The Beauty of 3 Creeks: Blue Creek, Melawondi, Q

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Many times (more than 1500) I crossed this stream in my youth, and each time I was drawn to its beauty and wondered about its colour. There is no other stream around here with blue water. In limestone areas creeks are blue, in glaciated areas glacial rock-flour makes the streams and lakes very blue, but this is neither a karst are nor a glacial area.

Now I have worked it out. I have found some white clays in the upper catchment and these produce very white particles (colloids) that are suspended in the water giving it its milky blue appearance, especially where the water is pooled.

Blue Creek flows from the northern slopes of Mt Grainger to Kandanga Creek. Most of its valley is referred to as Melawondi locality, named after a railway siding on the Mary Valley Branch railway that crosses this valley.

Some of its catchment is now included in a newly gazetted area of national park, some of its catchment was used for pineapple growing in the past, most is now used for cattle grazing, and there is a moderate sized sawmill or timber reprocessing plant using hoop pine from forest plantations around Imbil.

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Comments (8)

bdeh on April 17, 2012

Beautiful picture and place Ian and intersting story about the colour of the water. LIKE! Greetings Berend

Geerten on April 17, 2012

very interesting indeed!

Ian Stehbens on April 17, 2012

Thank you, Berend. You probably noticed that this creek is not always placid. Sometimes, including recently it becomes a torrent.

Warm regards,


sistuccio on April 17, 2012

LIKE for this picture and the colour of water!!!Ciao,Dino

Ian Stehbens on April 17, 2012

It great to share these insignificant but beautiful corners of the world with you, Geerten. I know now how much you like to go to the insignificant corners whether in NZ or OZ.

Warm regards,


bdeh on April 17, 2012

I noticed the branches lying at the dead tree and knew that the water has been a lot higher Ian. Greetings Berend

pedrocut on April 17, 2012

Hi Ian

Thanks for the interesting information, you must have been pleased to find the reason.

All the best from England, Peter

Ian Stehbens on April 18, 2012

Greetings Peter. I appreciate your interest and selection of this image, Peter. I guess my exploring of our bush creeks is the Australian equivalent of your walking the old towpaths beside English canals.

Warm regards,


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Photo details

  • Uploaded on April 16, 2012
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Ian Stehbens