Killick Creek

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

Killick Creek is situated at Crescent Head on the mid-north coast of New South Wales. The estuary is classed as a lagoon.

The creek entrance is trained along its southern shoreline and is intermittently closed to the sea.

Killick Creek is also part of the Macleay River Flood Mitigation Scheme, with works done in the 1950s. Drains were created into the upper estuary and in places the estuary was artificially widened and deepened. The estuary is popular for recreational activities, especially swimming at the entrance.

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 Killick Creek was completed over the 2015–16 summer when 2 sites were sampled on a monthly basis.

Killick 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 'fair' giving an overall rating of 'fair' or 'C'.

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 fair with:

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

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

Killick 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) –31.19
Longitude (ºE) 152.98
Catchment area (km2) 7.9
Estuary area (km2) 0.3
Estuary volume (ML) 235.7
Average depth (m) 0.8
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 Killick Creek is nestled along the coast between the much larger Macleay and Hastings river catchments. Most of the area remains vegetated, but some land-use changes have occurred for urban areas (12%) and associated areas of rural residence–grazing (20%). Crescent Head is the only township within the catchment.

National and marine parks

  • Killick Creek’s estuarine delta is located within Hat Head National Park.
  • This estuary does not flow into a marine park.

Community involvement

Killick Creek

Local government management

Local councils manage estuaries within their area unless the estuary is attached to a marine park.

Killick Creek is managed by Kempsey Shire Council. More information about this estuary can be found on the council’s Killick Creek estuary webpage.