Cudgen Creek

Cudgen Creek is a small coastal tidal creek on the Tweed Coast in far north New South Wales. The creek originates in Cudgen Lake at the edge of Bogangar township, and flows into the sea at Kingscliffe. This description starts at the lake. Access is from the northern edge of Bogangar off the Coast Road into Tamarind Avenue, then Willow Avenue to Cudgen Lake Nature Reserve.

The lake is shallow and brackish, about 162 hectares in size,and surrounded by paperbark forest swamp. To the south lies Round Mountain, with a distant Mount Warning to the south-west. No powered craft are permitted on the lake. Except for one building near the launch ramp, and a couple of far hilltop houses, there is little sign of human habitation. There are extensive reed beds growing in the water in the western half of the lake. As with all lakes it does not take much wind to make a choppy little wave to paddle against. An early paddle around the perimeter will often see several pairs of swamp harriers (hawks) flying above the shallows.

The northern shoreline shelves out gently. The yellow sand looks firm and is, in parts, but is mostly very soft, with the foot going down through it to over the knee. Do not attempt to land there, or drag your canoe through shallow water.

Cudgen Creek is found at the northern end of the lake, in the far eastern corner. Given the soft mud, paddle times should coincide with high tide. The tide flows quite strongly, and it is highly recommended that you do not choose to paddle against it. The Old Bogangar Road bridge is four kilometres downstream. The southern part is in paperbark and casuarina tree swamp, and approaching the bridge the swamp vegetation changes to some more salt resistant species. Some sections are lined with large ferns and white lillies. Flood debris in the trees shows that at times the entire area is under water. It is possible to put in and take out at that bridge, on the right eastern side.

Five kilometres downstream from the Old Bogangar Road bridge the Coast Road bridge crosses over; one more kilometre to the sea. There is a park and boat ramp on the left just before the sea, at the corner of Marine Parade and Moss Streets in Kingscliffe. See the photograph above, looking upstream from the boat ramp, Marine Parade. Do the trip in reverse on a rising tide.

Given that the Lake section is one kilometre from ramp to Cudgen Creek, the trip works out at about eleven kilometres one way. Years ago the area to the sea, across the Coast Road on the beach side was extensively sand mined. There is a remnant on the lake side of that road, of littoral rainforest, or coastal vine scrub. This paddle section is in an area of amazing beauty.


Click on thumbnails below photos to see larger images
Cudgen Lake Cudgen Creek flowing into the lake looking south to Round Mountain view from Old Bogangar Road bridge
Cudgen Lake
entrance Cudgen Ck to Lake
Round Mtn from Lake
Old Bogangar bridge view