Pumicestone Passage catchment

The Pumicestone Passage catchment receives freshwater inflows from a network of streams including Elimbah, Ningi, Bullock, Bells, Mellum, Coochin, Coonowrin, Tibrogargan, and Hussey Creeks.

These drain eastward from the D'Aguilar Range and the spectacular Glasshouse Mountains.

The passage separates Bribie Island from the mainland and is a long, tidal waterway influenced primarily by tidal flushing of the southern passage from Deception Bay. Approximately 80% of the passage is less than 2 metres deep.

Due to environmental diversity, including seagrass meadows, sand islands, mud flats, mangroves and significant species such as turtles, dugongs and migratory shorebirds, the Pumicestone Passage is part of the Ramsar-listed Moreton Bay Marine Park. It is also a declared fish habitat area and a high ecological value waterway under State legislation

The passage is also a regional aquatic playground, presenting opportunities such as boating, paddling, fishing and swimming, which attract thousands of locals and visitors each year.  


View a map of the Pumicestone Passage catchment(PDF, 532KB).

Statistics and facts

  • 785 square kilometres total catchment area 
  • 42% within City of Moreton Bay region (58% within Sunshine Coast Council region)
  • 45 kilometres from end to end by boat
  • population of 61 000 in urban areas
  • major industries include forestry and other primary production including pineapples, strawberries, turf and tree cropping

Catchment management

In response to declines in water quality, loss of wildlife habitat and population growth within the catchment, City of Moreton Bay, Sunshine Coast Council, and more than 30 stakeholders are working together to improve the health of the Pumicestone Passage and its catchment with implementation of the Pumicestone Passage catchment action plan(PDF, 5MB). The plan follows implementation of the inaugural 2013-2016 Pumicestone Passage Catchment Action Plan and will build upon the projects delivered during that time.

The action plan features 32 projects aimed at improving the health of the Pumicestone Passage and Catchment area, including taking steps to improve water quality and enhancing local habitats and biodiversity.