Durras Lake about to close to the ocean

Durras Lake is about to close to the ocean. Just a few centimetres of water was flowing over the ocean entrance at low tide today. Once the water doesn’t flow over the entrance at both low and high tides, then the Lake is regarded as being closed to the ocean. At present, there is a strong southerly wind blowing so a decent surf is helping push more sand up towards the entrance.

The Lake last opened on the 12th October,2012. (You can view the Durras Lake Opening video here). When it does close, it could be a couple of years before opening again. Ideally it opens naturally when the Lake is sufficiently full. Generally the catalyst for such an opening is heavy rain or large surf. It can also be opened manually by the Council after a pre-determined time and sufficient water levels.

So what is best? Open or closed to the ocean? Purely a personal choice. Many prefer it to be open as the water tends to be clearer around the entrance due to the flushing tides. Being open is also necessary for the best conditions for prawning. Once closed, there is little currents so for those going kayaking, no need to worry about battling the incoming or outgoing tide.

Durras Lake is around 6kms long with an area of 3.2 square kilometres. Three streams major streams flow into the Lake: Benandarah, Bridge and Ryans/Cumbralaway Creek. The catchment area is just over 5000 hectares. It is categorised as an estuarine lake which is a partially enclosed body of water which is intermittently connected to the ocean. This results in mostly brackish water. The lake is very important ecologically and effectively divides the Murramarang National Park into two. The lake is part of the Batemans Marine Park and incorporates a sanctuary zone in its upper reaches.

I like to explore the lake in two ways. My favourite is doing the “Durras Lake Walk” which takes you from Durras Lake North Holiday Park right to very close to the Princes Highway. Just contact us for a Bushwalking Guide sheet for this and other bushwalks in the area.

The other way to properly explore Durras lake is by kayak. This enables you go get to where others simply can’t. The birdlife is exceptional on and around the lake.

I love this quote below which sums up much of the feeling of the Lake:

“The two settlements of North Durras and South Durras dream the undisturbed days away beside (Durras) lake which is a prolific breeding ground for prawns and fish, a haven for migratory birds, and a significant wetland area surrounded by rainforests, stands of spotted gum and thick with burrawang palms” (Moses, 1985).