NAMBUCCA TRAILS

1 Nambucca River Lower Estuary
2 Stuart Island

TIDAL LAG ESTIMATES

MACKSVILLE TRAILS

3 Tilly Willy Creek
4 Upstream towards Taylors Arm
5 Upstream to Devil’s Elbow Reserve
6 Downstream to Gumma Dock

TALARM TRAIL

7 Welsh’s Pioneer Park to Boat Harbour

SCOTTS HEAD + GUMMA TRAILS

8 Gumma Reserve to Gaagal Wanggaan National Park
9 Scotts Head to Gumma Reserve or Henstock Reserve

VALLA TRAIL

10 Deep Creek estuary to Valla Rural
11 Devil’s Elbow Reserve to Grassy Park

LIST OF LAUNCH POINTS IN THE NAMBUCCA VALLEY

 

 

 

NAMBUCCA RIVER LOWER ESTUARY

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Paddle the picturesque lower Nambucca River, an area where the river runs to the ocean. You will experience a wide variety of trails here and you can island hop around the estuary’s mangrove islands and intertidal flats. Sea turtles and dolphins can be regularly seen and you will be amazed by the abundance of fish and birds.

 When paddling the lower Nambucca River estuary, you can paddle it as one trail or break it up into different sections to suit your available time and interest. It is not recommended to paddle the mouth of the Nambucca River near the V-wall breakwater. The strong water current and shoals make it unsafe and unnavigable for the majority of people.                                       

STUART ISLAND LAUNCH POINT

A
-30°.39’16.4”S,
152°59’45.0”E
Access Stuart Island boatramp by turning off Riverside Drive, past Bellwood Park and over a causeway bridge to Stuart Island

BOATSHED / RSL CAR PARK LAUNCH POINT

B
-30°.38’45.1”S,
153°00’07.8”E
Access the Boatshed launch point by turning off Riverside Drive into the Nambucca Heads  RSL Club carpark

GORDON PARK LAUNCH POINT

C -30°.38’41.0”S, 153°00’28.1”E
Access Gordon Park boatramp off Wellington Drive

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STUART ISLAND

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The largest island to visit in the Nambucca River lower estuary is Stuart Island. The paddle around Stuart Island is scenic and you can stop off on the island for lunch at the Golf Club or to cook up a barbecue – both easily accessed from the island’s boatramp. When deciding which way to paddle around the island, you should check tidal information first. There is a causeway to the island with a tunnel for paddling through and the water flow is dependent on the tide.

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TIDAL LAG ESTIMATES

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NAMBUCCA RIVER V-wall near river entrance – 11 min View Nambucca Heads Tide Times
   Stuart Island – 1 hr 45 min    
  Macksville – 2 hr 15 min View Macksville Tide Times
   Devil’s Elbow Reserve – 2 hr 30 min  
  Bowraville, Grassy Park – 3 hr 30 min.  
TAYLORS ARM RIVER Utungun – 3 hr View Taylors Arm Entrance Tide Times
 WARRELL CREEK  Warrell Creek entrance – 1 hr 30 min  
  Scotts Head – 3 hr 45 min View Scotts Head Tide Times
  Pacific Highway bridge – 4 hr 30 min  

 

 

MACKSVILLE TRAILS

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 Macksville is a pretty riverside town that offers canoe and kayak launch points on the north and south sides of the Nambucca River. It offers great places to stay and quaint cafes and pubs to unwind and relax in after your paddle.    

 

 

PRINCESS STREET LAUNCH POINT

A -30°42’21.22”S 152°55’11.01”E
Access Princess Street launch point near the intersection of Princess and River Streets 

FERRY STREET LAUNCH POINT

B -30°42’14.8”S, 152°55’13.9”E
Access Ferry Street launch point through Lions Park in North Macksville, just off Giinagay Way

GUMMA DOCK LAUNCH POINT

C -30°42’08.9”S 152°57’58.6”E
Access Gumma Dock launch point via Gumma Road, Macksville. Turn left off Gumma Road onto Figtree Road and the launch point is on your left 

 

 

 

 

Tilly Willy Creek

1KM ONE WAY
An easy paddle for beginners or children, Tilly Willy Creek offers calm water and picturesque views of some of Macksville’s early homesteads.

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TRAILS AROUND MACKSVILLE

Upstream towards Taylors Arm

4KM ONE WAY
A medium-length paddle is from Macksville up the Taylors Arm reach of the Nambucca River. From either of Macksville’s launch points, you head upstream for one kilometre and then take the left fork of the river toward the Wilson Road bridge. After a kilometre, the trail becomes secluded and you can paddle for four kilometres upstream to
the Congarinni Bridge and be picked up at the boatramp beside the bridge. If you are after a longer paddle, you can either turn around and go downstream back to Macksville or continue further upstream to Welsh’s Pioneer Park, Talarm, and exit at the riverbank there.

Upstream to Devil's Elbow Reserve

9KM ONE WAY
For a longer paddle, you can go from  Macksville’s launch points upstream towards Bowraville. Paddle one kilometre upstream and take the right fork in the river. The river is bordered by beautiful trees and pastoral areas. You  can paddle eight kilometres upstream to Devil’s Elbow Reserve boatramp or turn around and return to Macksville.

Downstream from Mackville to Gumma Dock

9KM ONE WAY
Paddle downstream, east of Macksville to Gumma Dock. The trail is rich in history and culture. You will paddle under the Macksville Bridge and pass the remains of the old Government Wharf, a former trade epicentre. Further downstream, you will go under the Phillip Hughes Bridge (named in honour of an Australian Test cricketer and local). Just on from the bridge is Goat Island, a small mangrove and littoral rainforest island. You will see many bird species there and often the threatened white-bellied sea eagle can be spotted. 

Gumma Dock is just two kilometres further downstream.As you approach, you will see oyster leases and a launch point on the southern bank of the river.

 

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Welsh’s Pioneer Park to Boat Harbour

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WELSH'S PIONEER PARK LAUNCH POINT

-30°42’53.0”S, 152°50’46.4”E
Welsh’s Pioneer Park is located about seven  kms west of Macksville, via Taylors Arm Road. Turn right to cross Congarinni Bridge, then left onto Welshs Creek Road and the park is about four kms down on the left.

Welsh’s Pioneer Park to Boat Harbour
9KM ONE WAY

Welsh’s Pioneer Park is a peaceful place and is named after the first family to select land in the Talarm area. Here kayaks and canoes need  to be handed down a two metre bank to reach the waterline below. When paddling upstream, the river gradually narrows. First gravel beds emerge and then, near Boat Harbour, you will pass through Hell’s Gates, a prominent bedrock gorge. Hell’s Gates is believed to have been a waterfall before the last major marine  transgression when sea-levels are thought to have been about 120m lower than they are today.

BOAT HARBOUR BRIDGE LAUNCH POINT

-30°43’35.4“S, 152°49’30.18”E
Boat Harbour Bridge is located about nine kms west of Macksville, via Taylors Arm Road. Taylors Arm Road becomes Boat Harbour Road. Cross the first bridge on Boat Harbour Road and the access gate is immediately on the right. Access to the river here is via private property, so enter at your own risk and keep an eye out for cattle.
 

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Gumma Reserve to Gaagal Wanggaan (South Beach) National Park

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GAAGAL WANGGAAN NATIONAL PARK

It takes very little effort to escape the daily grind in Gaagal Wanggaan National Park. It is Aboriginal Land and is leased back to the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.

 

 

WARRELL CREEK


You can paddle for up to five kilometres downstream to where Warrell Creek joins the Nambucca River. Be cautious as you near the river mouth as the water current  can be strong. 

 

 

GUMMA RESERVE LAUNCH POINT

-30°42’28.8”S
152°58’59.4”E
Travel along Gumma Road from Macksville and turn left into Boultons Crossing Road to the Gumma Reserve campsite. Access to Warrell Creek is from the campsite via the river bank.
 

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Scotts Head to Gumma Reserve or Henstock Reserve

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     SCOTTS HEAD TO GUMMA RESERVE
5KM ONE WAY

Enjoy the calm waters of Warrell Creek. As you paddle downstream to Gumma Reserve, you will pass littoral rainforest and saltmarsh meadows. Birdlife is abundant here, with beautiful kingfishers, osprey and sea eagles often potted. You can stay overnight at Gumma Reserve campsite or you can paddle a bit further downstream and camp in Gaagal Wanggaan National Park. 


SCOTTS HEAD TO HENSTOCK RESERVE
6KM ONE WAY

On quiet days, you will have this section of Warrell Creek completely to yourself. You can paddle for six kilometres upstream through farmland and eucalypt forest to Henstock Reserve. The reserve is very secluded and vehicles can access it from Scotts Head Road.

WEIR RESERVE LAUNCH POINT
-30°44’40.4”S
152°59’05.8”E
At Scotts Head, travel about one km west to South Pacific Drive. Follow this road 500m down and Weir Reserve is on the left.

HENSTOCK RESERVE LAUNCH POINT
-30°45’02.9”S
152°56’31.8”E
Henstock Reserve is located between Macksville and Scotts Head, approximately five km east of the Pacific Motorway. Travel along Scotts Head Road and the reserve is on the left.

    

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Deep Creek estuary to Valla Rural

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DEEP CREEK ESTUARY TO VALLA RURAL


2KM ONE WAY
Deep Creek meanders past the serene and peaceful village of Valla Beach. You can travel two kilometres upstream through farmland to the Pacific Highway and paddle under its bridge, or you can just eander slowly around the lower estuary. Birdlife is abundant here and wallabies often traverse the creek bank.

 

VALLA RESERVE LAUNCH POINT

-30°36’25.0”S
153°00’23.4”E
The launch point is in Valla Reserve, often referred to as Lion’s Park, off Ocean View Drive

 

   

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Devil’s Elbow Reserve to Grassy Park

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GRASSY PARK LAUNCH POINT 

-30°38’56.5”S 152°51’27.6”E
Grassy Park is located at Bowraville off Park Street on the southern side of the Nambucca River.   

DEVIL'S ELBOW RESERVE LAUNCH POINT 

-30°39’55.5”S 152°53’03.5”E
Access Devil’s Elbow Reserve boatramp located approximately seven km west of Macksville toward Bowraville, adjacent to Wilson Road. Please note that access to Devil’s Elbow Reserve is tight, please enter when driving east only.

UPSTREAM TO GRASSY PARK, BOWRAVILLE

4KM ONE WAY
A medium-length paddle is upstream to Grassy Park, the Nambucca River’s western tidal limit. A few kilometres upstream, the river gradually narrows and becomes densely surrounded by trees, giving you the feeling of being in complete wilderness. As you near Grassy Park, the river can become shallow in sections, so keep an eye out for unmarked shoals and snags.

DEVIL’S ELBOW RESERVE TO WIRRIMBI ISLAND

4KM ONE WAY
This is a quiet stretch of the Nambucca River bordered by tall gum trees, she-oaks and home to numerous bird species. A popular paddle route is travelling four kilometres downstream to Wirrimbi Island. Once an Aboriginal mission, the island is a place of cultural significance for the Gumbaynggirr people. You can turn back and paddle to Devil’s Elbow Reserve or you can go for a further five kilometres downstream to Macksville 

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Launch Point Name

Locality

S value

E value

Remarks

STUART ISLAND LAUNCH POINT Nambucca Heads -30°.39’16.4”S 152°59’45.0”E Access Stuart Island boatramp by turning off Riverside Drive, past Bellwood Park and over a causeway bridge to Stuart Island
BOATSHED/RSL CAR PARK LAUNCH POINT Nambucca Heads -30°.38’45.1”S, 153°00’07.8”E Access the Boatshed launch point by turning off Riverside Drive into the Nambucca Heads  RSL Club carpark
GORDON PARK LAUNCH POINT Nambucca Heads -30°.38’41.0”S 153°00’28.1”E Access Gordon Park boatramp off Wellington Drive
PRINCESS STREET LAUNCH POINT Macksville -30°42’21.22”S 152°55’11.01”E Access Princess Street launch point near the intersection of Princess and River Streets 
FERRY STREET LAUNCH POINT Macksville -30°42’14.8”S 152°55’13.9”E Access Ferry Street launch point through Lions Park in North Macksville, just off Giinagay Way
GUMMA DOCK LAUNCH POINT Gumma via Macksville -30°42’08.9”S 152°57’58.6”E Access Gumma Dock launch point via Gumma Road, Macksville. Turn left off Gumma Road onto Figtree Road and the launch point is on your left 
WELSH'S PIONEER PARK LAUNCH POINT Taylors Arm Rd via Macksville -30°42’53.0”S 152°50’46.4”E Welsh’s Pioneer Park is located about seven  kms west of Macksville, via Taylors Arm Road. Turn right to cross Congarinni Bridge, then left onto Welshs Creek Road and the park is about four kms down on the left.
BOAT HARBOUR BRIDGE LAUNCH POINT Boat Harbour Rd via Taylors Arm Rd  -30°43’35.4“S 152°49’30.18”E Boat Harbour Bridge is located about nine kms west of Macksville, via Taylors Arm Road. Taylors Arm Road becomes Boat Harbour Road. Cross the first bridge on Boat Harbour Road and the access gate is immediately on the right. Access to the river here is via private property, so enter at your own risk and keep an eye out for cattle.
GUMMA RESERVE LAUNCH POINT Gumma via Macksville -30°42’28.8”S 152°58’59.4”E Travel along Gumma Road from Macksville and turn left into Boultons Crossing Road to the Gumma Reserve campsite. Access to Warrell Creek is from the campsite via the river bank.
WEIR RESERVE LAUNCH POINT Scotts Head -30°44’40.4”S 152°59’05.8”E At Scotts Head, travel about one km west to South Pacific Drive. Follow this road 500m down and Weir Reserve is on the left.
HENSTOCK RESERVE LAUNCH POINT between Macksville and Scotts Head -30°45’02.9”S 152°56’31.8”E Henstock Reserve is located between Macksville and Scotts Head, approximately five km east of the Pacific Motorway. Travel along Scotts Head Road and the reserve is on the left.
VALLA RESERVE LAUNCH POINT Valla Beach -30°36’25.0”S 153°00’23.4”E The launch point is in Valla Reserve, often referred to as Lion’s Park, off Ocean View Drive
GRASSY PARK LAUNCH POINT  Bowraville -30°38’56.5”S 152°51’27.6”E Grassy Park is located at Bowraville off Park Street on the southern side of the Nambucca River.   
DEVIL'S ELBOW RESERVE LAUNCH POINT between Bowraville and Macksville -30°39’55.5”S 152°53’03.5”E Access Devil’s Elbow Reserve boatramp located approximately seven km west of Macksville toward Bowraville, adjacent to Wilson Road. Please note that access to Devil’s Elbow Reserve is tight, please enter when driving east only.