24°S 152°E Bustard Bay– Queensland by Degrees

 

AT THE POINT

go1

Degree confluence 24°S 152°E, Google Earth

SIT

Location: The point is located at sea in Bustard Bay about 20 km north-north-east of the Town of 1770.The site was not visited.

The Landscape: At sea.

WITHIN THE DEGREE SQUARE

The Country: The degree square can be divided into three distinct landscapes: the offshore reefs and cays; the coastal areas; and the hinterland. The reefs and cays of the Bunker Group mark the southern-most extent of the Great Barrier Reef. They are separated from the mainland by the Curtis Channel. Lady Musgrave Island is typical of the reef communities. It is a classic atoll with a broad reef bench surrounding an inner lagoon and a small sand cay island at its western end. The vegetation on the cays is low salt tolerant shrubs and low trees such as Coastal She-oak (Casuarina equisetifolia) and Cottontree (Hibiscus tiliaceus) and Pandanus (Pandanus tectorius) and a ground cover of plants such as Beach Spinifex (Spinifex sericeus) and Beach Morning Glory (Ipomoea pes-caprae). Fauna is mainly confined to sea birds such as terns and boobies.

The coastal area is marked by a broad beach, dunes, swale and back-swamp landscape, broken in a few places such as Bustard Head and Round Hill (Town of 1770) by headlands of Triassic (250 to 205 million years) volcanics and granites on which the sands transported from the south are anchored. Vegetation along the coastal strip is very similar to that on the cays, however further inland the back-swamps carry a vegetation of sedges, rushes and herbs, often with a fringe of mangrove species, backed by forests of Paperbark (Melaleuca quinquenervia). Further inland the deeper soils support eucalypt-dominated woodlands and low forests with an understory of grasses and shrubs or wallum heaths dominated by Banksias such as Dwarf Banksia (Banksia oblongifolia) and Wallum Banksia (B. aemula). Several species of turtle lay their eggs on the beaches of the area. The coastline also has a wide range of birds ranging from emus to tiny honeyeaters.

The hinterland area is marked by rolling hill terrain and intervening valleys. The hills reach 350 to 400 m in elevation. The geology is composed mainly of Triassic volcanic (towards the coast) or Permian-Triassic intrusions of granite (around Miriam Vale). Much of the native eucalypt-dominated forests and woodlands have been cleared for agriculture. Those that remain are largely within the National Parks and Conservation areas within the square.

loc

bech

Beach near Flat Rock

grtree

Dune and swale vegetation

The Climate: The area has a moist subtropical climate with a relatively dry winter. The nearest climate station with data on the Bureau of Meteorology web site is Bustard Head Light which has been operating since 1885.

Bustard Head Light (site 039018) 1885 to 2008

 

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Year

Mean max (ºC)

28.4

28.1

27.3

25.6

23.1

21.0

20.3

21.1

22.9

25.1

26.8

28.0

24.8

Mean min (ºC)

22.5

22.1

21.1

19.1

16.6

14.2

13.2

14.1

16.2

18.5

20.7

22.0

18.4

Mean rain (mm)

194.8

192.4

146.3

86.8

80.9

71.6

55.2

37.1

35.4

55.7

70.3

119.7

1149.6

The area is subject to the impact of tropical cyclones and east coast lows.

CYC

Cyclone tracks within 200 km of the confluence, 1906 to 2006 (Bureau of Meteorology web site)

Extremes of Nature: The area has been subject to the impact of numerous destructive cyclones. At least eight cyclones have tracked through the degree square, the first of which was a Category 2 storm of 8 February 1915. The most destructive cyclone to pass through the degree square was Category 3 TC Fran which crossed the coast (at Category 2 level) at Town of 1770 on 15 March 1992. An unnamed Category 3 storm on 2 March 1949 passed close to the area and caused considerable damage and loss of life in the area from Fraser Island to Yeppoon and Rockhampton.The area is also exposed to east coast lows (so-called 'winter cyclones') and severe thunder storms.The National Earthquake Database maintained by Geoscience Australia records 19 epicentres within the degree square. The largest seismic episode was the magnitude 6.0 event of 6 June 1918 and six major aftershocks of magnitude 5 to 5.7 located at 23.5OS 152.5OE (the north-east corner of the square) near the Swains Reefs. This was the largest seismic event ever recorded in Queensland. Because of its distance from settlement it caused only minor damage in both Gladstone and Bundaberg.

The Indigenous Story: The coastal area is the territory of the Gureng Gureng people.

European Exploration and Settlement: Captain Cook made a landing at Bustard Point to replenish his water and for crew to hunt for wildlife while his scientific party undertook some collecting. This brief 'settlement' later gave rise to the change of name for the location to 'Town of 1770'.

Today: 

The degree square is largely rural. The main settlements are Miriam Vale (population around 423), Agnes Waters (666) and Town of 1770 (76). Agnes Waters has seen the greatest growth over the past decade, mainly as a ‘sea change’ development. The rural population, however, has declined since 2006.

MEASURE

1996

2001

2006

2011

Total population

3776

4071

4378

3627

Total males

2034

2147

2349

1903

Total females

1742

1924

2029

1724

Under 5 years

305

246

235

240

65 years and over

371

489

479

510

Indigenous

53

66

85

96

There are parts of five National Parks (Bulburin, Capricornia Cays, Deepwater, Eurimbula and Mount Colosseum) and four conservation areas (Broadwater, Bustard Head, Eurimbula and Joseph Banks) located within the degree square. The offshore reefs also fall within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.Land use in the degree square is dominated by cattle grazing.

Site Summary:

Location

At Sea in Bustard Bay

Nearest town

Town of 1770

Access

This point has not been visited

Terrain

 

Catchment

 

Geology & soils

 

Vegetation

 

Land use

 

Climate

Moist Subtropical with relatively dry winter

Population in degree square

4378 at the 2006 census

Compiler: Ken Granger 2008

Edited by: Hayley Freemantle