Flat Top Point Creek

Our water quality monitoring program has shown Flat Top Point Creek to have very poor water quality. Find out more about the estuary and its unique features.

Flat Top Point Creek is situated on the southern outskirts of Woolgoolga on the north coast of New South Wales. It is classed as a lagoon with an intermittently closed/open entrance.

This estuary is also sometimes named Willis Creek.

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 Flat Top Point Creek was completed over the 2021–22 summer when 2 sites were sampled on a monthly basis.

Flat Top Point 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 'poor' and water clarity is rated 'very poor' giving an overall rating of 'very poor' or 'E'.

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 very poor with:

  • algae abundance graded poor (D)
  • water clarity graded very poor (E)
  • overall estuary health graded very poor (E).

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 Flat Top Point Creek since 2009. This table shows the water quality grades for this estuary over that time.

Flat Top Point 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: Creek

Latitude (ºS) –30.13
Longitude (ºE) 153.2
Catchment area (km2) 2.6
Estuary area (km2) 0.02
Estuary volume (ML) 4.7
Average depth (m) 0.2
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

Flat Top Point Creek catchment is highly disturbed with the main pressures being industrial and urban development. The upper catchment is used mostly for banana plantations and blueberry growing. The nearby sewerage treatment plant released treated sewerage into the creek from 1973 to 2005.

National and marine parks

Community involvement

Flat Top Point Creek

Local government management

Local councils manage estuaries within their area unless the estuary is attached to a marine park. Flat Top Point Creek is managed by Solitary Islands Marine Park and Coffs Harbour City Council, and is referred to as Willis Creek by the council.

The Willis Creek Estuary Coastal Zone Management Plan and Estuary Management Study Willis Creek are available on the council’s website