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Gold Coast - Southport to Jumpinpin -

 

The northern part of the City of Gold Coast sits on a narrow spit of sand, with the Pacific Ocean to the East, and the Nerang River to the West. The Nerang has changed its mouth in historic times. At the present it enters the sea at the Seaway, with rocky training walls either side, and a sand bypass on the southern side of the south training wall. On the northern side of the north wall is South Stradbroke Island, a thin long sand spit.

An artificial island, Wavebreak Island was made from dredged sand, and lies at the western throat of the Seaway. The area immediately surrounding Wavebreak Island is very shallow, and paddlers trying to transit the area on a falling tide can find themselves facing a walk and portage kilometres across. Deeper channels can be found hard up against the western shore of the Broadwater, and close to the eastern side of Wavebreak. Extreme caution is urged on those contemplating using the Eastern channel, as it passes the throat of the Seaway, and the tide race here on a falling tide can exceed 10 kilometres an hour. Unless you are prepared for, and competent in a crossing a bar on a falling tide, avoid going down the Seaway.

These waters with the backdrop of the skyscraping towers of Surfers Paradise to the near south, and the outline of Mt Warning to the far south, are home to a large number of water craft. Motor cruisers, large scenic tour ferry boats, tall sailing ships, yachts, numerous jet skis, boats pulling para-sailers, wind surfers, para-surfers and so on are all here. Boat wash can be a metre high. This locality, particularly the western side of Wavebreak Island offers ample room to paddle any variety of paddle craft. It is possible to launch at the Ray Street, Biggera Waters boat ramp at any stage of the tide, and if paddling north, to avoid (most) low tide sandbanks. There are numerous other launch possibilities, found anywhere on Marine Parade which parallels the shoreline.

The Gold Coast City Council campground at Southern Currigee (pre-booking essential for overnight stay) is only 2.8 kilometres north east of the Ray Street ramp, or 3.2 kilometres from the southern tip at the Seaway. The obvious aiming point is the yellow fan shaped sandy beach. Closer up will show the campground 200 metres north of the fan. With a million people on its doorstep, this place is never deserted, nor does the constant boat traffic up and down the channel close by, cease. Somewhat unbelievably, open fires are still permitted in the campground.

In May 2007, a notice advised that a fee of $2:00 was payable by day visitors. A track leads to the ocean side of the island. This part of the island has attractive and pleasant coastal scrub vegetation. The sound of many birds greets you as you draw near the shore.

The Northern Currigee campground is 2.3 kilometres north of South Currigee. Some 10 kilometres north of South Currigee is Couran Cove, a large resort that is barely visible, being fanned around the cove inlet, up a deep water channel. Large ferry boats use this channel.

Another 3 kilometres north is Tipplers Resort, with a couple of wharves. A sea plane operates in this area, more heard than seen, and is the source of the loud buzz saw noise. With all the sea traffic, you should hug the eastern bank. Seventeen kilometres north of South Currigee is the Bedroom, another Gold Coast City Council campground, although this one has minimal facilities. Take your own water, and pre-book campsites. The Bedroom consists of low sand dunes behind a sandy beach, and a thin line of she-oaks that gives shelter from the south east winds. The northern tip of the island is 20 kilometres up from South Currigee. A description of this area, and a photograph of The Bedroom can be found in the Guidebook at Jacobs Well to Jumpinpin and North Stradbroke Island.

 
Click on thumbnails below photos to see larger images
 
S. Straddie left, Wavebreak right
sat map of Southern Straddie
S. Currigee campsite
Ray St ramp
view past Wavebreak Is.
bar entrance
S. Currigee camp
Ray St. Ramp