St Lawrence is one of the oldest towns on the coast and its character is firmly linked to its historical beginnings which are still evident today. The township was established to service a major port facility which is no longer in use. One of the remaining historical buildings from this time is the Council office, originally built to service the Customs Office for the Port of St Lawrence. The remains of the port and abattoir, constructed using convict labour, are also accessible. The Courthouse and Police Station was built in 1879 and has been repainted in its original colour scheme. The Centenary Pavilion at the sportsground (beside the tennis courts) was built to celebrate the Shire’s Centenary in 1979 and includes a collection of past machinery and relics.
Places of interest
The St Lawrence Anglican Church celebrated its 100th anniversary in May 1998. Prior to the construction of the Church in 1898, services were held quarterly in the courthouse. The St Lawrence Cemetery is also historically important as many graves date back to the 1800s. While not all graves are marked, there is a grave register held at the Council office and library. The historical railway building is also located in the main street of St Lawrence. The old railway station has been recently restored to accommodate the St Lawrence Library.
Freshwater fish habitat
Most of Queensland’s freshwater fish need to move (or migrate) between rivers, floodplains, or the sea to breed and grow. This migration is critical for the survival of native fish populations. Thousands of barriers such as dams, weirs, causeways, and culverts, together with reduced river flows and destruction of fish habitat, have affected fish migrations. This has resulted in reduced numbers and types of fish that can be caught. Along the St Lawrence Northern Road, you will find two ‘fishway’ structures on the side of the causeway. ‘Fishways’ are structures allowing fish to move past barriers and allowing natural fish movements to occur. Read the signs on the causeway to learn more about the fish found here.
St Lawrence Wetlands
The St Lawrence Wetlands are key perennial wetlands within the St Lawrence Creek system. This forms part of the greater Broadsound Wetlands – listed in the Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia. The wetlands contain three types of wetlands: deep open water (lagoons); shallow vegetated (swamps) and coastal Melaleuca Swamp (remnants of a disappearing ecosystem in Central Queensland). Here visitors will find fish, insects, turtles, snakes, and frogs. Waterbirds feed on fish, invertebrates, and aquatic plants, including their seeds. The wetlands’ depth varies. It is at its highest between January – April and lowest between September – November. The St Lawrence Wetlands have interpretive signs located along the walking track. Read and learn more about this precious resource while observing local plants, wildlife, and beautiful birds.
St Lawrence Wetlands Weekend
Each year the St Lawrence Wetlands burst into life celebrating with one of Queensland’s premier cultural and food events. The three-day event provides one of Queensland’s most unique experiences with visitors from around Australia travelling to the Isaac Coast. Visitors enjoy our unique intimate setting and partake in the arts and cultural heritage experiences, delight in our localised culinary sessions, while exploring the wetlands and learning about the region’s broader environmental eco-system.
St Lawrence Wetlands support nationally threatened waterbirds, as well as shorebirds which migrate internationally along the East Asian – Australasian Flyway. The reserve is home to a variety of birds (over 55 waterbird species have been recorded in the area, with 92 bird species recorded in total). Flocks of Magpie Geese arrive in the early part of the wet season, feeding on the tubers of Eleocharis (water chestnut) sedge. Other birds occasionally seen in the wetlands around the swamps and sedges include Black Bittern, Little Bittern, Baillon’s Crake, the threatened Australian Painted Snipe, and the threatened Capricorn Yellow Chat. Pairs or groups of Radjahs Shelduck are often seen at the site. When the wetlands are full, the deep open water is used by diving birds such as the Hardhead and the Australasian Grebe. Occasionally the Great Crested Grebe and Swans will nest along the shoreline.
Exploring St Lawrence
- Visit the historic, heritage listed Anglican Church, built in 1898.
- Visit St Lawrence Cemetery, the cemetery has many graves dating back to the mid-1800s. A grave register is held at the Council office and library.
- Discover the St Lawrence Wetlands and its abundance of birdlife. The wetlands’ depth varies, being at its highest between January and April, and lowest between September and November.
- Camp at the St Lawrence Recreation Grounds with views of the wetlands for a few nights.
- Drive up the Connors Range to Schneider’s Inn Lookout to experience panoramic views of the wetlands, coastline and islands which are not recommended for caravans.
- Join us as one of nature’s finest wetlands bursts into life. Visit the Wetlands Weekend page for more information about the St Lawrence Wetlands Weekend held in June each year.