Rous River - Tumbulgum to Boat Harbour Bridge


The Rous River (sounds like House) is a tributary of the Tweed River, and is canoeable from Tumbulgum to Boat Harbour. This is about seventeen kilometres of tidal water. There is no public access at Boat Harbour, so the last exit point is the Kynnumboon Bridge, which is 7.0 kilometres short of Boat Harbour.

The Rous joins the Tweed opposite the boat ramp in the small town of Tumbulgum. That's on the right hand bank looking upstream. It is nine kilometres up to Mayal Creek, which joins the Rous to the Tweed four kilometres away . The creek sets the eastern boundary to the city of Murwillumbah. The northern entrance to the creek (from the Rous) is fairly small. Photograph three below shows a view from up the creek looking back out across the Rous. The river fairly streams along with the tide, past a few timbered hills near Tumbulgum, and through cane fields as it runs parallel to the Tweed.

Road access follows the river from Tumbulgum across the Tweed on the Terranora Bridge, then loops right back under the bridge. Nine kilometres upstream is Alf Colefax and Pat Smith Parks, which are suitable for launch on the higher tide. Two hundred metres back downstream from the parks is a rock embankment next to the road, which is good for launch at any time, if you can manage the steep scramble. About one hundred metres downstream from the parks the main arm of the Rous turns south, half a kilometre more downstream is Mayal Creek.

The next upstream road access is at Kynnumboon Bridge on the Tomewin Road. It is possible to launch on the downstream, Murwillumbah, side of the bridge. This is where you need a good map with you in the boat. A GPS as well. If planning on going downstream from where Mayal Creek joins the Rous, and driving out of Murwillumbah, take the Queensland Road out of town past the Showgrounds, and then Tomewin Road after crossing the Kynnumboon Bridge, then right into the Dulguigan Road..

Mayal Creek

The new Boat Harbour Bridge is 7 kilometres more upstream (view from Bridge see top photograph). Once upon a time, this was a waterway deep enough for the cream boat to call in and load cream churns for the Murwillumbah Norco butter factory. Boat Harbour is private property behind a locked gate.

As stated above, Boat Harbour to Kynnumboon is tidal, and can be paddled year round. It is possible to paddle in Grade 2 water from Chilcotts Road causeway (Chillingham end) down to Boat harbour, and on to exit at Kynnumboon for a total of 17 kilometres. At Grade 2 there are several dangerous strainers. Canoeists should be very careful if lacking whitewater experience. This upper section is only possible after heavy rain, with a recommended river height of 1.2 m at Boat Harbour.



Click on thumbnails below to see larger images
Boat ramp Tumbulgum, Rous River opposite   McPherson Range to the north   Mayal Creek looking back to Rous River   next to Kynnumboon Bridge, Tomewin Murwillumbah  Road
Tumbulgum ramp
Border Ranges behind
view from Mayal to Rous
Kynnumboon Bridge