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East Gippsland Waterways

East Gippsland contains many waterways of important cultural and biological significance.

The Gippsland Lakes span 400 km2 making them the largest navigable network of inland waterways in Australia. They include Lake Wellington, Lake Victoria, Lake King and a number of smaller lagoons and wetlands.


The lakes are fed from five main rivers in East Gippsland – the Mitchell, Nicholson, and Tambo flow into Lake King, while to the west the Latrobe and Avon rivers flow into Lake Wellington.


The Gippsland Lakes contain a number of internationally significant wetlands and support a diverse range of flora and fauna, including around 400 indigenous plant species and 300 native wildlife species. The lakes are listed under the RAMSAR convention for their unique natural landforms, vegetation and as home to thousands of water birds.


Further east, the region has many other highly significant rivers and estuaries, including Mallacoota Inlet, the Snowy, Thurra and Bemm rivers, estuaries and smaller streams and creeks.


Healthy waterways are highly valued by our community and visitors.  They're vital contributors to our local economy, from industry, tourism, recreation and fishing.  Over 1.2 million people visited East Gippsland in 2015, and our waterways are an important tourism draw card.


Did you know in Victoria?

  • 92% of people visit waterways to enjoy scenery, and 76% to walk, hike or cycle
  • 37% of people visit to go fishing, or plant native trees and remove weeds, and 21% for stock and irrigation purposes
  • And 83% feel personally connected to a local waterway

Our waterways are under increasing pressure from our growing population and unpredictable climate. The major issue affecting waterway health is the increased amount of mud (or sediment) entering our waterways, increasing volumes of untreated stormwater flowing into creeks, and litter is a serious pollution problem.


Learn ways to protect our waterways including Council's Urban Waterway Guidelines and local case studies.

Connect to our waterways





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