Bellinger River

Physical characteristics

Latitude (ºS)-30.50
Longitude (ºE)153.03
Catchment area (km2)11100.3
Estuary area (km2)1,28.2
Estuary volume (ML)314441.6
Average depth (m)41.8
Roy et al. (2001) classification5III/5/D
Entrance condition6O/T
  1. Derived from DECCW (2010) NSW estuaries and coastal catchments spatial database.
  2. Includes area mapped as open water (see note 1), mangrove and saltmarsh areas (Creese R. G., Glasby T. M., West G. and Gallen C. (2009) Mapping the habitats of NSW estuaries. Industry & Investment NSW Fisheries Final Report Series 113. Port Stephens, NSW, Australia.
  3. Based on areas at 0.6 m AHD (Roper T., Creese B., Scanes P., Stephens K., Williams R., Dela-Cruz J., Coade G. and Coates B. (2011) Assessing the condition of estuaries and coastal lake ecosystems in NSW. Office of Environment and Heritage, Sydney).
  4. Estimated by dividing the total volume at 0.6 m AHD by the total surface area of the estuary including mangrove areas but excluding saltmarsh (Roper et al., 2011)
  5. Estuary group: I = oceanic embayment, II = tide dominated estuary, III = wave dominated estuary, IV = intermittently closed estuary V = freshwater bodies
    Estuary type: 1 = ocean embayments, 3 = drowned valley estuary, 5 = barrier estuary, 6 = barrier lagoon, 7 = interbarrier estuary, 8 = saline coastal lagoon, 9 = small coastal creeks, 11 = brackish barrier lake. Evolution stage: A=youthful, B=intermediate, C=semi-mature, D=mature.
    (P. S. Roy, R. J. Williams, A. R. Jones, I. Yassini, P. J. Gibbs, B. Coates, R. J. West, P. R. Scanes, J. P. Hudson and S. Nichol (2001) Structure and Function of South-east Australian Estuaries. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 53, 351-384)
  6. Entrance conditions: O = open, T = trained, I = intermittent.

Tidal prism

The volume of water moving past a fixed cross section during each flood tide or ebb tide (i.e. slack water to slack water), is referred to as the tidal prism of an estuary.

The following table shows the measured tidal prism at the location specified, along with the tidal range for near the measurement site and at Sydney Harbour.

Location:     Bellinger 1.3km and Kalang 400m upstream from confluence on 19/9/01

Tide stateFlow
(106 m3
tidal range (m)
Sydney Harbour
tidal range (m)
Ebb flow2.45 (Bellinger) 3.04 (Kalang)1.161.53
Flood flow 2.55 (Bellinger) 3.72 (Kalang)1.261.58

Tidal survey

Tidal surveys measure the hydrodynamic behaviour of an estuary during a full tidal cycle. The parameters measured include velocity, water levels, salinity, temperature and pH.

The following tidal surveys have been undertaken on this estuary. A map shows the location and plots of the flows and water levels for the most comprehensive survey.

Copies of tidal survey reports are available from the Estuary Management Program

DateData collectedFigureReport
Mar 1978Current metering at the confluence and entrance to the two rivers.-MHL231
Apr 1980Current metering, water levels and longitudinal profiles on Bellinger and Kalang Rivers upstream of confluence.-MHL293
Apr 1980Float tracking on ebb flow on both rivers.-MHL293
Apr 1980Float tracking on flood flow on both rivers.-MHL293
Jul 1988Current metering half tide cycle at one line, seven tideboards, temperature/salinity readings, water samples taken, SDL readings.-MHL525
Sep 2001Extensive data collection: water levels at ten sites, velocities at six sites and water quality profiles at twenty sites.1988-14.pdfMHL1155
Jul 2008 to Sep 2009Extensive data collection: water levels at nine sites; conductivity/salinity at four sites; and water quality profiles at twenty-four sites.-MHL1951

Hydrographic survey

The hydrographic survey provides the depth and physical characteristics of the estuary.

The metadata associated with the survey can be found on the map sheets provided.

Map sheet number DescriptionScale    Size
56591s01.pdfIndex plan1:20000830kb
56591s02.pdfCross section locations1:10000521kb
56591s03.pdfCross section locations1:2000504kb
56591s04.pdfBellinger River below Connels Creek1:2000331kb
56591s05.pdfBellinger River (Raleigh)1:2000446kb
56591s06.pdfBellinger River (Repton)1:2000371kb
56591s07.pdfBellinger River (Mylestom)1:2000432kb
56591s08.pdfBellinger River & Back Creek1:2000454kb
56591s09.pdfKalang River & Back Creek1:2000485kb
56591s10.pdfKalang River1:2000516kb
56591s11.pdfBellinger River entrance1:2000851kb
56591s12.pdfKalang River1:2000581kb
56591s13.pdfKalang River1:2000527kb
56591s14.pdfUrunga Lagoon1:2000425kb
56591s15.pdfCross sections - Bellinger River (Charlmont)1:1000 H 1:200 V215kb
56591s16.pdfCross sections - Bellinger River1:1000 H 1:200 V216kb
56591s17.pdfCross sections - Bellinger River (Fernmount)1:1000 H 1:200 V214kb
56591s18.pdfCross sections - Bellinger River1:1000 H 1:200 V191kb
56591s19.pdfCross sections - Bellinger River (Bellingen)1:1000 H 1:200 V195kb
56591s20.pdfCross sections - Bellinger River (Bellingen), Burdett Park & Connels Creeks1:1000 H 1:200 V184kb
56591s21.pdfCross sections - Hogans and Hydes Creeks1:1000 H 1:200 V173kb
56591s22.pdfCross sections - Hydes Creeks and Kalang River1:1000 H 1:200 V227kb
56591s23.pdfCross sections - Kalang River1:1000 H 1:200 V237kb
56591s24.pdfCross sections - Kalang River (Tarkeeth)1:1000 H 1:200 V239kb
56591s25.pdfCross sections - Kalang River1:1000 H 1:200 V274kb
56591s26.pdfCross sections - Kalang River1:1000 H 1:200 V246kb
56591s27.pdfCross sections - Kalang River1:1000 H 1:200 V211kb
56591s28.pdfCross sections - Kalang River (Brierfield)1:1000 H 1:200 V187kb
56591s29.pdfCross sections - Kalang River, Unnamed & Picket Hill Creeks 1:1000 H 1:200 V204kb
56591s30.pdfCross sections - Picket Hill Creek 1:1000 H 1:200 V224kb
56591s31.pdfCross sections - Picket Hill, Pine and Unnamed Creek 1:1000 H 1:200 V176kb
56591s32.pdfCross sections - Unnamed Creeks 1 to 71:1000 H 1:200 V178kb
56591s33.pdfCross sections - Unnamed Creeks 7 to 91:1000 H 1:200 V152kb
56591.txtBathymetry xyz dataN/A409kb
56591_sections.txtCross sections xyz dataN/A135kb
56593s01.pdfBellinger River - Raleigh Shoal1:2000385kb
56593.txtRaleigh Shoal xyz dataN/A26kb
Page last updated: 26 April 2012