Townsville SOE home page

The Nelly Bay Habitat Reserve

The Nelly Bay Habitat Reserve was established in 1996 as a Conservation Reserve by the Townsville City Council with the help of community efforts. The Habitat Reserve boasts high levels of ecological and conservation values by providing a protected area that links Nelly Bay’s highlands and lowlands to join with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, part of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

Aim of the Habitat Reserve

The reserve is a coastal nature conservation project that was developed to protect and manage the remnant native vegetation communities and the Native Pigeon and Stone Curlew’s which inhabit the area.

A Nelly Bay Habitat Reserve Management Plan has been developed to ensure the Reserve’s aims are met. The management philosophy for the reserve includes:

  • Maintain and enhance Pied Imperial Pigeon and Bush Stone Curlew habitat in the Habitat Reserve.
  • Maintain a vegetation corridor through the Habitat areas to retain the connection between the upland and lowlands.
  • Provide bird watching, interpretative trails and picnic facilities in the habitat area.
  • Raise awareness about Pied Imperial Pigeons and Bush Stone Curlews.
  • Provide for drainage of surrounding properties and maintain the riparian ecology of the creek and pool
  • Foster community involvement in the implementation and on going maintenance of the reserve.

Location and Facilities of the Habitat Reserve

The Habitat Reserve is located at Nelly Bay Road, providing easy access for the community to utilise the facilities the reserve offers. Within the reserve an interpretative artwork display about the wildlife, habitats and landscapes of Magnetic Island, including the Nelly Bay habitat reserve is provided. A Melaleuca forest Viewing platform and area for natural contemplation are linked by wheelchair accessible paved trails. Woodlands, Littoral rainforest, freshwater pools and an ephemeral creek run through the habitat. The freshwater pools provides dry season refuge for the native animals as well as a scenic position for nature based picnics and bird watching activities.

Nelly Bay Habitat Reserve Map Nelly Bay Habitat Reserve Map
Click to enlarge

Ecological Values of the Nelly Bay Habitat Reserve

Lowland woodland in Nelly Bay

The Nelly Bay Habitat Reserve contains 9 habitat types producing an array of native vegetation species and providing homes to many native fauna.

1. Bloodwood woodland Corymbia clarksoniana woodland
2. Casuarina woodland
3. Eucalyptus tessellaris woodland
4. Foredune open scrub/ grassland
5. Littoral rainforest
6. Littoral scrub
7. Mangroves
8. Melaleuca / Pandanus
9. Melaleuca / Scrub

The habitat abuts the fringing coral reefs of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and includes opportunities for great snorkelling and diving


The Nelly Bay Habitat Reserve contains several native birds...

Pied Imperial Pigeons
Pigeons and Doves
Stone Curlews
Orange – footed Scrubfowl

...and several native mammals.

Brush-tail Possums
Allied Rock-wallabys



More information about the Nelly Bay area:

Nelly Bay Management Plans

Nelly Bay Habitat Interpretative Centre

Magnetic Island Wildlife Reflector Project

Site References


Search the Natural Assets Database
Location (Area/Shire)
Nelly Bay Habitat Reserve
Magnetic Island
Townsville Shire 
vegetation (5)  -  birds (4)  -  habitats (9)  -  documents (3)  -  maps (1)  

Townsville City Council Home PageCouncil's Environment Management Services