Bellinger

Key catchment Bellinger

The Bellinger catchment is on the mid north coast of NSW. The catchment area is 1,000 square kilometres, about 70 kilometres long and 20 kilometres wide. Much of the area is mountainous with limited areas of flat land associated with river and creek valleys. Steep areas of the catchment are under forest cover, while the narrow floodplain and associated foothills have been cleared for grazing, cropping and other uses.

Major towns

Coffs Harbour, Nambucca Heads, Macksville and Urunga. Urban development is mainly limited to the small towns of inland Bellingen and coastal Urunga. Raleigh, Repton, and Myleston are smaller villages also on the coast.

Rivers and tributaries

The Bellinger River rises in the Great Dividing Range and flows south-east through an extensive coastal floodplain to Urunga, where it meets the Pacific Ocean. Major tributaries include the Kalang River, and the Boggy, Woods and Hydes creeks. The tidal influence extends about 20 kilometres upstream of the Bellinger River, and about 25 kilometres upstream of the Kalang River.

Real-time flow data

The department monitors the conditions of river systems in NSW and provides regular updates on water levels, rainfall, water temperature and electrical conductivity.

View real-time data from the Bellinger catchment on this website.

Major water users

Major water users in the catchment include local councils, water utilities, forestry, conservation, livestock grazing (dairy, beef, pork), some irrigated crops such as maize, sorghum and vegetables. Other economic activities that occur in the catchment include fishing, tourism, oyster and fish farming.

Key water management issues

Major water users in the catchment include local councils, water utilities, forestry, conservation, livestock grazing (dairy, beef, pork), some irrigated crops such as maize, sorghum and vegetables. Other economic activities that occur in the catchment include fishing, tourism, oyster and fish farming.

Environmental values

The Bellinger catchment is highly valued for its natural beauty and contains some regionally significant rainforest. The valley is also famous for the Ringwood Tree and the freshwater turtle, Elseya georgesi, which are only found locally.

Topography has been a dominant factor in development, with the steep areas remaining under forest cover while the narrow flood plain and associated foothills have been cleared for grazing, cropping and other uses. Most of the forest is contained in either national parks or state forest areas.

Water sharing plans

To preserve water resources in river and groundwater systems for the long term it is critical to balance the competing needs of the environment and water users. Water sharing plans establish rules for sharing water between the environmental needs of the river or aquifer and water users, and also between different types of water use such as town supply, rural domestic supply, stock watering, industry and irrigation.

Water sharing plans in this catchment:

  • Bellinger River Area Unregulated and Alluvial
  • Coffs Harbour Area Unregulated and Alluvial

Visit Water Sharing Plans for a status update.