Cudgen Lake

Cudgen Nature Reserve

Open, check current alerts 

Overview

Cudgen Lake, near the coastal villages of Cabarita Beach and Bogangar on the Tweed Coast, is perfect for kayaking, swimming, picnicking and birdwatching.

Where
Cudgen Nature Reserve
Accessibility
Medium
What to
bring
Drinking water, hat, sunscreen
Please note
Remember to take your binoculars if you want to birdwatch.

Just near the coastal villages of Cabarita Beach and Bogangar on the Tweed Coast, Cudgen Lake is a hidden wetland treasure surrounded by floodplain forest and rainforests. Look out over the calm waters and you’ll see majestic Round Mountain in the south and striking views to the west of Wollumbin Mount Warning in the World Heritage-listed Wollumbin National Park.

Great for a family day out, head to Cudgen picnic area and enjoy lunch by the water. The kids will love swimming in the shallow waters of the lake. Launch your canoe or kayak from the boat ramp and head off to explore the nearby creeks. You can also enjoy a day of windsurfing on the lake. Cudgen Lake is occasionally suitable for sailing if there has been a lot of rain for a long time. You can also try your luck fishing, or just sit back and enjoy the tranquility.

The lake and surrounding wetlands is also a fantastic spot for birdwatching. Look out for waterbirds like the Australasian grebe or the white-faced heron.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

Current alerts in this area

There are no current alerts in this area.

Local alerts

For the latest updates on fires, closures and other alerts in this area, see https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/canoeing-paddling-experiences/cudgen-lake/local-alerts

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Cudgen Lake.

Getting there and parking

Cudgen Lake is in the central precinct of Cudgen Nature Reserve. It can be accessed via Cudgen Lake picnic area.

To get there:

  • Follow the directions towards Cabarita Beach/Bogangar
  • If driving south on Tweed Coast Road, turn right into Tamarind Avenue and follow into Willow Avenue, which continues to the picnic area and boat ramp.
  • If driving east on Clothiers Creek Road, turn left into Poplar Avenue then left again into Tamarind Avenue and follow into Willow Avenue, which continues to the picnic area and boat ramp.

Road quality

  • Sealed roads

Vehicle access

  • 2WD vehicles

Weather restrictions

  • All weather

Parking

Parking is available at Cudgen Lake, including several designated disabled spots. Bus parking is available.

Best times to visit

There are lots of great things waiting for you in Cudgen Nature Reserve. Here are some of the highlights.

Autumn

Venture off to explore the lake in your kayak or canoe and paddle along Cudgen Creek.

Spring

Enjoy a peaceful picnic at Cudgen picnic area, with spectacular views across the lake to Wollumbin.

Summer

Escape the holiday crowds and have fun swimming, sailing and paddling on Cudgen Lake.

Winter

Enjoy birdwatching on the lake and watch for migratory birds.

Weather, temperature and rainfall

Summer temperature

Average

18°C and 30°C

Highest recorded

42.9°C

Winter temperature

Average

8°C and 22°C

Lowest recorded

-1.4°C

Rainfall

Wettest month

February

Driest month

September

The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

820.4mm

Facilities

Picnic tables

Barbecue facilities

  • Gas/electric barbecues (free)

Boat ramp

Carpark

Maps and downloads

Safety messages

Boating safety

If you're out on your boat fishing, waterskiing or just cruising the waterways, the safety of you and your passengers is paramount.

Fishing safety

Fishing from a boat, the beach or by the river is a popular activity for many national park visitors. If you’re planning a day out fishing, check out these fishing safety tips.

Mobile safety

Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency Plus app before you visit, it helps emergency services locate you using your smartphone's GPS. Please note there is limited mobile phone reception in this park and you’ll need mobile reception to call Triple Zero (000).

Paddling safety

To make your paddling or kayaking adventure safer and more enjoyable, check out these paddling safety tips.

River and lake safety

The aquatic environment around rivers, lakes and lagoons can be unpredictable. If you're visiting these areas, take note of these river and lake safety tips.

Accessibility

Disability access level - medium

Assistance may be required to access this area.

Permitted

Fishing

A current NSW recreational fishing licence is required when fishing in all waters.

Prohibited

Pets

Pets and domestic animals (other than certified assistance animals) are not permitted. Find out which regional parks allow dogs and see the pets in parks policy for more information.

Smoking

NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

Learn more

Cudgen Lake is in Cudgen Nature Reserve. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

A birdwatcher's paradise

Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus), Cudgen Nature Reserve. Photo: Allen Goodwin

Cudgen is home to plenty of birdlife, making it a great spot for bird watching. The lake and surrounding wetlands are a great place to see black swan and waterbirds like the Australian white ibis or the white-faced heron. You'll also see shorebirds including pied oystercatcher, osprey and sea eagles.

  • Cudgen Lake Cudgen Lake, near the coastal villages of Cabarita Beach and Bogangar on the Tweed Coast, is perfect for kayaking, swimming, picnicking and birdwatching.

Good things come in small packages

Clothiers Creek, Cudgen Nature Reserve. Photo: OEH

For a modest reserve, there is certainly an enormous variety of vegetation, ranging from coastal dunes to heath, swamp forests to rainforests, and the beautiful wetlands on Cudgen Lake and surrounding estuaries. Much of the reserve is listed as an Endangered Ecological Community (EEC), including swamp oak, swamp melaleuca forest, littoral and lowland subtropical rainforest, and freshwater wetlands. Cudgen Nature Reserve also provides a great viewing point and stopover point en route to the magnificent rainforest in the World Heritage-listed Wollumbin National Park.

Water sport playground

Canoeing on Cudgen Lake. Cudgen Nature Reserve. Photo: OEH

With the great expanse of Cudgen Lake, nearby creeks and Cabarita Beach all included in Cudgen Nature Reserve, you'll find loads of water sports to enjoy. Go sailing on the lake, or explore by kayak, canoe or paddleboard. Enjoy swimming on the lake or head to Cabarita Beach for swimming, surfing and fishing in the ocean.

  • Cudgen Lake Cudgen Lake, near the coastal villages of Cabarita Beach and Bogangar on the Tweed Coast, is perfect for kayaking, swimming, picnicking and birdwatching.

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