Restaurant Dining Guide




North Lakes is home to some of the best restaurants around! These are our top picks. Enjoy delicious food and drinks with great company at the best restaurants in and around North Lakes. Book in advance, to ensure you don’t miss out!


Mango Hill Tavern Feature

Mango Hill Tavern – the hub of the community boasts a 220-seat family bistro architecturally influenced from the area’s history as a pine forest, with warm tones and timber features creating an effect of sitting under the forest canopy.

Open for lunch and dinner, the bistro features a children’s playroom, great food, and friendly staff making it the perfect choice for any occasion.

With a fresh new menu, you will be sure to find something to tempt your tastebuds.

Corner Anzac Avenue & Halpine Drive, Mango Hill
Open Mon to Thu 11:30am – 8:30pm
Fri, Sat & Sun 11:30am – 9:00pm
Call (07) 3482 1500




Tempest Feature

Tempest offers three venue choices by the sea!

The restaurant offers a wide range of fresh seafood; as well as non-seafood options. The signature seafood platters are the most popular on the menu.

A buffet is held on the last Thursday of each month.

The Teppanyaki Japanese grill is a memorable and entertaining dining experience, where highly skilled chefs entertain and cook in front of you.

The beer garden offers casual dining and live entertainment Sundays 1-4pm.

Tempest is the perfect venue for an intimate dinner, a get together or celebration.
Scarborough Boat Harbour, Bird O’Passage Parade, Scarborough
Open 7 days lunch and dinner.
Call (07) 3203 5744



Thai Ginger Restaurant is a licenced, local family restaurant with friendly wait staff and delicious dishes that stay true to the traditional Thai recipe.

They really take pride in their dish preparation and presentation, offering a glorious combination of both taste and beauty.

Only the freshest ingredients are used, which the skilled traditional Thai chefs craft into a range of mouth-watering dishes that are individually cooked to your taste.

It’s no wonder Thai Ginger Restaurant has been a local favourite for over twelve years.

1C/1650 Anzac Avenue, North Lakes
Open 7 Days
Call 1300 048 424


Hogs Breath Feature

The team at Hog’s Breath North Lakes are open for lunch and dinner, serving up delicious meals, from the classic parmy and succulent fresh salad to their globally famous and mouth-watering 18hr slow cooked steak. Pair up one of these with a cocktail/mocktail, beer or wine and you are onto a winner.

Their heated outdoor area is perfect for all seasons. The large overheard fans ensure all guests are kept cool, even on the hottest of days! A brand new menu is being launched this month and we have been told that a few popular classics will be making a comeback.

 See you at Hoggies!

Mango Hill Market Place, Halpine Dr North Lakes, Queensland, Australia
Open Daily, 11:00am to 9:00pm
Call (07) 3491 7875


Beach House Feature

Beach House Bar & Grill is a centrally located steak and seafood house themed to Australian Beach culture and cuisine.

Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, they offer customers a range of great steaks, seafood, burgers & salads and have a wide variety of daily and weekly specials.

Customers can enjoy a wide range of beer, wine, spirits & delicious cocktails from the bar.

Beach House Bar & Grill is a great casual dining experience in a relaxed family friendly environment.
The Laneway, Westfield Shopping Centre
North Lakes, Queensland, Australia
Open Sun to Wed, 8:00am to 9:00pm
Call (07) 3480 5292




Sitting right on the edge of Lake Eden, the Boardwalk Restaurant is a one-of-a-kind destination in North Lakes, located at the newly opened Best Western Plus North Lakes Hotel.

The 150-seat restaurant, with a stunning outdoor lakeside terrace, indoor kids play room and private dining area offers a beautiful atmosphere and is the perfect place to meet your friends & family at any time of day for some delicious food & drinks overlooking the lake.

With fantastic function spaces available they can also cater to any size or type of event!

22 Lakefield Drive, North Lakes 
Open Monday – Thurs 7am to 9pm
Friday & Saturday 7am to 9:30pm, 
Sunday 7am to 8:30pm
Call (07) 3180 2888




At Domaa North Lakes, you will find a flavoursome, creative fusion of Korean, Japanese and other South East Asian cuisines. From the classic Bibimbap, Pad Thai and Karaage, to house made wanton and gyoza dumplings, Domaa offers extensive menu choices for everyone.

Their traditional dishes are full of bold flavours and are freshly prepared everyday. At Domaa North Lakes, you can enjoy the authentic flavours of Asia at their modern lakeside venue. Fully licensed, offering Japanese beers on tap and more. Take away also available.

Shop 9, Lakeview Tce
27 Discovery Drive, North Lakes
Open Daily, 11am until late, excluding Tuesdays

Call 0433 554 948





19/12/2019 |

Movie Review – Joker


Ali Goddard reviews the latest Blockbuster that everyone is talking about!

The highly confronting 2019 cult movie, Joker, stars Joaquin Phoenix as the delusional Arthur Fleck, a mentally ill man living in Gotham City. Fleck works as a party clown whilst caring for his frail mother, Penny Fleck (Frances Conroy). This film also heavily features Robert De Niro as Murray Franklin, Zazie Beetz as Sophie Dumond, and Brett Cullen as Thomas Wayne, the father of our favourite caped crusader, Bruce Wayne (Batman). Phoenix’s portrayal of the severely mentally ill Fleck is hauntingly believable, yet again showing his acting calibre. The story follows Arthur Fleck’s descent into madness and eventual criminal insanity, forming the infamous DC baddie, The Joker.

Just as one would expect, The Joker’s backstory is just as dark and confronting as his criminal acts portrayed in the films and comics over the years since the character’s birth. Though Joker has a slow start, this really lends to the gradually darker themes and tone of the film. Without giving too much away, this film uses gore and violence to highlight themes of civil unrest caused by the class divide and confronts the audience with the very worst parts of the mental health crisis in America. So, if you’re a fan of realistic themes and gore, then you’ll love this film.


Joker is sad, compelling, and provocative in its portrayal of one man’s struggle with mental illness. This is integral to Arthur Fleck’s story, showing us just how overlooked the most vulnerable members of our society can be. It also shows us how so many mentally ill people can go down a bad path. Perhaps not as bad as Fleck’s path, though.

One thing to keep in mind is this film is not for children. Even though it uses characters from the Batman comics, it is far from your regular superhero flick. This film is dark, gritty, violent, and creepy as all hell. It’s a great watch for film buffs and adults who love DC, but remember, folks, it’s rated MA15+ so don’t take your little ones!

Now showing at Event Cinemas North Lakes

13/11/2019 |

Fatal Traffic Crash – Bald Hills


Two people have died in a traffic crash at Bald Hills overnight.Queensland-Police-Service-Badge

Preliminary inquiries indicate around midnight a stolen car was headed north in the southbound lanes of the Gympie Arterial Road when it has collided with a car headed south.

A person in each car died at the scene.

Southbound lanes remain closed whilst Forensic Crash Unit officers investigate the crash. All southbound traffic is been diverted onto the Gateway Motorway.

UPDATE 1 – October 16,2019 @ 12.04pm

Two people have died in a two-vehicle traffic crash at Bald Hills overnight.

Preliminary inquiries indicate a Mitsubishi 4WD which was stolen from Chamberlain Street, Toowoomba on October 14 was sighted by police on Lutwyche Road, Windsor at 11.50pm. Police requested the vehicle pull over, however it evaded police and fled at speed.

This vehicle continued north on Gympie Road in the south bound lane where it collided with another vehicle travelling south.

The 36-year-old male driver of the second vehicle and the 32-year-old male front seat passenger in the first vehicle were declared deceased at the scene. The 28-year-old male driver and the 32-year-old rear passenger of the first vehicle were both transported to hospital.

The Forensic Crash Unit is investigating the crash and are appealing for witnesses and anyone with dash cam footage to contact them.

UPDATE 2 – on Oct 22, 2019 @ 3:37pm

Police have charged a man following the death of two people in a traffic crash in Bald Hills on October 16.

It will be alleged Mitsubishi 4WD, which was stolen from Chamberlain Street in Toowoomba on October 14, was sighted by police on Lutwyche Road in Windsor at 11.50pm.

Officers attempted to intercept the vehicle, however it will be alleged it evaded police and fled at speed.

The vehicle then allegedly travelled north on Gympie Road whilst in the southbound lanes, where it collided with a second vehicle which was travelling south.

The 36-year-old male driver of the second vehicle and the 32-year-old male front seat passenger in the first vehicle were declared deceased at the scene.

The 28-year-old male driver and the 32-year-old rear passenger of the first vehicle were both transported to hospital.

A 28-year-old Wilsonton man has been charged with two counts of manslaughter and serious assault police and one count each of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing grievous bodily harm, serious assault of a public officer, unlawful use of a motor vehicle and evade police.

He has been remanded in custody and is next due to appear in Brisbane Magistrates Court on November 18.


If you have information for police, contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using the online form 24hrs per day.

You can report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers, a registered charity and community volunteer organisation, by calling 1800 333 000 or via 24hrs per day.

Quote this reference number: QP1902022508

16/10/2019 |

The Drought


It’s knocking on our doorstep.


Pictured above is my home town.

A tiny locality in the Lockyer Valley called Glen Cairn. There are no shops. Only farms and sheds with a few houses scattered around and a magnificent view of the great dividing range. My childhood consisted of feeding poddy calves and eating the sweetest watermelons you could only dream of, grown by my Grandfather in the paddock across the dirt road from my family home.

The Lockyer Valley lies one hundred and fifty kilometres to the south-west of North Lakes. Located in the Western most part of South East Queensland, the region grows the most diverse commercial range of vegetables and fruit of any area in Australia and represents 12-14% of the Queensland agricultural economy.

Known as one of the top ten most fertile locations in the world, the area has been drought declared since May 2018.

At the time of writing, 66% of the state is drought declared, with parts of Northern Queensland, Central Queensland and the coastal fringe of South East Queensland being the only exemptions.

For now. The drought is bearing down on us as well.

Will we get rain anytime soon?
The Bureau of Meteorology’s Spring / Summer outlook is grim for rainfall prospects. A phenomenon is currently taking place over Antarctica called a ‘sudden stratospheric warming’. A very basic summary of this event is that we will see the polar vortex reverse. The effects we will see from this include increased temperatures, rainfall decreased and heat-waves and fire risk rise. This is one of the major factors that will dictate our weather in the upcoming months.


The thirsty ground
Soil moisture normally increases during Winter, however, for most of Queensland and New South Wales the soil moisture actually decreased. Dry soils leading into Winter have soaked up the rain that has fallen, resulting in limited runoff and inflows into the major water storages across the country.
Some regions did receive enough rainfall to grow crops this cool season. However, northern New South Wales and southern Queensland didn’t see an improvement in their severe year-to-date rainfall deficiencies over Winter.
In fact, the area of the country that is experiencing year-to-date rainfall in the lowest 5 per cent of historical records expanded.

Dam fullness percentages
Currently, our water supply dams, Wivenhoe and Somerset are at 52.1% and 70.7% respectively. Water restrictions are a very real possibility in the near future. During the ‘Millennium drought’ which spanned from 1996-2010 (broken by the 2010-2011 floods) water restrictions gradually increased up to Stage 6, which came into effect at the end of 2007 and saw people being fined for using water unnecessarily.

Intense bushfire season predicted
A dry end to 2019 is likely, the Bureau of Meteorology reports. Chances are the remainder of 2019 will be drier than normal for most of Australia. We’ve already seen a spate of devastating bushfires with Queensland Fire and Emergency Services warning that there is an increased bushfire potential this season.


What can we do?
Visit the Lockyer Valley, spend your money locally. There’s lots to see and do! Visit to learn more.
Support rural communities and Aussie farmers by donating to
Buy Australian produce!


Daniel-PenninsiYou recently travelled out to Stanthorpe to deliver a care package to farmers and locals alike. Can you tell us what the conditions were like and how the locals are faring?
It was horrendous. As soon as we got fifty kilometres past Ipswich you could see how the small growers especially, are suffering. All of the apple trees in Stanthorpe had nothing on them. They can’t be salvaged now. It is an absolutely devastating sight. Some of the larger farms have some greenery. Strawberry farmers are saying they think they won’t be able to plant their crop next season. There’s a lot of angst there, a lot towards the politicians. This has been a subject that’s been around for awhile. For years they’ve been saying, “We love the land’ but now they’re saying, “Stuff it. Plow the crop in an go and work for the bigger companies.” The response from the city people gave them some hope. They’re finding no matter who they speak to, there’s no action and it’s all eroding below their feet.
What are your thoughts on the current drought situation?
I think the people that can make the biggest difference is the shoppers. The supermarkets dictate the market. The best thing they can do is ask where it’s from. If it’s local, buy it! Stop being so picky and support locals. Eat produce that’s in season in our region. People need to take interest in their food and ask where it’s from. “What’s local, what’s good?”
How is this affecting produce locally?
Loss of quality cosmetically. Most times it’s pretty good but people have a Google image in their mind so a lot doesn’t even get sent to market with farmers being aware of that. This then means the supply doesn’t meet the overall demand because of that. The customer buys something that looks good and the problem is it is ripening faster than it would in a good season. If the produce hasn’t had enough water, for example cauliflower, it’s only lasting 3-4 days. The conditions play a big role in the quality. When it’s grown locally, its used to our climate. Veggies grown in other states tend to not last long because it’s not used to our environment. There have been gaps in the market, we’ve had to look outside our region to fill the shelves. The supermarkets have quite often got first dibs, so that puts the price of stock up for the remainder of the buyers. So they take 70% out of the market and we fight over the remaining 30%, pushing the prices up for us.
What effects will this have on the consumer?
The price. Supermarkets purchase bulk amount of stock so their prices don’t change for a few weeks, whereas for us it’s pretty instantaneous. Corn, bought 2 weeks ago and stored by supermarkets, remains the same price. We purchase items picked four days ago. The market price changes due to the drought. Price fluctuations due to the drought have to be passed onto the consumer.


Michael-SippelHow are you affiliated with the Lockyer Valley farming industry?
I’m the fifth generation of a farming family. I studied Horticulture at Gatton University and got into the seed industry. I came up with the concept for the Growers Association six years ago. We became incorporated and today we are quite a strong entity in Queensland.
How many droughts have you seen and how would you rate this one by comparison?
I can easily answer this by saying this is the worst. Our underground water has run dry. There’s been such a lack of rain and for such a long period of time. We’ve always run low but you at least get a little bit. The soil moisture is so dry, it’s dry a long way down. That’s the real difference this time.
What’s the general outlook for farmers in the region this season?
There’s not a lot of optimism. At the start of Winter we had some water, we don’t tend to use as much water for those crops. The Summer crops need more water and there’s barely any water in the bores. The water quality in the bores is also not very good. Back in March there was good optimism that demand would be okay but Victoria grew more which has led to overproduction. Farmers here have been paying more for power and wages. No one made any money here during Winter. A lot of people are worried about what next Winter will bring. To start farming again in January is a scary thought for many.
What are the impacts for the future of farming?
I lie in bed worrying about the future of farming. Worried about the families it affects. I don’t think the average household values farming. People walk in to supermarkets and want their fruit and veg but don’t think of farmers. I’m worried that unless the Government really steps up, the future of farming is gone. Where is the waste water from cities going? We could be using that! The water is there, but it’s going out to sea. We need to realise we live in a dry country but we need fresh food on the table. At the end of the day we need the water to grow it. We really need to look at we’re how we’re going to grow food in the future. In the last 20 years, just in South East Queensland alone, we had eighty onion farmers, now we only deal with about ten major onion growers. Where have they gone? What will it look like in another 20 years time? The smaller growers are being pushed out and if the bigger farmers don’t have water, do we import the water from overseas? Or do we import our produce from overseas?
What can we do to resolve this issue, in your opinion?
More consultations with politicians to figure out a plan. Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries, Mark Furner and Premier Annastacia Palazscuk have not been to visit and see how it is. We need some action. We need some dams. When it rains, it rains! If we had caught the water from 2011 we would be okay now. There’s been no dams built since Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen’s era. We need to be capturing all the water and then we need to make it affordable! If water costs us too much, how can we grow food that is affordable for families? Farming is hard work and often a thankless job. If we don’t look after them, there will be none left. We’ll lose them to mining and other industries. Farmers are paying for water that is just not there. Lake Clarendon is dry, so why are they still getting billed?
Is there anything you would like for people to know?
I want people to know that we’re in trouble. It’s not just all media hype, it’s actually a very serious situation. 25-50mm of rain won’t fix it. We’re going to need a long Summer of steady rain to fix the soil. I want people to understand where their food comes from and respect that. Look at your labels, teach yourself, buy Australian grown. Even your tinned tomatoes, pineapples, a lot of them are imported! If the milk industry keeps going the way it is, we won’t have any dairy farmers left. What will we do then? Drink powdered milk? Make a conscious decision to buy Australian grown and pray for rain, it seems like that’s all we can do.


Written by Amanda Anderson

08/10/2019 |

Fruit and Deli Co – Goodwill Bushfire Mission


Knowing how regional areas are suffering as a result of unrelenting dry conditions and recent bushfires, the Pennisi brothers, Daniel and Greg, from the Fruit and Deli Co, North Lakes, decided to take action and recently travelled to Stanthorpe with fourteen pallets of goods and water.

Fruit-and-deli-co-stanthorpe-mission“This whirlwind visit really touched our hearts. Meeting locals like Livio, who is a 3rd generation farmer. Fires have ravaged many farms but perhaps even worse, he said, is the complete lack of water.

At the current rate, they will run out of water by Christmas. Something needs to be done and fast. So much dry land, we need to do everything we can to support the land.

Buy fresh, buy local and buy often. It doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg- but it will cost a lot more by not doing so”, Daniel said.

03/10/2019 |

Movie Under the Stars


Enjoy a night of free family fun when Moreton Bay Regional Council’s starlight cinema comes to Kallangur.

Pack a chair or picnic rug and sit back, relax and enjoy a special starlight movie screening of Hollywood Blockbuster INCREDIBLES 2 at 6pm.


There will be plenty of movie treats on offer, plus a fundraising sausage sizzle by Kallangur State School P&C and a FREE jumping castle.

No glass or alcohol permitted.

Kallangur Movie Under the Stars is a free event proudly presented by Moreton Bay Regional Council and proudly supported by Councillor Denise Sims.

The event is scheduled to be held on Saturday, October 5 from 5pm-8pm at Kallangur State School.

Head to to follow the Facebook event.

03/10/2019 |

Car Parking is Changing at Redcliffe Hospital


Redcliffe Hospital is building a new multi-storey car park.

When completed in 2020, there will be more than 1,100 car spaces available for patients, visitors, and staff to use each day.

Construction of the multi-storey car park began in August 2019, and will take around a year to build.

During construction, some parts of the hospital’s public car park will need to be closed, and there will be around 200 fewer car spaces available on the hospital campus. Patients and visitors coming to the hospital during construction may need to allow extra time to find car parking.

There will still be free parking available on the hospital campus 24/7; and at peak times, there will be around 300 car spaces available for patients and visitors to use.

There will be no changes to pick-up and drop-off zones at the hospital, and there will continue to be parking close to the hospital for people with a disability.

Once opened in 2020, the multi-storey car park will not provide for free parking; a parking fee will apply to park anywhere on the hospital campus.

How much it will cost to park at the hospital is still being determined by Queensland Health. Concessional parking rates will be available for eligible patients, carers, and hospital staff. The tariff rates will be announced before the car park opens next year.

It will always be free to drop-off and pick people up from the hospital.

Until the multi-storey car park opens, it will continue to be free to park at the hospital.



03/10/2019 |

Garage Sale Trail


Hands up if you love a good Garage Sale bargain!

Moreton Bay Regional Council is encouraging households, schools and community groups across the region to get behind the Garage Sale Trail.

One big weekend of Garage Sales on Saturday 19 October and Sunday 20 October.

If you’ve got plenty of unused household items you no longer use or need, why not sell them for some spare cash?

Help reduce waste and reuse items. To register a sale or shop the Garage Trail head to


03/10/2019 |



October marks the official start to storm season. Are you ready?

What would you do if disaster hits? If a bushfire is spreading quickly towards your residence, are you ready?


If a severe storm is approaching and emergency services have requested that the standard emergency warning system be broadcast, are you ready?


If a tropical cyclone heads further south than anticipated and you know your house is in a flood prone area, are you ready?


The Bureau of Meteorology’s outlook for the coming months does not detail plentiful rain for the region. Instead, we’re faced with a dry, hot summer ahead. This does not mean we won’t see storms, however, it increases the chances of low precipitation storms, with lightning strikes leading to the start of bushfires.

This will not necessarily be the case of all storms. Nor does it mean that we will not see a severe weather event in terms of excessive rainfall. We live in Australia. We know it is often the case that it’s one extreme to the other.


So what can we do to make sure our loved ones are safe? The answer is to prepare.

Here are a few simple steps to ensure you’re ready:

Step 1 – Create an emergency plan
Step 2 – Prepare your emergency and evacuation kits
Step 3 – Prepare your home
Step 4 – Tune in to warnings

To learn how to enact all the individual steps comprehensively, visit:

03/10/2019 |

North Lakes Resort Golf Club Sold to Developer


‘North Lakes. Live more. Now’. One of Queensland’s ‘Satellite cities’, earmarked for a population boom. The suburb offers everything for a peaceful lifestyle: education, shopping, medical services, entertainment, employment, sporting facilities, parks, playgrounds and more. One of the big drawcards was the Golf Club. ‘The 18-hole North Lakes championship golf course rounds out the extensive list of outdoor leisure activities available at the community.’ – Stockland sale brochure stated.

The Resort Golf Club boasted Lomandra’s Restaurant, Function Rooms for hire, a stunning location for weddings and a bit of a pricey round of golf, some might say.


The local community was informed of the pending sale to developers via brochures dropped in mailboxes. The brochures advised that a development group, Village Retirement Group, had serious plans to develop the land, despite the fact the land is not zoned for development and is in fact protected against future development by a council Development Control Plan.

There was outrage within the Community, based on a large range of issues this would present and a group of like-minded people banded together and formed what is now known as Save North Lakes Golf Course or SNLGC.


Reasons being touted by advocates for the sale are along the lines of ‘Golf is a dying sport’ and ‘The Club is not a profitable business,’ however many other locals are concerned that not enough has been done to attract customers and players in the first place and that their quiet neighbourhood and wildlife haven, could be transformed into a public park with crime and litter issues.


“What we do know is that The Village Retirement Group are proposing a massive development of 130,000m2 of retirement units, which is the same size of North Lakes Westfield, as well as a 100 bed, 3 level, nursing home to be built right on top of existing Open Space land. With the balance of the land to potentially be used as public park, to be known as North Lakes Common. But you need to ask yourself some questions regarding this proposed public park; Who will fund the park being built? Who will maintain the park? To what standard will the park be maintained? Will the park land just end up being built over like the golf course is currently threatened to be? Will the park become a crime area? Couple all that with the fact that the land is made up of mostly low lying, flood prone areas. The golf course plays multiple roles for North Lakes as it limits the human impact and provides a great sanctuary for wildlife, great stormwater control, beautiful vistas, a lovely wedding venue, a large function centre and a great local restaurant, all of which attracted people to build their home in the area”, a spokesperson from Save North Lakes Golf Club Group has said.


A message on North Lakes Resort Golf Club website reads: ‘North Lakes Resort Golf Club and Lomandras Restaurant are permanently closed for business. We wish to thank our members, customers and the broader golfing community for their support over the past 17 years. We are forever grateful for our team of exceptional employees. Thank you for you all the laughs and fond memories, we will cherish these and wish everyone happy golfing.’


Many locals supporting SNLGC are worried that council will not uphold the Development Control Plan, allowing the protected golf course land to be subject to commercial development.

Only time will tell the extent to which SNLGC will be required and are prepared to go, in order to protect the interests of their concerned local residents.

03/09/2019 |

Restricted Parking – Diamond Jubilee Way


To improve safety for motorists and pedestrians, parking will be formally restricted with the installation of yellow no stopping lines and no stopping signs along Diamond Jubilee Way between Anzac Avenue and Memorial Drive in the vicinity of the sports fields.

Council considered that a narrow parking lane alongside a designated arterial road with a 60km/h speed limit was not an appropriate location for on-street parking, particularly where young children may congregate around vehicles as families access these sports fields.


03/09/2019 |

Residents of Lake Eden: The Black Swan


Arguably the lake’s most charismatic resident, the black swan (Cygnus atratus) is a distinctive native bird with some intriguing qualities.

cygnets-with-mumma-black-swan-living-loving-photographyAdult black swans are big – up to 1.4 metres long with a 2-metre wingspan and sometimes weighing upwards of 8 kilograms. Their necks, which already seem long enough, are proportionally the longest of all swans. Their red-orange bills stand out from black and dark grey plumage covering everywhere except beneath their wings, where there are bright white flight feathers. Young swans, called cygnets, are less striking; their feathers are grey and their bills are black. Cygnets are precocious, able to feed and swim on their own immediately after hatching from their pale green eggs.

Black swans lay clutches of up to eight eggs in large mounded nests of reeds and grasses that sit at the water’s edge or float in deep water. Both parents, who pair for life, help to care for the eggs and young. As egg and cygnet, the swan is vulnerable to predators like rats and birds of prey. When the nest is threatened, parents flap their wings, and whistle and hiss loudly. These sounds contrast with their usual high-pitched trumpeting, bugling and crooning. Like most waterfowl, they are unable to fly for a month after breeding due to a coincidental simultaneous wing moult.

Black swans can be sedentary or nomadic; they migrate opportunistically, guided by drought, rainfall and the stability of water sources. Most commonly, they inhabit fresh and brackish lakes, marshes and rivers but, when not breeding, also venture to coastal waters and offshore islands. They choose locations where there is plentiful food. Black swans are herbivorous, eating vegetation and algae in water or on the shore. Along with grazing, they filter-feed using lamellae – fine comb-like projections – inside their bills. Their adaptability means that these birds can be seen almost everywhere in Australia, although they aren’t known in the north and centre. A subspecies of black swan lived in New Zealand before the arrival of the Maori, who are thought to have over hunted the birds to extinction. Then, in the late 19th Century, the species was reintroduced by Europeans who brought over Australian birds. Since some swans have even flown all the way from Australia, scientists consider them as native to New Zealand. Their numbers have increased such that they are now an agricultural pest.

How bittersweet.

Written by Charlotte Liehr

Images by Living and Loving Photography

26/08/2019 |
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