Tuross Lake is scattered with islands protected by the Eurobodalla National Park. These combine to create a labyrinth of casuarina lined corridors, teeming with birds and decorated with staghorns and native orchids.
|WATERWAY||Tuross Lake, Tuross River|
|REGION||South Coast, NSW|
|START||Lavender Bay, Nelson Parade, Tuross Head|
|GPS||DMS: 36° 3’ 52.67” S, 150° 7’ 27.43” E
DD: -36.064631, 150.124286
|FINISH||Return to start|
|PARKING||Large parking area|
|CONDITIONS||Open areas, tidal, light traffic, shallow areas|
|FISHING||Blackfish, bream, flathead, jewfish, tailor, whiting|
You could paddle here for days and find something new each time, so I asked local experts to take me on a tour that would showcase the best that Tuross Lake had to offer. In response, the Tuross Head Kayak Group came up with the trip described in this guide. See if you can link up with them on your visit. They’re a fantastic bunch of people with excellent knowledge of the area.
The Lavender Bay launch site is very shallow and you may have to walk your kayak out to deeper water so come prepared to get your feet wet. That said, once the initial sandbar has been cleared you shouldn’t have to get out again for the rest of the day. Alternatively, there is a boat ramp on the point to the left of the bay.
Start by paddling around the point to the right of the bay and then head north. For the first 3 kilometres the mainland of Tuross Head is on your right. Oyster leases and the islands of Tuross Lake are on the left. The first island you see is Horse Island. Surprisingly, this is privately owned. This doesn’t seem appropriate given that the other three islands you see on this paddle are part of the Eurobodalla National Park, but it is hard not to feel slightly envious.
See if you can spot the local dolphin pod. Watching these playful creatures in the wild is always an amazing experience.
Make your way to the northern tip of Deuaumba Island (see map) and then go sharply left into the channel that separates it from Brobathalle Point. Don’t worry about missing the turn. You will realise quickly that you have gone too far if the waterway widens dramatically into the Tuross Broadwater.
The path can be tricky from this point on so it is a good idea to keep the map handy. After passing what remains of an old wooden bridge, turn left and continue until you reach the crossroads known as The Fourways. Cambathin Island is directly to the south. Head to the right of that and then follow its shoreline for about 3 kilometres. The Tuross River is directly ahead at this point. It’s an enticing extra for those who think that an 11 kilometre circuit isn’t quite long enough, but if you are happy to leave that for another day make two consecutive left hand turns instead.
The next turn is to the right and it can be recognised by the bridge built across the path. This connects Horse Island with the mainland south of the lake. All that remains is to keep the island on your left until Lavender Bay comes back into view.
The boatsheds close to the finish point have several options for the hungry paddler. These are conveniently accessible from both the road and the water.
This area has an interesting connection with Mel Gibson. His grandmother, Eva Mylott, was born here in 1875 at a time when her family owned all of Tuross Head. They moved to Sydney after discovering that she had a beautiful contralto singing voice and wanted to give her every opportunity to develop her talent. With some early support from Nellie Melba she went on to become a well known concert singer in the United States. There is now a memorial to Eva Mylott in Tuross Head.
“Experience is the teacher of all things.” Julius Caesar
|EAT||Tuross Boatshed, 93 Trafalgar Road, Tuross Head, (02) 4473 8127|
|DRINK||Bodalla Arms Hotel, Princes Highway, Bodalla, (02) 4473 5959|
|SLEEP||Tuross Beach Hol Park, Nelson Pde, Tuross Head, (02) 4473 8236|