Byron Bay Online Guide's
The Belongil

Byron Bay

Belongil Aerial Photo by the
NSW Department of Land and Water Conservation
Copyright © 1998
(Click photo to see a larger image)

Map by MapData Sciences Pty Ltd

Belongil Creek and Wetland
Click on a photo to see a larger version
Belongil Creek & Wetland Photos © 2004 Byron Bay Online Design

Estuary Characteristics
Catchment Area: 18 km2
Waterway Area: 0.3 km2

Entrance Characteristics: Intermittently open and untrained
Location (Lat-Long): 153°35'E 28°39'S
Location (from Sydney): 790 km N

Physical Features
A high littoral transport rate of approximately 80,000 m3/yr passes the entrance from south to north. The approximate length of the creek is 3 km. The coastal town of Byron Bay adjoins the catchment to the south.

Population and Holiday Centres
Byron Bay

Special Attributes
Highest catchment rainfall of all NSW estuaries (1,850 mm/yr).
30% of catchment is fresh water swamp - aquatic bird habitat.
Estuary largely covered by mangrove and saltmarsh beds.

Estuary Vegetation
Type Area (sq km) Species (Species Types)
Mangroves 0.050 av,ae
Saltmarsh 0.054

Commercial Activities
No commercial activities in this estuary

Management Issues
Specific Issues
Poor water quality - low dissolved oxygen, low pH, high bacterial counts has required erection of 'unsafe for swimming' signage.
Acid sulfate soils and the impacts on the estuary of acid runoff from disturbance and drainage of these soils.
Point source pollution discharges.
Urban stormwater from Byron Bay CBD and industrial estate.
Entrance opening management.
Further residential and industrial developments and Byron Bay road bypass and sports fields proposals.
Protection of riparian vegetation and aquatic habitats.

Estuary Management Process
Step Progress
Form an Estuary Management Committee (EMC)
Assemble Existing Data
Carry out Process Study
Carry out Estuary Management Study
Draft Estuary Management Plan
Review Estuary Management Plan
Adopt and Implement Estuary Management Plan
Monitor and review management process

Refer to the NSW Government's draft Estuary Management Manual (1992) for details on each step of the process.

Belongil Creek Estuary Management Committee was formed in 1994, by Byron Shire Council, to develop and implement an Estuary Management Plan for Belongil Creek. The data compilation study was completed in December 1996, and the processes study was completed in 1997.

Until the Management Plan is completed the EMC currently provides a forum for discussion and advice to Council on issues relevant to the ongoing management of the Belongil Creek estuary.

Byron Shire Council
Environmental Planning Services
Mr Peter Helman
ph (02) 6626 7000 fax (02) 6684 3018

NSW Department of Land and Water Conservation

Belongil Beach

Winter is a misnomer for July in Byron Bay. Even with the sun at its smallest Byron Bay basks at a balmy 20-degree average, the same as the waves that nudge Belongil Beach

For those who want 'clothing optional' swimming there is a nude beach which has been designated by Byron Council. It is located 500 metres west of Belongil Creek and can be accessed by driving down Grays Lane at Tyagarah. If someone is coming down from Queensland and they want to go to a legal clothing optional beach, then Tyagarah is the northern end of Belongil Beach. Enter off Pacific Highway about six kilometres before you get to the Byron Bay turnoff. The road is called Grays Road and it takes you into the National Park and right to Tyagarah Beach.

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Belongil Creek , Beach and Wetland