Riding from Bowen Road bridge to Idalia and Oonoonba

Ross River immediately below the Bowen Road bridge
Ross River immediately below the Bowen Road bridge

The Ross River bikeway (introduced here) extends nearly three kilometres downstream from Bowen Road bridge on the Idalia side, past the meatworks chimney and the new Fairfield Waters residential subdivision.

Much of the river bank is accessible with a bit of a scramble and while I was exploring it I looked up to see a young Sea Eagle being harassed by a gull or tern:

sea eagle and gull
Sea Eagle and pursuer

Adult Sea Eagles are grey and white but the young ones, like the young of many species, wear camouflage. This one may be in its first year, as it has yet to pass through an intermediate stage before gaining full adult plumage.

The bike path comes to a very definite end at a large block of vacant land which I believe is DPI property.

fence and 'keep out' signs
The bike stops here

The fence is mostly for show, however. Any moderately active person can easily walk around the end of it onto the broad sandy bank of the river.

The line of trees marks the far bank of Ross River

A look at the map shows that this expanse is the inside of a loop of river. Further downstream, past the Abbott St bridge, there are more mangrove swamps (on both banks) than built-up areas.

This area, in fact the whole area from Bowen Road through Idalia and Oonoonba, is very low lying and is naturally a network of mangrove-lined tidal creeks and mud-flats. Some of it has been drained and contoured with floodways and artificial lakes and turned into suburbs. Most of the time it is pleasant enough (birds love the lakes, artificial or not) but the 2019 floods revealed how poor that planning decision really was.

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