Belmont Lagoon Reserve
DetailsBelmont Lagoon is situated between the Pacific Ocean and Lake Macquarie in the community of Belmont. The reserve is made up of five main biotic areas. Swamp Forest- which occurs to the northeast and south of the lagoon. It consists of an open forest of Broad Leaved Paperbark with areas of Swamp Oak. The understorey is dominated by Common Weed and Slender Twig Rush. Nectar and insect eating birds make use of this community as well as variety of reptile and frog species. Swamp Heath- To the south east lies an area of swamp heath dominated by Prickly Tea Tree and Coastal Tea Tree with an understorey of various sedges, restiads and grasses. Stiff Bottlebrushes are scattered throughout this area. This area is the habitat of a range of smaller birds including the Blackfaced Cuckoo Shrike, Eastern Whip Bird and the Welcome Swallow Reed Swamp- This occurs as a fringe around the whole lagoon, and is dominated by the Common Reed and Sea Rush. Birds including the Clamorous Reed Warbler, Great Egret and Swamp Hen are found here, along with frogs such as the Striped Marsh Frog and Common Eastern Froglet. Sedge Land- This area consists of a dense growth of sedges and grasses up to 50cm high, with scattered low growing plants such as Sundews and Swamp Penny Worts. Birds inhabiting this area include the Superb Blue Wren and Variegated Wren. OPen Water- These areas contain Grey Mangroves and several salt marsh species and are a breeding ground for marine invertebrates and fish. The area is utilised by an abundant range of bird life, including many larger birds such as the Black Swan and the Royal Spoonbill and international migatory waders from as far as Siberia and Alaska, such as the Bar-Tailed Godwit.
Aboriginal History Human use of the area began with the Awabakal people who occupied the lagoon system and utilised its resources for perhaps the last 6000 years. The ancient Awabakal legend of The Teardrop of the Moon tells how Belmont Lagoon was formed. War History During World War II, the Department of Defence dredged Cold Tea Creek to provide an anti tank barrier and defence line. Some of the tetrahedral concrete blocks used as this barrier still remain in place, including a memorial loacted at the lake entrance to Cold Tea Creek. The dredging resulted in the lagoon being divided into two parts, and it now has a permanent connection to the saline waters of Lake Macquarie, thereby altering its salinity and circulation pattern.
For more information contact Lake Macquarie Visitor Information Centre on (02) 4921 0740.