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Currumbin Creek Catchment

The Currumbin Creek catchment is situated directly adjacent to the New South Wales border. The catchment extends from Mount Cougal National Park and the McPherson Range in the west, to Currumbin Rocks and the Pacific Ocean in the east.

Currumbin Creek is approximately 20 kilometres in length. Its catchment can be divided into two distinct systems, the freshwater; and estuarine, according to the spatial extent of tidal intrusion in the creek. These two systems are markedly different in terms of their hydrological processes, water quality and ecology.

The catchment headwaters are in the inland ranges, but much of its length traverses agricultural land use areas and residential and commercial developments. 

Currumbin Creek is situated in a relatively narrow and steep sided valley that supports both disturbed and undisturbed subtropical rainforest, wet sclerophyll forest, open woodland, remnant littoral rainforest, estuarine mangrove and seagrass communities. 

Narrow alluvial valleys central to the valley floor provide opportunities for grazing and low intensity agricultural production. Large stands of the non-native Camphor Laurel tree (Cinnamomum camphora) occur along the valley bottom and on adjacent slopes in the mid-catchment.

The upper estuary is vegetated with narrow patches of mangrove and Casuarina forest. Mangrove, saltmarsh and Casuarina forest patches are present in the lower reaches of the estuary. These patches are bounded by residential and commercial areas.

The lower estuary is a dynamic environment, strongly influenced by the processes of tidal flushing and infilling by coastal sands. This process leads to the natural constriction of the creek mouth, and requires intermittent dredging to minimise flood impacts. The lower estuary provides a significant aquatic and shore based recreational resource for the city, attracting fishermen, swimmers, surfers and boating enthusiasts.

A long history of coastal development, associated clearing and dredging has significantly altered the estuary’s riparian and benthic zones. Dredging of the creek mouth and estuary channel has caused a distinct change to the ecology of estuary, transforming a historically brackish water system into a regularly flushed marine estuary environment.

Further information

Why not consider volunteering in your catchment? For more information, contact the Catchment Management Unit on 07 5581 7005.

Visit the Healthy Waterways website for information on the ecosystem health of Gold Coast waterways.

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