the island. A second tributary is located in the central portion of the island which flows to the south of the island. Wastewater from the Coochiemudlo Island population is piped and treated at Victoria Point wastewater treatment plant.

North Stradbroke Island (Minjerribah) is one of the world's largest sand islands. The island covers an area of approximately 271km2 and land use is dominated by conservation, closed mining tenements and small pockets of residential land use around Amity Point, Dunwich and Point Lookout. Around half of Minjerribah is currently protected, including the Naree Budjong Djara (My Mother Earth) National Park and it is envisaged that the amount of protected area will eventually expand to cover around 80 per cent of the island.

 Potable water is extracted from a major groundwater resource in the middle of the island, along with surface water sourced at Herring Lagoon. These water sources are treated at the Dunwich, Amity Point and Point Lookout Water Treatment Plants.

Waterway description

There are several hydrological features of the island ranging from freshwater creeks to perched and window natural lakes including Brown (Bummel) and Blue Lakes (Karboora). These lakes belong to the coastal dune-lake series which extends from Fraser Island to coastal northern New South Wales.

North Stradbroke Island is located within the internationally important Moreton Bay Ramsar site. There are many designated High Ecological Value waters adjoining and on the island including Eastern and Southern Bay areas, Brown Lake, Blue Lake and 18 Mile Swamp. NSI is also habitat to the vulnerable and nationally endangered Oleyan pygmy perch.

Wastewater is treated at Dunwich and Point Lookout wastewater treatment plants, which discharge effluent to groundwater. Residential areas in Amity and approximately half the urban areas of Dunwich and Point Lookout are unsewered, with effluent treated by septic/on-site wastewater treatment systems.

There are no defined creeks, with the surface drainage made up of many undefined drainage channels. There is significant infiltration of rainfall through the sand to the groundwater storage aquifers. 

In all of Southern Moreton Bay, there are about 130 islands, islets and banks extending from Coochiemudlo Island south to the Nerang River. The islands in this group include Macleay, Lamb, Karragarra and Russell islands.

These islands are located within the internationally important Moreton Bay Ramsar site, which is listed as a Ramsar wetland of international significance. There are also designated High Ecological Value areas adjoining Lamb Island and adjacent Russell Island.

These islands were once part of the mainland and have similar fertile, well drained red soil, with areas of sand and clay. The natural habitat on the islands is modified through past agricultural development and more recently urban development. Some large patches of remnant habitat remain on each island. The dominant land use on the islands is residential, tourism and recreation. There are no well defined creeks, but natural drainage lines connect estuarine and freshwater wetlands that flow into foreshore and intertidal areas before flowing to Moreton Bay.

Macleay Island

The waterways of Macleay Island are undefined drainage lines that flow west and east from the central spine of the island. Important wetlands on Macleay Island include Tim Shea's Wetlands, Paul Carter Wetlands, Thomas Street Wetlands and Cow Bay Conservation Foreshore. More than 3,000 people enjoy a permanent island lifestyle here. Macleay Island is unsewered and serviced by on-site wastewater septic/treatment systems that present a significant pressure to waterway health. 

Lamb Island

The waterways of Lamb Island are undefined drainage lines starting in the middle and flowing to the foreshore and Moreton Bay. Lamb Island is about 2km by 1km. Important wetlands and foreshore parks are Clarkes Point Foreshore, The Avenue Foreshore Park, Harry Brook Bushland Refuge and Pioneer Park. Lamb Island is unsewered and serviced by on-site wastewater septic/treatment systems that present a significant pressure to waterway health. 

Karragarra Island

Karragarra is the smallest of the bay islands, about 0.5km wide and 4km long, with a small permanent population. Important wetlands here include Karragarra Island Foreshore, north and south wetlands. Karragarra Island is unsewered and serviced by on-site wastewater treatment/septic systems that present a significant pressure to wastewater health. 

Russell Island

Russell Island is the largest of the Southern Moreton Bay Islands, measuring 3km wide and 8km long. It is home to more than 3,500 people. Southern Moreton Bay Islands have some low-key commercial development. There are many undefined drainage lines on Russell Island that flow to wetlands, foreshore and Moreton Bay. Significant wetlands on Russell Island are Whistling Kite, Turtle Swamp, Water Mouse and Melomy's Wetlands. Russell Island is unsewered and serviced by on-site wastewater treatment/septic systems that present a significant pressure to waterway health.