Corindi River

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

Corindi River estuary is a barrier river estuary on the north coast of New South Wales. It enters the ocean at the township of Red Rock. The largest tributary into the estuary is Saltwater Creek, which flows from the north west through Yuraygir National Park.

There are vast tidal flats around the estuary entrance which provide critical shorebird habitat as well as recreational value to visitors and residents of Red Rock. Mangrove and saltmarsh communities are widespread in the estuary.

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 Corindi River was completed over the 2021–22 summer when 2 sites were sampled on a monthly basis.

Corindi River 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 Corindi River. 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 the Corindi River since 2009. This table shows the water quality grades for this estuary over that time.

Corindi River 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: Barrier river

Latitude (ºS) –29.98
Longitude (ºE) 153.23
Catchment area (km2) 146.4
Estuary area (km2) 1.9
Estuary volume (ML) 1557.1
Average depth (m) 1.2
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

Corindi River drains a moderately disturbed catchment. Areas of the upper catchment have been modified for horticulture, particularly blueberry growing, and grazing, which make up most of the land-use changes that have occurred. Medium- and low-density urban areas occupy a fraction of the catchment. About 80% of the catchment remains as forest.

National and marine parks

Community involvement

Corindi River