View a map of the Nerang River catchment area on the Southern Gold Coast Catchment Story, a map journal developed by the Queensland Wetlands Program in the Department of Environment and Science, in partnership with local councils, Healthy Land and Water and Gold Coast Waterways.
The Nerang River's upper reaches begin in the McPherson Range and Springbrook Plateau. Here it delivers flows through significant rural areas and also feed into two dams (Hinze Dam and Little Nerang Dam). These provide a large percentage of the Gold Coast’s drinking water supply.
The Nerang River continues its course from the Hinze Dam wall flowing approximately 36 kilometres through rural residential and agricultural land use areas reaching its tidal limit just upstream from Weedons Crossing. The tidal estuary region of the system traverses through medium and high density urban residential areas and receives runoff from the Carrara/Merrimac floodplain area before joining the Broadwater system and flowing into the Pacific Ocean via the Gold Coast Seaway (GCCC 2002).
Multi-branched canal developments and a number of artificial tidal and freshwater lake systems have influenced and altered large areas of the floodplain. These canal developments provide a range of opportunities for many residents including boating and recreational fishing. The canals and lakes provide habitat to a range of aquatic, terrestrial and marine flora and fauna. The canal systems provide for drainage of stormwater and contribute to flood mitigation, but can periodically be subject to contamination via stormwater drainage (GCCC 2002).
A large number of tributaries discharge into the Nerang River system downstream from the Hinze Dam. These include Crane Creek, Bonogin Creek, Mudgeeraba Creek (via Clear Island Waters), Witt Avenue and Carrara drain, Benowa flood channel and Mooyumbin Creek. Each of these sub-catchments face pressures associated with varying land use activities and catchment characteristics, which has the potential to impact on water quality through stormwater run-off.