Wagonga Inlet

Physical characteristics

Latitude (ºS)-36.21
Longitude (ºE)150.13
Catchment area (km2)193.3
Estuary area (km2)1,26.9
Estuary volume (ML)339101.3
Average depth (m)45.7
Roy et al. (2001) classification5III/5/A
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:     380m from the entrance on 3/12/86

Tide stateFlow
(106 m3
tidal range (m)
Sydney Harbour
tidal range (m)
Ebb flow6.341.491.89
Flood flow 6.641.241.57

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 to Aug 1976Current metering at one line and five tideboards - bed samples, temperature/salinity.-MHL209
Nov 1977Dye tracking to identify a suspected rip current along the northern side of the northern breakwall.-MHL235
Feb 1978Current metering - velocities, discharge, cross sections, bed and suspended samples, beach and offshore profiles.-MHL235
Feb 1978Current metering - velocities, discharge, cross sections, bed and sediment samples, beach and offshore profiles.-MHL235
Mar 1978Current metering - velocities, discharge, cross sections, bed and suspended samples, beach and offshore profiles.-MHL235
May 1978Current metering - velocities, discharge, cross section, bed and suspended samples, beach offshore profiles.-MHL235
Jun 1978Current metering at one line and five tideboards.-MHL260
May 1983Current metering and tideboards - temp/salinity and suspended sediment samples.-MHL382
Dec 1986Current metering at two lines, five tide recorders installed, temp/salinity at entrance and spot locations in the lake, barograph and anemometer.1988-53.pdfMHL499
Aug 1996 to Aug 1997Barlows Bay, Wagonga Inlet Water Quality Monitoring 1997.-MHL888

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
53175SH1.pdfIndex plan1:8000737.7kb
53175SH2.pdfWagonga Inlet (Burrimbidgee Creek)1:2000162.7kb
53175SH3.pdfWagonga Inlet (Barlows Bay & Clarks Bay)1:2000571.8kb
53175SH4.pdfWagonga Inlet (inlet, entrance & offshore)1:2000793.0kb
53175SH5.pdfWagonga Inlet (Brices Bay & Hobbs Bay)1:2000161.4kb
53175SH6.pdfWagonga Inlet (Honeymoon Bay & Flying Fox Bay)1:2000295.4kb
53175SH7.pdfWagonga Inlet (Forsters Bay)1:2000517.3kb
53175.txtWagonga Inlet xyz dataN/A412.2kb
Page last updated: 27 April 2012