Cudgen Nature Reserve

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Escape the Tweed Coast crowds and head to Cudgen Nature Reserve. Great for school excursions, with opportunities for fishing, canoeing, picnicking and birdwatching.

Read more about Cudgen Nature Reserve

Visit Cudgen Nature Reserve and you’ll quickly leave the hectic Tweed Coast behind, as you surround yourself in a mosaic of beauty and contrasting landscapes.

It’s a modest reserve, but it’s packed full of things to see and do for the whole family. Indulge in picnicking at Cudgen picnic area and admire the dramatic backdrop of Wollumbin Mount Warning.

It’s also a great spot for birdwatching and home to some of the last remaining koalas on the Tweed Coast, so keep a lookout in the trees around the lake and near Round Mountain.

Go sailing on the lake or explore the shorelines and birdlife by kayak or canoe. And if that’s not enough, the beach nearby also offers great fishing and surfing.

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


See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Cudgen Nature Reserve.


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Map legend

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    From Tweed Heads:

    • Drive south on Pacific Highway
    • Take the Tweed Coast Road exit at Chinderah
    • Continue for approximately 6km on Tweed Coast Road until you see the first part of the nature reserve on your right

    From Murwillumbah:

    • Drive north-east on Tweed Valley Way for approximately 4km
    • Turn right into Clothiers Creek Road Continue until you cross Pacific Highway
    • After approximately 2.5km, you’ll see the nature reserve start on your left.

    From Brunswick Heads:

    • Drive north on Pacific Highway
    • Take the Clothiers Creek Road exit and drive towards Cabarita Beach
    • After approximately 2.5km, you’ll see the nature reserve start on your left.


    By bike

    Cycle ways run along the edge of Cudgen Nature Reserve, connecting the coastal villages. Check out the Bicycle information for NSW website for more information.

    By public transport

    Cudgen Nature Reserve is accessible by bus from Tweed Heads. For information about public transport options, visit the NSW country transport info website.

    Best times to visit

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


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


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


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


    Enjoy birdwatching on the lake and watch for migratory birds.

    Weather, temperature and rainfall

    Summer temperature


    18°C and 30°C

    Highest recorded


    Winter temperature


    8°C and 22°C

    Lowest recorded



    Wettest month


    Driest month


    The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day



    Picnic tables

    Barbecue facilities

    Boat ramp

    Maps and downloads

    Safety messages

    However you discover NSW national parks and reserves, we want you to have a safe and enjoyable experience. Our park and reserve systems contrast greatly so you need to be aware of the risks and take responsibility for your own safety and the safety of those in your care.

    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).



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


    NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

    Nearby towns

    Murwillumbah (18 km)

    Murwillumbah is rich dairy, sugar cane and banana country. It's located on the banks of the Tweed River and set in the Tweed River Valley against a backdrop of rainforest-clad hills.

    Tweed Heads (18 km)

    Tweed Heads features endless surfing, beaches and waterways. It is the northernmost town on the NSW coast.

    Brunswick Heads (33 km)

    Brunswick Heads is a holiday village with clean, uncrowded beaches. It's a coastal location on the estuary of the Brunswick River.

    Learn more

    Cudgen Nature Reserve is a special place. Here are just some of the reasons why:

    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.

    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.

    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.

    Education resources (1)

    What we're doing

    Cudgen Nature Reserve has management strategies in place to protect and conserve the values of this park. Visit the OEH website for detailed park and fire management documents.