Back Creek Estuary
South West Rocks

Back Creek, South West Rocks

South West Rocks Creek is located on the mid-north coast of NSW between the township of South West Rocks and the Macleay River entrance channel. It has a relatively small catchment area of approximately 540 hectares. It has no significant tributaries and no freshwater reaches. The size of the estuary is most likely explained by a former connection to the Macleay River. The creek is bounded on the eastern and southern sides by the South West Rocks township, on the western side by the Macleay River and to the north by a small coastal due system.

The catchment is mostly vegetated but current land use within the catchment includes:

  • A part of the commercial business district of South West Rocks
  • Residential Areas
  • Caravan Park and camping grounds
  • Extensive mangrove and saltmarsh habitat.
  • Local roads
  • A dune disposal site for treated effluent from the South West Rocks STP

A large proportion of undeveloped land within the catchment is currently zoned for low density residential development. Other planning zones include SEPP 14 wetlands.

No estuary management plan has been developed for the creek and the process has not yet been started. The majority of data available is in the form of studies pertaining to the use of the creek as a harbour or as a deepwater access point.

Key values associated with the lagoon and its surrounding areas include boating amenity, tourism and associated economic value, fish habitat and environmental value. Key issues identified include marine sediment ingress and the associated dangers for boating enthusiasts. Limited community concern for water quality issues is evident.

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