The Boambee Creek Estuary is just a few minutes drive north of Sawtell and is a popular place for kayaking. Whether it’s a peaceful drift with the tide or a more testing long paddle, the estuary offers a range of choices.
The creek boasts an extraordinary diversity of bird and marine life. Masses of crabs scuttle across the sand flats and stingrays patrol in the shallow water. Migratory sea birds use the creek to roost after a long flight. The crystal clear water reveals luderick (blackfish) in the ribbon grass. Mullet leap, flathead lazily cruise and whiting dart over the sandbanks.
Take a guided tour with an experienced marine environmentalist. This is a great way to experience the flora and fauna of the area. For novice paddlers this is a fun way to learn to paddle while experiencing an interpretation of the creek and its spectacular beauty.
The endangered Floyd’s Grass can be seen on Boambee Creek and nearby Bonville Creek and Pine Creek. If you are really lucky you may see the Black Dart Moth flitting about the grass. The grass grows in clumps and looks very soft and appealing to lie on – please don’t as it’s endangered!
There are a three main entry points to the creek catering for shorter return trips or longer one-way trips including: Boambee Creek Reserve at the railway bridge; adjacent to the bridge on Hogbin Drive; and, the boat ramp at the bridge on Sawtell Rd.
Novice paddlers will find this that this is a great location to test their skills. However, be aware that an outgoing tide can be hazardous and beyond the railway bridge the creek quickly turns into the ocean. If you take your time it’s about 2 hours return to the Hogbin Rd bridge and timing your paddle with the tide provides a more enjoyable experience. Along the creek Ibis, Cormorants, and Egrets stalk the shallows while Osprey and White-bellied Sea Eagles soar overhead, occasionally swooping to take a meal. The beautiful Brahminy Kite is a common sighting and the dazzling Azure Kingfishers may be seen sitting on low branches.
For the more adventurous, you may choose to explore Newport’s Creek which is on the right before the bridge. It takes about 45 minutes, through a narrow winding passage, to arrive at the ‘lake’. Great crabbing and fishing on the way for those so inclined. If you want to go all the way to the Sawtell Road bridge then allow at least 4 hours return.
A fantastic way to experience the creek is to start at the bridge on Sawtell Rd, near the Pacific Highway. Get there on the high tide and you can explore the ‘everglade mangroves’ that are upriver and then the beautiful overhanging melaleucas under the highway.
Head downstream with the tide to your end point of Boambee Creek Reserve. Along the way, enjoy the tranquillity of the mangroves and be sure to get up close if they are flowering as the smell is amazing. After passing under the bridge on Hogbin Drive, bridge look back and see if you can see the magnificent Osprey nest. You may be lucky to see the breeding pair or even a young chick.
The creek forks after the bridge and your destination is to the right. It is under an hour to Boambee Creek Reserve. Look out for fishing platforms indicating a place the locals refer to as the ‘jewfish hole’. If you have time there is a delightful beach which is a marvellous place to take a break and relax.