Arrawarra Creek

Our water quality monitoring program has shown Arrawarra Creek to have good water quality. Find out more about the estuary and its unique features.

Arrawarra Creek estuary is an intermittently closed/open lagoon, which meets the sea at the township of Arrawarra on the north coast of New South Wales. Arrawarra Gully meets the creek close to the estuary entrance to form the lagoon.

Estuary health and features

Water quality

As part of our water quality monitoring program we assess the water quality and ecosystem health of an estuary using a range of relevant indicators. We sample a subset of the estuaries located between the Queensland border and Taree every 3 years. The most recent sampling in Arrawarra Creek was completed over the 2018–19 summer when 2 sites were sampled on a monthly basis.

Arrawarra Creek water quality report card for algae and water clarity showing colour-coded ratings (red, orange, yellow, light green and dark green, which represent very poor, poor, fair, good and excellent, respectively). Algae is rated 'good' and water clarity is rated 'good' giving an overall rating of 'good' or 'B'.

This report card represents 2 water quality indicators that we routinely measure: the amount of algae present and water clarity. Low levels of these 2 indicators equate with good water quality.

The report card shows the condition of the estuary was good with:

  • algae abundance graded good (B)
  • water clarity graded good (B)
  • overall estuary health graded good (B).

Coffs Harbour City Council in collaboration with the University of New England’s EcoHealth Program have carried out detailed ecosystem health monitoring in Arrawarra Creek. The results of the monitoring program, including a detailed water quality report card, are available on the Coffs Harbour City Council website.

Find out more about our estuary report cards and what each grade means. Read our sampling, data analysis and reporting protocols and find out how we calculate these grades.

We have monitored water quality in Arrawarra Creek estuary since 2009. This table shows the water quality grades for this estuary over that time.

Arrawarra Creek historic water quality grades from 2009-10 for algae and water clarity. Colour-coded ratings (red, orange, yellow, light green and dark green represent very poor (E), poor (D), fair (C), good (B) and excellent (A), respectively).

Grades for algae, water clarity and overall are represented as:

  • A – excellent
  • B – good
  • C – fair
  • D – poor
  • E – very poor.

Physical characteristics

Estuary type: Lagoon

Latitude (ºS) –30.06
Longitude (ºE) 153.2
Catchment area (km2) 17.8
Estuary area (km2) 0.1
Estuary volume (ML) 43.9
Average depth (m) 0.4

Notes: km2 = square kilometres; m = metres; ML = megalitres.

Water depth and survey data

Bathymetric and coastal topography data for this estuary are available in our data portal.

Land use

The catchment of Arrawarra Creek is predominantly forested with most of the upper catchment managed by Forestry Corporation. The lower catchment is a mix of forested and developed land. Only 15% of the catchment is disturbed, most of which is for urban land use associated with the township of Arrawarra. The Pacific Highway cuts through the middle of the catchment.

National and marine parks

Community involvement

Arrawarra Creek