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It is a place, a project and a partnership.


The Blue Heart is an area of more than 5,000 hectares on a natural floodplain in the Maroochy River catchment. The area includes approximately 2,000 hectares of public land. This comprises council's Coolum Creek environment reserve network, the Queensland Government's Coolum Creek Conservation Park, and Unitywater's Yandina Creek Wetland.

Surrounding this area are lands for:

  • rural lifestyle, rural and agricultural purposes
  • generation of renewable energy
  • open space purposes.

The impacts of climate change and sea level rise are expected to transition parts of the Blue Heart to estuarine wetlands over the coming decades.


The Blue Heart provides flood storage for the Maroochy River Catchment. Preserving flood storage within this area is critical to the ongoing flood management of the catchment and in particular the protection of the built environment.

Blue Heart project objectives are to: 

  • Protect the most critical areas of the floodplain
  • Establish wetland and floodplain ecosystems
  • Improve water quality in the Maroochy River
  • Provide community and recreation opportunities
  • Investigate and support new uses for the surrounding rural and agricultural lands, including economic opportunities for landowners.

The Blue Heart Sunshine Coast is a Transformational Action for council's Environment and Liveability Strategy - delivering a healthy environment and liveable Sunshine Coast in 2041.


This project is an innovative partnership between council, the Queensland Government's Department of Environment, Science and Innovation, and Unitywater. The partners will proactively work together to achieve the Blue Heart project objectives.


Many opportunities will emerge as the Blue Heart area transitions over time.

Council will work with landholders and local communities to explore new land use options. These options aim to build future economic and environmental resilience, while retaining a focus on flood hazard management and climate change adaptation. This will include leading discussions on funding from new industries, such as blue carbon and environmental offsets.

Throughout the life of the project, council will seek the support of partners, external agencies and major corporations to achieve project objectives.

Historic and current land uses in the Blue Heart

Blue Carbon Trial

Blue Carbon Trial

Land size: 165 ha

The blue carbon trail is occurring on council owned land north of the Maroochy River. You will find the blue carbon trial frequently asked questions fact sheet, the hydrological modelling report, mosquito management plan and other blue carbon information here.

Coolum Creek Conservation Park

Coolum Creek Conservation Park

Partner: Department of Environment, Science and Innovation

Land size: 347ha

The conservation park helps to protect the endangered Casuarina ecosystems and other birds and mammals of conservation significance.

Coolum Creek Environment Reserves

Coolum Creek Environment Reserves

Partner: Sunshine Coast Council

Land size: 550ha

This land assists to consolidate important biodiversity values through protection and rehabilitation activities.

Learn more about the Coolum Creek environment reserve network and recent land acquisitions.

Historic land use

Historic land use

Kabi Kabi Peoples, Traditional Owners, have maintained an ongoing connection to the Maroochy River floodplain for millennia. The area is of great cultural heritage significance. For much of the 1900’s the Blue Heart area was a thriving sugar cane growing hub. The Moreton Sugar Mill in Nambour closed in 2003 which changed land use in the Blue Heart. While there’s less cane farming these days, rural lifestyle and other agricultural land uses continue in the Blue Heart.

Maroochy River Environment Reserve

Maroochy River Environment Reserve

Partner: Sunshine Coast Council

Land size: 14ha

This reserve contains five different species of mangroves, some of which are up to 200 years old. It also contains a number of different vegetation communities that support habitat for various species of flora and fauna.

View the Coolum Creek environment reserve network and other recent land acquisitions.

Maroochy Wetlands Sanctuary

Maroochy Wetlands Sanctuary

Partner: Sunshine Coast Council

Land size: 112ha

This wetland is home to wet and dry eucalypt forests, rainforest, melaleuca forest, casuarina woodland, saltmarsh and mangroves. More than 200 types of birds, as well as crabs, butterflies and other animals call the wetlands their home.

Find out more about the Maroochy wetlands sanctuary and how you can explore the wonders of the wetland.

Recreation trail

Recreation trail

Partner: Sunshine Coast Council

Land size: N/A

Recreation trails such as the scenic Maroochy River canoe trail and the planned trail from Nambour to Coolum contribute to the Sunshine Coast’s unique character, relaxed and healthy lifestyle and rich biodiversity.

Visit Adventure Sunshine Coast for more information on the recreation trails in the Blue Heart such as Dunethin Rock, Mount Ninderry or the Yandina Creek Wetland.

Sunshine Coast Solar Farm

Sunshine Coast Solar Farm

Partner: Sunshine Coast Council

Land size: 49ha

The 15MV solar farm generates enough energy to offset 100% of council’s electricity consumption. In its first year of operation, the solar farm received five prestigious awards. Learn more about council's solar farm.

Yandina Creek Wetland

Yandina Creek Wetland

Partner: Unitywater

Land size: 191ha

This area is former cane land that is naturally being restored to wetlands. It is used to deliver water quality nutrient offsets.

Find out more about this project on Unitywater’s website.

191ha of former can land that is naturally being restored to wetlands.  It is used to deliver water quality nutrient offsets.
Sunshine Coast solar farm
Coolum Creek Conservation Park
Coolum Creek Environmental Reserves
Maroochy Wetlands Sanctuary
Maroochy River canoe trail
Maroochy River Environment Reserve
Blue Heart landholder information sessions.
Cane cutters on a Maroochy River property around 1930.
Cane harvesting on a Maroochy River farm in the early 90s.

Resources and tools

While living in the Maroochy River flood plain can be a challenge, there are also opportunities. These resources may help you understand more about living in the Blue Heart and projects in the area. 

Community engagement

Council has been engaging with land holders and residents in the Blue Heart as well as a variety of relevant groups and organisations. Outcomes of some previous engagement are below.

Stay up to date

Sign up now to receive Blue Heart Sunshine Coast updates. You'll be the first to know when there's exciting news or upcoming events. If you missed any you will find them here.

Check out the news centre for the latest media articles.

For more information contact the project team via email: [email protected]

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