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Mallacoota - Nadgee water sources

PostPosted: Sun 16 Sep, 2018 9:06 am
by legend
G'day everyone,
has anyone recently walked the Mallacoota - Wonboyn area?
The area has seen its lowest rainfall in recorded history and I have been there in previous drought conditions and have always found water.
This year is VERY different.
Normally you have good water at L Barracoota, a swamp near the big sandhill just north of WauWau estuary, Bunyip Hole, the swamp on the southern end of Nadgee River, the creek behind Newtons Beach (normally have to walk up this for a couple of hundred metres to source puddles in drought, a good pool on Jane Spiers, and water from the creek between Merrica R and the old ranger station.
I am thinking the only water this year will be Lakes Barracoota and WauWauka, Bunyip hole could be dry, Nadgee River near Harrys Hut, the creek between Merrica R and the old ranger station.
This means a lot of water carrying.

Re: Mallacoota - Nadgee water sources

PostPosted: Sun 30 Sep, 2018 10:52 am
by legend
We were surprised how much water was around - looks like some isolated thunderstorms in the southern region dropped some much needed rain. Lake Barracoota never ever a problem. This time the Wau Wauks estuary was almost fresh - do not rely on this because the next big storm could flood it with seawater. Good springs around the Vic/NSW border - but might be dry come summer. Bunyip Hole very good water level. The swamp behind the southern end of Nadgee River very good.
That ends the good news.
The creek behind Newtons Beach is dry, but there are pools upstream from the ford. Not sure how long these will last.

Re: Mallacoota - Nadgee water sources

PostPosted: Tue 25 Dec, 2018 9:37 am
by legend
Water supplies should be good now. Greencape has 124mm (December) and Gabo has 132mm (December).
This is much more than the whole of winter and spring put together.
Atm the Mallacoota entrance is still closed, but the lake is now covering some of the jetties. They may push an entrance through when the lower roads go under.

Btw, if you walk this, please let others know of what the available water is like.
Pm me if you want to know where they are to be found. Dry times often mean you have to go searching.

Re: Mallacoota - Nadgee water sources

PostPosted: Tue 19 Mar, 2019 3:41 pm
by legend
Just back from the area.
Good water in Bunyip hole and swamp at southern end of Nadgee River Beach.
Nadgee River is open to the sea, but crossing is easy.
Brackish water at top end of Little River estuary.
Water in small pools in creek near Newtons Beach (about 150m upstream from the causeway). Salty/brackish water behind the beach (northern end).
Water in pools below the creek crossing on way to Nadgee entry point (Merrica River Crossing)

Re: Mallacoota - Nadgee water sources

PostPosted: Mon 30 Sep, 2019 3:40 pm
by legend
Another trip to Nadgee.
There is now a complete FIRE BAN in Nadgee. Water sources are very low. Reliable water can be found on the Merrica River Nature Trail.
There is water behind Newtons Beach, but be prepared to walk upstream from the concrete crossing for about a hundred metres (it had dropped a bit in a week, and one of the pools had gone - still good water that is shaded from the sun along the edge of a small cliff.
Water (as always at Harry's Hut (Nadgee River).
The swamp behind the southern end of Nadgee River beach is now quite low - but still okay.
The Bunyip Hole had dropped about 10cm in the three days we were there, but was still flowing (just) at the northern end.
Good spring water flowing across the rocks about a km north of Iron Prince.
I'm not sure what the situation will be in December - the whole area is incredibly dry.
Huge seas (up tp 6 - 8m) have closed all the estuaries. The Nadgee River and Merrica River are close to being a metre higher than normal. The seas have pushed sand across the mouths and closed them, and then the waves have continued to dump huge volumes into them.

Re: Mallacoota - Nadgee water sources

PostPosted: Wed 02 Oct, 2019 9:04 am
by potato
Good info - thanks.

Is the Mallacoota inlet still open?

Re: Mallacoota - Nadgee water sources

PostPosted: Thu 17 Oct, 2019 4:35 pm
by JulianS
legend wrote:Another trip to Nadgee.
There is now a complete FIRE BAN in Nadgee. Water sources are very low. Reliable water can be found on the Merrica River Nature Trail.
There is water behind Newtons Beach, but be prepared to walk upstream from the concrete crossing for about a hundred metres (it had dropped a bit in a week, and one of the pools had gone - still good water that is shaded from the sun along the edge of a small cliff.
Water (as always at Harry's Hut (Nadgee River).
The swamp behind the southern end of Nadgee River beach is now quite low - but still okay.
The Bunyip Hole had dropped about 10cm in the three days we were there, but was still flowing (just) at the northern end.
Good spring water flowing across the rocks about a km north of Iron Prince.
I'm not sure what the situation will be in December - the whole area is incredibly dry.
Huge seas (up tp 6 - 8m) have closed all the estuaries. The Nadgee River and Merrica River are close to being a metre higher than normal. The seas have pushed sand across the mouths and closed them, and then the waves have continued to dump huge volumes into them.


Thanks very much for the information. Interesting to hear about the huge seas closing those inlet entrances. I'd heard about some high seas on the NSW south coast and thought that might have caused some erosion. But from what you're saying it seems to have had the opposite effect. What was your perception of sand volumes on some of the other beaches? How far south did you get to on this trip?

Thanks in advance.

Re: Mallacoota - Nadgee water sources

PostPosted: Fri 18 Oct, 2019 9:31 am
by legend
We walked from the old Nadgee Ranger station south to Howe Bay - then a day trip south to Iron Prince then back through the dunes to Cape Howe.
I've had around a hundred or so trips exploring much of the Howe Range and surrounds and also many other trips including Table Ridge and Merrica River from its source to the ocean, and rock hopping along most of the coast (since 1988).
The coast is perhaps the most dynamic in SE Australia - its always changing depending on winds and wave action. I have found the seacaves at Newtons are only accessible on average 1:3 trips. My last trip (mid September) had extensive 'sand cliffs' along most of the beaches. Not so unusual but these were very extensive running along the full length of most beaches. The seas had pushed the sand up high and therefore blocked the estuaries, but the huge seas came over and filled them.
In the past I have seen the old border cairn almost covered in a sand dune (with maybe 10cm protruding), other times it has been like a huge umbrella sticking out.
The old wrecks anchor just south of the border is normally completely bare in a rock pool. This time it was half covered in sand.
Take your time and spend 8 days exploring if you can. There are so many different things to discover along this patch of coast (you will almost see nothing if you just do a 3 or 4 day walk).