Beauty and diversity of Queensland’s wetlands captured in new book

26 September 2022

From seagrass and sandflats at the tip of Cape York, to the spectacular waterfalls of the Gondwana Rainforests, and west to the vibrant yellow lakes at the fringe of the Simpson Desert, Wetlands of Queensland is the newest addition to Queensland Museum Network’s popular Discovery Guide series.

At nearly 450 pages, this richly illustrated publication includes more than 550 full-colour photographs showcasing an awe-inspiring view of the state, both above and below the water’s surface.

Published in partnership with the Department of Environment and Science, the book brings together more than 25 authors who contributed their knowledge and expertise in areas of ecology, environmental science, taxonomy, biology, engineering, marine science, and geography.

Queensland Museum Network CEO Dr Jim Thompson said Wetlands of Queensland is more than just a collection of amazing photos — it’s a valuable learning guide on the importance of wetlands.

“This book inspires a new appreciation of the value of wetlands and the threats to their existence. More importantly, it highlights why maintaining our ecosystems and seeing ourselves as part of them must be our vision for the future,” Dr Thompson said.  

“Queensland boasts the highest diversity of wetland types in Australia, and many scientific experts, First Nations people and local experts have contributed to the book, reiterating the critical importance of wetlands.”

Department of Environment and Science Wetlands Manager Mike Ronan said it’s fantastic to celebrate Queensland’s diverse wetlands with this new book.

“Wetlands - including rivers, creeks, swamps and lakes - are a critical part of our natural environment. They perform many functions and are vital for environmental, economic, social and cultural reasons.”

Queensland covers more than 1.7 million square kilometres, with hundreds of thousands of wetlands, ranging in size and nature from small to large, ephemeral to permanent, hidden to prominent, freshwater to marine.

Queensland also boasts five diverse and spectacular Ramsar wetlands, recognised as being of significant value not only for Australia, but for humanity. These are Shoalwater and Corio Bays, Bowling Green Bay, Currawinya Lakes, Great Sandy Strait and Moreton Bay.

Queensland Museum Network photographer Gary Cranitch has been collecting images for the project since 2019, having flown approximately 75,000 km and driven nearly 50,000 km to take close to 17,000 photos.

“In my career I have been fortunate to have been involved in photographing some of Queensland’s amazing habitats from high above the ground to underwater marine parks,” Gary said.

“I think the key take-out from what I witnessed during this project is just how diverse Queensland is and how huge it is, and how there are many locations throughout Queensland that you can’t see unless you look at them from the air.”

To coincide with the release of Wetlands of Queensland, a photographic exhibit featuring an amazing array of images selected from the publication will be on display in Queensland Museum’s Café Muse.

Wetlands of Queensland is now available to purchase at the Queensland Museum Shop and online

Media Enquiries:

Kylie Hay, Queensland Museum – 0434 565 852

Christine Robertson, Queensland Museum – 0417 741 710