A special place

The Tuggerah Lakes estuary is a very special place with a remarkable variety of landscapes, scenery, wildlife and flora.

Located in the northern part of the New South Wales Central Coast, the unique environment features three shallow coastal lagoons that connect to each other and open to the sea at The Entrance.

The health and beauty of the estuary is vital to the district’s strong tourism industry. It is also the playground for many recreational pursuits and supports a significant commercial industry and recreational fishing activities.

What is an estuary?

Estuaries are dynamic environments where freshwater draining from coastal catchments meets the saline (salty) waters of the open ocean. They come in all different shapes, sizes and depths; some with open entrances and some with intermittently open entrances to the ocean.

Coastal lagoons like Tuggerah Lakes estuary, Wamberal Lagoon and Dee Why Lagoon are the most common type of estuary and are found along the southern coastline of Australia. Separated from the ocean by a barrier, usually of sand, these estuaries can be smaller in size and are found in coastal valleys. Read more about how they work. The Tuggerah Lakes estuary is the largest estuary in NSW with an intermittently open entrance.

What makes up our estuary?

  • Three lakes (actually lagoons) – Tuggerah, Budgewoi and Munmorah
  • Channels – connecting the lakes to each other
  • The Entrance – connecting the lakes to the sea and requires dredging to remain open
  • Creeks – the lower, saline parts of Wyong River, Ourimbah Creek, Wallarah Creek and others which flow into the lakes