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Cuttagee Lake
Cuttagee, New South Wales


 
Cuttagee Lake is an ideal spot for young families because it offers a relatively safe, fun environment with a range of water depths and current speeds to suit all swimmers from toddlers to adults. The main feature of the lake is a wide, ankle deep sand bar which is great for water play. Part of the sand bar is elevated above the water's edge, where most people lay out their towells and beach tents. Swimming in Cuttagee Lake Above: The view towards the bridge from the sandbar, looking towards the river mouth

Conditions at the lake can vary depending on whether the mouth is open or closed, and if the mouth is open, whether the tide is moving in or out. The mouth can be closed for years at a time during drought. The water is usually salty, but freshens up a little when the mouth is closed.
The lake is swimmable at all times, but when the mouth is open on an outgoing tide, you have the added fun of being able to float under the bridge and out to Cuttagee Beach. Bring a flotation device to hold onto while you cruise along.

The main danger here are the rocks with sharp edges. It's easy to avoid them because they are generally visible in the water. If you are touching down with your feet, make sure it's in a sandy area. On my most recent visit there were hundreds of hermit crabs along the sandbar, which I had not seen on previous visits. They did their best to avoid you by hiding in the sand, but some kids were getting freaked out by them. They may have been around in such large numbers because the river mouth was closed.

Parking is on the side of the road on the southern side of the bridge. There are no facilities at Cuttagee Lake, so please take your rubbish with you to keep it in pristine condition.

Here is a video that I took when the lake was open on a fast, outgoing tide. Heaps of fun. Sorry about the wayward finger that pops up in the corner of the screen, and the sound quality is a bit ordinary as it was one of my earlier videos.

Essential Information Before You Go:
Location: Sapphire Coast Drive, Cuttagee, 390 km (approx. 5 hrs 30 mins drive) south of Sydney and 260 km (approx. 3 hr 20 min drive) south east of Canberra.
Latitude:-36.488128 Longitude:150.053279
Getting there: The lake is at the northern end of Cuttagee Beach, below the wooden bridge. Cuttagee is on Sapphire Coast Drive, which is the coastal road from Merimbula to Narooma.
Facilities: There is a solitary picnic table on the ocean side of the road that is rarely used.
Entrance fee: None
Water temperature: Mild
Water clarity: Clear
Under foot: Sand with occasional rocks in the deeper water
Maximum water depth: 1-2 metres
Minimum swimming proficiency required: Beginners on the sand bar. Experienced in the river channel.
Prohibitions including whether you can bring your dog: None specified on site. Dogs permitted.
Sun shade: None except under the bridge, where you can sit if you don't have a beach shelter
Opening times: Always open
Wheelchair access: None
Accommodation Options: There is no camping at Cuttagee Lake. If you are staying overnight in the area you can try accommodation in nearby Bermagui.
Managing authority: Bega Valley Shire Council
Nearby attractions: The Four Winds Festival for classical music, every second Easter on a farm up the road, and for swimming, the Blue Pool.
Before you head out, make sure to read the swimming safety information.
Locality Map:
The marker indicates the approximate location of the sandbar in the lake where I swam.
Change of Conditions:
I am not currently aware of any change of conditions reported at this site by the managing authority, or by swimmers on this website. If you are visiting this swimming spot and have any further updates on any change of conditions, let me know via the comment form below.
Comments:
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