|Tweed Mouth to Tumbulgum|
The Tweed River is here described from Jack Evans Boat Harbour at the mouth at Tweed Heads to the town of Tumbulgum, twenty kilometres upstream. The paddle begins with blue ocean, coastal dunes and casuarinas on the eastern bank.. Further upstream are mangroves, and mudflats. As volcanic Mt Warning shows the way south, the vegetation changes to tropical rainforest, green grazing pastures on the hills, and sugar cane fields by the river. Several nature reserves are approachable by water in this section.
The estuary at the mouth is a complex of different water systems. Within two kilometres of the mouth Terranora Creek enters on the west. A further four kilometres upstream on Terranora, Cobaki Creek joins. There are ample opportunities here for paddling. The southern shores of the Terranora Broadwater are twelve or so kilometres one way from Jack Evans Boat Harbour, and it is a similiar distance to Cobaki Creek where it runs into Cobaki Broadwater.
Because of the numerous canals and islands on these waterways, a small scale map, or at least photocopies of street directory pages are needed to navigate here. The use of a directory is recommended to find local boat ramps. Access to the Jack Evans Boat Harbour is off Boundary Street in Coolangatta, there are three boats ramps at Fingal township off Fingal Road, and the best place to put in and take out at Tumbulgum is the tiny grassed park just upstream of the bridge over the Tweed at Tumbulgum. (see photograph below)
The southern shoreline of Terranora Inlet as it joins the Tweed is the northern shore of Ukerebagh Island, a nature reserve, about five kilometres in circumference, that can be circled at high tide.
There is a high volume of powercraft traffic entering and leaving the bar at the mouth, as well as jet-skis riding waves that break on a sandbank on the Fingal Head side of the river. Show caution and hug the bank until far enough upstream to say you are safe from any tidal rip, and the river traffic. Weekends can see a lot of river traffic all the way upstream, including waterskiers and wake boarders.
Six and a half kilometres upriver from Jack Evans Boat Harbour is Barneys Point Bridge. Nine and a half from the start to Dodds Island, fourteen and a half to Stotts Island. There are many places along the river you can launch and retreive at. Be aware that the lower reaches have large numbers of sharp oyster covered rocks on the waterline.
Five kilometres downstream from Tumbulgum is Stotts Island Nature Reserve. It is about 160 hectares in size, and contains the largest remnant of subtropical rainforest on riverine floodplain in New South Wales. There is a narrow channel on the southern bank which is signposted (going upstream approach) by a large industrial shed on the southern bank, 500 metres before the entrance. For paddlers looking for a shorter paddle the put in at Tumbulgum, a two kilometres paddle to Stotts, a six kilometre island round trip and back to Tumbulgum is recommended. The entrance to the southern channel (going downstream approach) is signposted by an small island in the channel, and the tall palm forest on Stotts.
The river is tidal to above Murwillumbah, and may be subject to flooding at times.
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