Field Tours

Field Tour 1 – Mangroves

Join mangrove expert Hidetoshi Kudo (Mikey) for a tour showcasing the rich diversity of mangroves in Northern Queensland.  Cairns has been known for the addition of two new mangroves to Australia: Haines Orange Mangrove (critically endangered under the EPBC act) and Dungarra Orange Mangrove (new to science).  The tour will visit the sites for both species and also visit the new mangrove planting sites in Centenary Lakes.  Mikey who discovered the new mangroves will talk about the story of discovery and how the planting has been carried out.

Tour host: Hidetoshi Kudo (Mikey).
This tour will be capped at 15 people.

What to bring:

  • Long sleeve shirt
  • Long pants
  • Hat
  • Roll on insect repellent
  • Sturdy shoes (you will walk over uneven tracks for a short distance and depending on the weather your shoes may get quite muddy and wet)

Field Tour 2 – Coastal Geomorphology

The Cairns region is characterised by a coastal plain composed of Late Quaternary alluvial sediments abutting marine / estuarine sediments. The latter comprises a hard yellow-grey clay of probable Pleistocene age overlying bedrock. A Holocene soft blue-grey clay unit, generally 3 – 7 m thick, but in places extending to more than 20 m thickness, overlies the yellow clay. Medium to coarse-grained sand beach ridges overlies the Holocene clay unit.

The beaches of the region have developed within a low wave energy climate dominated by south-easterly trade winds. Occasional tropical cyclones occur generating waves offshore up to 5 m along with storm tide inundations up to 2 m above AHD. Elsewhere, near Cairns, storm inundations have exceeded 7 m AHD historically and on Cape York Peninsula a 13 m storm inundation occurred in 1899. This latter event is the highest storm inundation known globally according to the World Meteorological Organisation.

This field trip will examine the coast of Cairns from Trinity Bay, bordering Cairns esplanade, to the northern beaches. We will discuss the characteristics of the embayments, beaches and beach ridge deposits, and sediment transport along the coast. Areas of coastal erosion and approaches to help remedy this problem will also be examined.

The historical development of parts of the coast, and in particular changes in the position of coastal streams, will also be discussed. Stream avulsion has had an impact on sediment supply to sections of the coast and also on the encroachment of mangroves especially close to the airport and along the Cairns esplanade foreshore. These stream movements also have bearing on native title issues.

The role of tropical cyclones in influencing coastal sediment transport and the development of beach ridge plains will also be discussed.

Tour Host: Professor Jonathon (Jon) Nott, Adjunct Professor, College of Science & Engineering, James Cook University

What to bring:

  • Long sleeve shirt
  • Long pants
  • Hat
  • Roll on insect repellent
  • Sturdy shoes

Field Tour 3 – Local Government and Coastal Management

This trip will focus on contemporary examples of coastal management that have been implemented in Cairns.  These include rock walls, sand nourishment, groynes, and erosion on the Cairns Northern Beaches (Machans Beach, Holloways, and Yorkey’s Knob).  We will discuss some of the challenges and opportunities these present, and also the role that nature-based solutions or hybrid solutions can offer.

We will also talk to the Tropical Urban Design Lab at James Cook University about how these options interact with our foreshores and enhance amenity, including the potential for integrating nature-based options into traditionally hard engineered options.

Finally, we will look at the outcomes of the Cairns Coastal Hazard Adaptation Strategy and Councils long-term planning from now until 2100 to address sea-level rise, erosion, and storm tide inundation and the changes expected over time and how these will be considered at these localities.

Tour Hosts: Iain Brown & Sophie Barrett – Cairns Regional Council, David Rissik – BMT, Shannon Haines – Ethos Urban (EU), Dr Lisa Law – James Cook University

What to bring:

  • Long sleeve shirt
  • Long pants
  • Hat
  • Roll on insect repellent
  • Sturdy shoes

Field Tour 4 – Jaragun NRM – Russell River Catchment

Delegates will be welcomed to Wanjuru-Yidinjii country through a traditional welcome from the Wanjuru dance troupe at Babinda Boulders, an iconic tourist destination in the Russell River catchment, North Queensland. Delegates will visit an important location within the landscape, where water quality improvement strategies are being undertaken to restore ecosystem function within a modified hydrological system. Delegates will receive an introduction to how the Electromagnetic Induction survey is being used to develop detailed soil maps that support precision farm nutrient management for improved water quality to the Great Barrier Reef.

Tour Hosts: Liz Owen and Dennis Ah-Kee (Jaragun EcoServices), Dr Nathan Waltham (TropWATER, JCU) and David Morrison (Department of Resources)

What to bring:

  • Long sleeve shirt
  • Long pants
  • Hat
  • Roll on insect repellent
  • Sturdy shoes