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South East Queensland today represents the largest concentration of urban development in Queensland, and is home to the majority of the state’s population. Two out of every three Queenslanders now live in the South East corner.

The region covers an area of approximately 23,000 square kilometres stretching from Noosa in the north to the Gold Coast in the south and west to the Great Dividing Range.

The quality of the South East Queensland natural resource base is expected to decline in the next 20 years, driven by factors such as population growth, climate change, uncoordinated planning and investment, and increasing household consumption and waste. This is despite the current efforts to protect our natural assets by governments at all levels, industry and the community.

Action must be taken now if our current way of life and the rich natural environment of South East Queensland are to both survive intact for future generations.

Hover over a catchment to learn more….

Gold Coast

One of the fastest growing coastal urban centres in Queensland with picturesque hinterland communities, World Heritage listed rainforests and mountain environments.

Townships: Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise, Coolangatta, Helensvale, Nerang, Springbrook, Mt Tamborine

Industries: Tourism, agriculture, light and heavy industry, manufacturing and property development

Major waterways: Pimpama, Nerang and Coomera Rivers, Biggera, Coombabah, Loders, Mudgeeraba, Tallebudgera, Currumbin, Flat Rock and Coolangatta Creeks

National Parks & Reserves: Tamborine, Springbrook, Lamington and Burleigh Heads National Parks


Catchment of contrasts, from World Heritage listed rainforests along the Scenic Rim to the growing urban and industrial provincial centre of Ipswich.

Townships: Ipswich, Rosewood, Harrisville, Kalbar

Industries: Agriculture, grazing, urban, industrial

Major waterways: Moogerah Dam, Bremer River, Warrill, Purga and Bundamba Creeks

National Parks & Reserves: Scenic Rim, Main Range and Mt French National Parks


Considered Australia’s salad bowl with some of the world’s most fertile farming land, the Lockyer grows the most diverse commercial range of vegetables and fruit of any area in Australia.

Townships: Laidley, Forest Hill, Gatton, Grantham, Withcott, Murphys Creek.

Industries: Agriculture, education (UQ Gatton campus)

Major waterways: Lockyer Creek and tributaries, Lakes Atkinson, Clarendon and Dyer.

National Parks & Reserves: Main Range National Park


A traditional farming and grazing area that has undergone urbanisation and industrialisation

Townships: Logan City, Boonah, Beaudesert, Rathdowney

Industries: Agriculture, grazing, prawn farming, urban and industrial areas

Major waterways: Maroon Dam, Logan and Albert Rivers, Teviot Brook, Sandy, Christmas and Running Creeks

National Parks & Reserves: Mt Barney and Lamington National Parks, Daisy Hill State Forest, Daisy Hill Koala Centre

Lower Brisbane

South East Queensland’s most highly urbanised and densely populated region comprising Brisbane City and suburbs surrounded by natural bushland and managed forest.

Townships: Brisbane City and suburbs

Industries: IT, financial services, higher education, public sector administration, petroleum refining, stevedoring, paper milling, tourism

Major waterways: Brisbane River and estuary, Wolsten, Pullen Pullen, Moggill, Oxley, Cubberla, Toowong, City, Enoggera, Ithaca, Breakfast, Norman and Bulimba Creeks

National Parks & Reserves: Brisbane Forest Park

Maroochy / Mooloolah

Originally an agricultural area, the region has seen rapid population growth and increasing urbanisation.

Townships: Maroochydore, Coolum, Buderim, Nambour, Mooloolah, Eumundi, Caloundra

Industries: Creative industries, food and beverage processing, tourism, sport and development

Major waterways: Mooloolah River, Maroochy River, South and North Maroochy River, Eudlo, Paynter, Petrie, Coolum and Yandina Creeks

National Parks & Reserves: Mooloolah National Park, Cooloolabin State Forest, Mt Coolum National Park

Mid Brisbane

The mid-Brisbane stretch of the Brisbane River is considered to be the healthiest of the region’s catchments.

Townships: Fernvale, Lowood, Marburg

Industries: Agriculture, grazing

Major waterways: Lake Manchester, Brisbane River, Banks, Black Snake, Branch, Cabbage Tree, England, Plain and Sandy Creeks

Moreton Bay and Islands

The wide expanse of Moreton Bay includes numerous islands, internationally significant wetlands, seagrass meadows, mangroves and sandy beaches – all on Brisbane’s doorstep.

Townships: Scarborough, Sandgate, Wynnum-Manly, Dunwich

Industries: Commercial fishing, tourism

Major islands: Moreton, Stradbroke, Peel, Karragarra, Lamb, Russell, Macleay and Coochiemudlo Islands

National Park & Reserves: Moreton Bay Marine Park, Moreton Island National Park


World famous as a holiday destination, Noosa boasts a region of largely unspoilt natural beauty with minimal urbanisation

Townships: Noosa, Tewantin, Boreen Point

Industries: Creative industries, food and beverage processing, sport, conservation, tourism, agriculture

Major waterways:Noosa River, Lakes Cootharaba, Cooroibah and Weyba, Kin Kin and Teewah Creeks

National Parks & Reserves: Great Sandy and Noosa National Parks

Pine Rivers

Highly urbanised in the lower catchment, the upper regions of Pine Rivers include National Parks, large areas of state forest and a number of wetland areas of regional, national and international significance.

Townships: Redcliffe, Strathpine

Industries: Grazing, rural residential, urban

Major waterways: Lakes Samsonvale, Kurwongbah, North and South Pine Rivers, Hay’s Inlet

National Parks & Reserves: Tinchi Tamba Reserve, Brisbane Forest Park and Bunyaville State Forest


Home of the Glass House Mountains, the Pumicestone region is Queensland’s pineapple growing capital which includes the beautiful and environmentally sensitive Pumicestone Passage.

Townships: Caboolture, Caloundra, Bribie Island, Beerburrum, Beerwah, Landsborough

Industries: Agriculture, tourism, pineapple plantations, grazing, extractive industries, urban.

Major waterways: Caboolture River, Pumicestone Passage, Burpengary, Bells, Mellum and Elimbah Creeks

National Parks & Reserves: Glass House Mountains and Bribie Island National Parks, Pumicestone Passage Marine Park


Home to a large koala population, rapidly growing coastal and hinterland communities and intensive agricultural industries.

Townships: Capalaba, Cleveland, Wellington Point, Redland Bay

Industries: Commercial fishing, poultry farming, plant nurseries, flower farms, market gardens, rapidly urban areas

Major waterways: Waterloo Bay, Lota, Wynnum, Tingalpa, Tarradarrapin, Hilliards, Eprapah and Moogurrapum Creeks

National Parks & Reserves: Venman’s National Park, Daisy Hill State Forest, Daisy Hill Koala Centre


Home to Somerset Dam, which together with Wivenhoe Dam, provides the major potable water supplies for South East Queensland.

Townships: Kilcoy, Woodford, D’Aguilar, Peachester

Industries: Beef, dairy, timber, lifestyle, tourism

Major waterways: Stanley River and Neurem, Sandy, Kilcoy, Sheepstation and Reedy Creeks.

National Parks & Reserves: Conondale National Park, Neurem Creek Conservation Park, Jimna State Forest, Bellthorpe State Forest, Mt Mee State Forest and D’Aguilar State Forest.

Upper Brisbane

Home to Wivenhoe Dam, which together with Somerset Dam, provides the major potable water supplies for South East Queensland. Cressbrook and Perseverance Dams provide water supply for Toowoomba and Crows Nest.

Townships: Yarraman, Blackbutt, Toogoolawah, Esk, Crows Nest

Industries: Beef, dairy, agriculture, timber

Major waterways: Brisbane River, Monsildale, Cooyar, Emu, Ivory-Maronghi and Cressbrook Creeks.

National Parks & Reserves: Ravensbourne, Crows Nest and The Palms National Parks, Cressbrook Conservation Park, Benarkin Forest Reserve, Deongwar Forest Reserve, Diaper State Forest, Nanango State Forest, Squirrel Creek State Forest, Bunya Mountains State Forest.