The Lakes estuary and catchment

The Tuggerah Lakes estuary and its catchment are home to an array of diverse ecosystems, habitats and many wonderful places that are a haven for our native plants and wildlife. They are living environments that needs plenty of care and nurturing to ensure that they continue to live.

The highlands of hills and plateaus to the west of the lakes are a mixture of forests, both National Parks and Forestry, and large farms and rural lifestyles, in these areas you will find eucalypt forests interspersed with hanging wetlands and heathland.

Travelling down into the valleys of Yarramalong ,Dooralong and Ourimbah, you will find lush pastures, grazing properties, turf farms and rural views, there is also important natural habitat here too. These valleys are home to the largest rivers and creeks of the Tuggerah Lakes estuary, which support important aquatic and riparian vegetation. These waterways are the major source of the water in the Tuggerah Lakes estuary and are also important for the drinking water supply for the region.

Closer to the lakes themselves you will find the coastal lowlands and floodplains. A large portion of the residential and industrial land in the catchment can be found here along with remnants of the original natural habitats of the area. The woodlands remaining in the lowlands are home to numerous threatened species and the wetlands in the floodplains such as Porters Creek wetland are extremely complex and important ecosystems that play an important part in the health of the estuary.

Around the foreshores of the estuary itself are saltmarsh and swamp forests, these habitats are important for both the health of the estuary and the wildlife that live here.

In the lakes themselves are the seagrass meadows that are home to an array of fish including elusive seahorses and pipefish and many commercially important fish species.

Community participating in identifying local bass fish populations
and sustainable fishing practices
Cattle Egret Silver Gulls Jetty at Berkeley Vale - Photo by Christina Port
Photo: Hanging out – Cattle Egret and SilverĀ Gulls at
Berkeley Vale