Currambene meanders slowly through mangroves, saltmarshes, and waterside villages en route to its meeting with picture perfect Jervis Bay at Huskisson. It has a calm unhurried approach that is thankfully very contagious.
|START||Boat ramp, Frank Lewis Way, Woollamia|
|GPS||DMS: 35° 1′ 32.1″ S, 150° 39′ 59.1″ E
DD: -35.025556, 150.666417
|FINISH||Return to start|
|PARKING||Large car park|
|CONDITIONS||Sheltered, tidal, light traffic, shallow areas|
|FISHING||Blackfish, bream, flathead, kingfish, whiting|
Jervis Bay is the destination of choice for many people looking to get away from it all, either for a short break or a lifetime. Stunningly clear aqua waters, pure white sandy beaches, and Booderee National Park’s lush vegetation and native wildlife are well documented attractions that inspire unswerving adulation from all that see them. The tranquil and natural environment of Currambene Creek is less well known but just as deserving of praise.
Woollamia Regional Boat Ramp leads directly into the creek in the village of Woollamia. Launch there and paddle upstream, away from Huskisson and Jervis Bay. Jetties and moored boats front the village on the left hand side and mangroves and saltmarshes decorate the right.
Before too long you are given a choice of two paths. To the left is a short detour around a small mangrove island that brings you back to the creek slightly further upstream (see map). This is worth doing but it can get very shallow and passage is only possible at the highest of tides. Currambene Creek continues to the right and that’s the way to go most of the time.
Non-paddlers who want to take advantage of what the creek has to offer can do so from Woollamia and Myola. Woollamia soon vanishes behind a wall of mangroves but it returns to the left hand shore later for an encore. Myola is on the right just around the first bend. A wide range of holiday accommodation is available.
Currambene Creek is an integral part of the Jervis Bay Marine Park and considerable stretches of it have been declared sanctuary zones and habitat protection zones. Fishing restrictions apply so please make sure to check which rules are in force before throwing a line overboard.
Seagrass meadows are one of the important habitats in the creek that need to be protected and conserved. Seagrasses are amazing underwater flowering plants that are a breeding ground, a home, and a food source for many crustaceans and fish. They also help keep the estuary clean and clear by absorbing run-off and stabilising sediment. Look beneath the water’s surface in the early part of the paddle and you can see their long slender leaves waving in the current.
Large areas of saltmarsh feature on the northern side of the creek. This is a special treat because land like this is often seen as prime real estate and reclaimed for development. The low lying grasses, herbs, and shrubs of saltmarshes also make for a lovely feeling of spaciousness and bring refreshing changes of atmosphere to the trip.
Greenway Landing (see map) is a small clearing on the left hand side. It’s one of the few places where you can easily come ashore and a great place to take a break and stretch your legs.
Further upstream the surrounds become more agricultural, and there’s room for a lot more paddling if you are keen… or you can be serene like Currambene and meander slowly back to the start.
“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” Lao-tzu
|EAT||Stone Grill, 1/48 Owen Street, Huskisson, (02) 4441 7070|
|DRINK||The Husky Pub, 73 Owen Street, Huskisson, (02) 4441 5001|
|SLEEP||Jervis Bay Cabins, 55 Goodland Road, Huskisson, (02) 4441 5809|