Update of Crowdy Head and Anchorage
Reviewed Feb 2017
We had always planned on sailing into Crowdy Heads north of Forster Toncurry and checking out the anchorage and small fishing harbour as outlined in Alan Lucas’s cruising guide “Cruising the NSW Coast” but weather and other passage plans always saw us by bypassing this area. When we were on a recent road trip in January 2017 from Queensland back to Lake Macquarie we decided to deviate to Crowdy Head via Harrington to check out the area in January 2017. Crowdy Head is located approximately 25nautical miles north of Forster/Tuncurry and 25 nautical miles south of Camden Haven.
I am glad we made the diversion as the small harbour has changed significantly. The old jetty as listed in “Lucas” is now not serviceable and is breaking apart. The path from the land to the jetty has disintegrated to the point that it posed significant danger to those on foot accessing the jetty due to what appears to be sea erosion. Many of the poles supporting the jetty are in the process of falling back into the sea and in very poor repair. It appears that water and power have been disconnected due the the major damage. In short I would not tie my boat to this pier with Marine rescue not recommending tying up to the wharf but if you did so it would be at your own risk.
The old Fishermans CO Op is now close and abandoned. A newer wharf is now located adjacent to the old Fishermans CO OP but is would only be capable of having two large craft ( 2 x 12 metre ) or possibly three smaller craft alongside. There is only one side to tie boats against as opposed to the two side of the old jetty. The newer jetty parallels the shoreline whereas the old jetty jutted out into the small harbour. I have been advised by Marine Rescue that this wharf is still used as a refuelling wharf and if you tie up there overnight you may be asked to move to facilitate the refuelling of the Marine Rescue vessel or other.
There is no fuel available at Crowdy Head !!. From my conversation with VMR personal it appears that fuel used to delivered out to the wharf by one of the petrol stations at Harrington but this may be in doubt now due to the petrol station undergoing new management.
I was also who advised that the fishing fleet that serviced the Fishing Co-op no longer operates out of Crowdy Head with visiting boats able to utilise old marina section which still has power and water connected.
The old marina wharf in the eastern sector of the harbour appears to be in relatively good repair with the local VMR boat moored at this location. It appears that there are few commercial fishing boats left in the area and using the marina wharf. Having walked the wharf be aware of large pieces of metal obviously used to tie up boats now sticking out ready to catch the unwary mariner coming in to tie up to this section of the wharf. A very good launching ramp and floating jetty is available in the harbour for trailerable boats and it appears they could be launched in most weather.
During our time we observed that the bay is very similar to Trial Bay and appears to be good anchorage in South to Westerly winds with moderate swells over sand. Being on a road trip we were unable to confirm the holding but Crowdy Heads is now on our list of anchorages to try.
There are no facilities such as garages or shops in this area. The only available service is a Cafe that operates out of the Surf Life Saving Club located at the Crowdy Head Beach.
As per "Lucas" and to re-enforce his observations there is no room to anchor in this small harbour. The closest town is Harrington which has most services for provisions and fuel but its a good ten minute drive ( at 80KPH) or a significant walk. Marine Rescue have a well staffed and friendly unit at Harrington and can be contacted on VHF 16 and 67. They can also be contacted on 02 6556 1564. Chart AUS 811 relates.
No Services such as fuel or provisions