Jervis Bay

Jervis Bay is in the south coast region of New South Wales. It is a large oceanic bay with an open entrance.

Jervis Bay is a popular tourist destination on NSW south coast. It boasts powder-white sands, crystal clear waters, extensive areas of intact native vegetation and plenty of opportunities for recreational activities, including diving, snorkelling, boating, fishing and whale watching.

The area has significant Aboriginal cultural and heritage value, including the Booderee National Park, which is managed by the Wreck Bay Aboriginal community in collaboration with Parks Australia.

Jervis Bay is also home to one of Australia’s largest commercial mussel-growing leases.

Estuary health and features

Water quality

Jervis Bay has not been sampled as part of our monitoring program. We monitor water quality in Carama Creek, Wowly Gully, Callala Creek, Currambene Creek, Moona Moona Creek, Flat Rock Creek and Captains Beach Lagoon, almost all of the main tributaries to Jervis Bay.

Currambene Creek was last sampled in 2017–18 with the other tributaries last sampled in 2011–12.

Seafood harvest area status

The NSW Food Authority website lists the current status of oyster/shellfish harvest areas.

As part of our Beachwatch program we assess swimming suitability at 1 swimming site in Jervis Bay using microbial indicators. Shoalhaven City Council collect samples at each site weekly between December and February to calculate the suitability grade. Sampling is ongoing. The grade reflects the most recent 56 water quality results to February 2021. Find out more about how we monitor beach water quality.

Local government area Swim site name Grade
Shoalhaven Collingwood Beach Very good

Collingwood Beach usually has excellent microbial water quality. It has few potential sources of faecal pollution and water is considered suitable for swimming almost all of the time.

Water can sometimes be unsuitable for swimming, especially after rainfall when stormwater and wastewater can overflow into swimming areas. Learn more about what the grades mean and how we grade swimming sites on our beach classification webpage.

Water sampling and laboratory analysis was funded by Shoalhaven City Council.

Physical characteristics

Estuary type: Bay

Latitude (ºS) –35.1
Longitude (ºE) 150.79
Catchment area (km2) 32.4
Estuary area (km2) 123.9
Estuary volume (ML) 1,197,7656.3
Average depth (m) 16.2
Notes: km2 = square kilometres; m = metres; ML = megalitres.

Water depth and survey data

Bathymetric and coastal topography data for this estuary are available in our data portal.

Land use

The Jervis Bay catchment has a low level of disturbance with large forested areas conserved by national parks. A number of low to medium density residential areas and associated amenities occur along the coastline. Over time the area has supported an array of industries including grazing, dairy farms, fishing, timber extraction, ship building, whaling, naval training and tourism.

National and marine parks

Jervis Bay

Local government management

Local councils manage estuaries within their area unless the estuary is attached to a marine park. This estuary is located within the Jervis Bay Marine Park and is managed by Shoalhaven City Council.