Local Wildlife in Nelligen

Once you settle into the rhythm of paddling your kayak, keep your eyes peeled for the local wildlife hanging out by the Clyde River. Some animals are easy to spot, while others prefer to stay hidden. All of the below creatures have been spotted by the Nelligen Kayak Hire crew. If you see anything new, please let us know! Even better if you’re able to snap a picture for proof.


Australian Goanna or Lace Monitor

One of Australia’s largest lizards, the carnivorous tree-dwelling lace monitor, or tree goanna, can grow to 2m in length and is found in forests and coastal tablelands across eastern Australia. These Australian animals are typically dark blue in colour with whitish spots or blotches. They can usually be found between September and May as the warmer weather sets in. At other times, they are generally inactive and take shelter in tree hollows. They can grow up to 2.1 metres long and weight up to 20kgs.

Mating takes place in Spring and Summer with 6-12 eggs being laid, usually in termite mounds. A hole is dug on the side of the termite mound, the eggs are laid and the termites reseal the hole. Once hatched the hatchlings dig their way out and sometimes the female returns to use its strong claws to tear open the termite nest to allow the babies to exit the mound.

If you come across a goanna in the wild, it is best left alone. Most times they will scurry off into the bush or climb a tree. Though not poisonous, they can inflict a nasty bite and have powerful claws. They are also the only lizard with a forked tongue.


Australian cormorants tend to have black/black and white feathers. You’ll easily spot these by their unique wing drying behaviour, which is to have their wings spread out while perched on a branch. There are many types, and in the Batemans Bay area you’re likely to see Great Cormorants, Pied Cormorants, and Little Black Cormorants.


Sting Rays

Rays are often seen in Eurobodalla waters – in shallow water, in rocky reefs, beyond the breakers and in estuaries. You may spot one casually floating through the shallow water or see them half buried in the sand. If you miss seeing one in Nelligen, there’s better chances of seeing rays at Mossy Point or by the McInnes Boatshed in Batemans Bay.

Jelly Blubber

One creature that you’ll almost definitely come across in the Clyde River is jellyfish. There’s no need for alarm, however. The jellyfish here are called Jelly Blubber (yes – that’s their actual name!) and they’re the most common jellyfish found in Eastern Australia. The Jelly Blubber has no mouth but there are many tiny openings in its tentacles. The tentacles also have stinging cells that can capture tiny crustaceans and other plankton. From personal experience, their stings do not cause serious injury, only redness, a mild sting and itchiness. There’s no reason to come into contact with them while paddling in your kayak or canoe.

Jellyfish in Nelligen

See cool jellyfish near Batemans Bay


While some people may say there aren’t any fish in the Clyde River (looking at you Bop!), there most definitely are plenty of fish. Whether or not you catch any is a different story! There’s various species, most commonly flathead, bream, estuary perch and tailor in the river along with some large mulloway.

Feel free to drop a line while you go kayaking along the river. Good luck!


The Australian Pelican’s bill is 40 cm – 50 cm long and is larger in males than females. Fun fact: During periods of starvation, pelicans have been reported capturing and eating seagulls and ducklings. The gulls are held under water and drowned before being eaten headfirst. Pelicans will also rob other birds of their prey.

Eastern Grey Kangaroo

These marsupials are also known as the great grey kangaroo and the forester kangaroo. They weigh in at 66kg and stands at almost 2m. Their scientific name, Macropus giganteus (gigantic large-foot), is misleading: the Red Kangaroo of inland Australia is larger, weighing up to 90 kg.

You can spot these guys lazing on the river bank opposite the Big 4 Nelligen Holiday Park on the Exploring Nelligen Creek route. If you don’t seem them from the water, drive through Nelligen village as they’ll sometimes be hopping along the streets and grassy fields.


On the Clyde River there are plenty of ducks, or to be specific, the Pacific Black Duck (Anas superciliosa). It has a dark body, and a paler head with a dark crown and facial stripes. Fingers crossed you’ll see a mother duck floating past with a trail of cute little ducklings.