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Broad Sound (Queensland) facts for kids

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Broad Sound
Broad Sound
Broad Sound is a globally important site for the straw-necked ibis
A map of Australia with a mark indicating Broad Sound's location
A map of Australia with a mark indicating Broad Sound's location
Broad Sound
Location in Australia
Location Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Coordinates 22°09′S 149°45′E / 22.150°S 149.750°E / -22.150; 149.750

Broad Sound is a large bay on the east coast of Australia, in the state of Queensland 675 km northwest of the state capital, Brisbane. It is about 50 km long and 20 km across at its widest point. The Torilla Peninsula forms the eastern side of the bay; Shoalwater Bay is on the other side of the peninsula.


British explorer James Cook, in HMS Endeavour, sighted the bay in May 1770, naming it for its size. The next European navigator in the area was Matthew Flinders in HMS Investigator in 1802.

The town of St Lawrence was established midway between Rockhampton and Mackay on St Lawrence Creek and developed as a port for the export of cattle from the hinterland, with a large meatworks built close by in 1893. The processing and export of meat and cattle continued until 1919 when rail links were built elsewhere, making the port redundant. By 2006 the population of St Lawrence had dropped to 125, out of a population in the Broad Sound area of 268.


The bay has a low-lying coastline with wide mudflats exposed at low tide and backed by extensive areas of mangroves. The head of the bay has the greatest tidal range on Australia's east coast - around 9 m. The coastline is punctuated by the mangrove-lined estuaries of several rivers and creeks, including Herbert and St Lawrence Creeks and the Styx River. Behind the mangroves is a hinterland of low, rounded hills covered by a mix of grassland and low eucalypt woodland or forest. The climate is subtropical with a dry winter.


The extensive tracts of mangroves and mudflats, comprising some 1200 km2 in the southern part of the bay, have been classified by BirdLife International as an Important Bird Area. It supports globally important populations of the straw-necked ibis (with up to 15,000 individual birds), Australian bustard, Latham's snipe, sharp-tailed sandpiper and mangrove honeyeater.

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