Cullendulla Creek Paddle

Friday 25 June 2021

Photos courtesy of Karen

We chose to paddle Cullendulla Creek on a very high tide, heading upstream on slack water and returning with the tide.  The paddle is predominantly through a thick mangrove forest which was in fruit and starting to send out bud florets.  Although the creek runs very close to housing subdivisions in Long Beach and Surfside, the density of the overhanging mangroves deadens noise and gives the feeling of being a million miles from civilisation.

Apart from the mangrove forest, another feature of the paddle is the remains of the old timber tramway terminus located on an upper creek bank.  This tramway was constructed and operated by Ryan’s Cullendulla Mill located near the present day service station.  The Mill’s sawn timber was transported over the tramway on horsedrawn carts to the creek terminus.  There the timber was loaded onto barges for transit across the Clyde Estuary to Batemans Bay.  The timber was then loaded onto coastal steamers of the Illawarra and South Coast Steam Navigation Company bound for Sydney.  An involved, but necessary process in those days of few passable roads.  (Source:  Timber Tramways of the South Coast by Ian Barnes & Ian Bevege, published in The Forester, June 2013 issue.)

The morning finished with lunch on a sunny sandbank in the lower creek.