Wowly Gully

Our water quality monitoring program has shown Wowly Gully to have excellent water quality. Find out more about the estuary and its unique features.

Wowly Gully estuary is classed as a lagoon with an intermittently closed entrance that flows into Jervis Bay. Located on the south coast of New South Wales, the estuary forms part of the Jervis Bay Marine Park.

Estuary health and features

Water quality

As part of our water quality monitoring program we assess the water quality and ecosystem health of an estuary using a range of relevant indicators. We sample a subset of the estuaries between Wollongong and the Victorian border every 3 years. The most recent sampling in Wowly Gully was completed over the 2011–12 summer when 2 sites were sampled on a monthly basis.

Wowly Gully water quality report card for algae and water clarity showing colour-coded ratings (red, orange, yellow, light green and dark green, which represent very poor, poor, fair, good and excellent, respectively). Algae is rated 'excellent' and water clarity is rated 'excellent' giving an overall rating of 'excellent' or 'A'.

This report card represents 2 water quality indicators that we routinely measure: the amount of algae present and water clarity. Low levels of these 2 indicators equate with good water quality.

The report card shows the condition of the estuary was excellent with:

  • algae abundance graded excellent (A)
  • water clarity graded excellent (A)
  • overall estuary health graded excellent (A).

Find out more about our estuary report cards and what each grade means. Read our sampling, data analysis and reporting protocols and find out how we calculate these grades.

Physical characteristics

Estuary type: Lagoon

Latitude (ºS) –35
Longitude (ºE) 150.73
Catchment area (km2) 6
Estuary area (km2) 0.2
Estuary volume (ML) 71
Average depth (m) 0.4
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 catchment of Wowly Gully is moderately disturbed. About 15% of land use within the catchment is urban development at Callala Bay, the rest of the catchment is undisturbed forest within Jervis Bay National Park.

National and marine parks

  • Jervis Bay National Park is the largest conservation area in the Wowly Gully catchment.
  • Wowly Gully estuary is located within the Jervis Bay Marine Park. The entrance of the estuary is included in the habitat protection zone for the marine park.

Citizen science projects

  • The Budawang Coast Nature Map is an online data platform the community can use to record and identify biodiversity. Data collected is used to map the distribution of native plant and animal species from Moruya up almost to Kiama.

Community involvement

  • Shoalhaven City Council’s Bushcare webpage provides links to a range of active groups in and around this catchment.
  • The Shoalhaven Landcare Association represents a range of volunteer groups working in and around the Wowly Gully catchment.
Wowly Gully