Estuary name Barham River Estuary
CMA Corangamite CMA

The Barham enters the sea between Apollo Bay and Marengo after meandering across a broad tidal waterway, an uncommon river style within the region. The Barham River Estuary is 2.980km in length, with a catchment area of 192.1Ha that contains several geologically significant sites.

Estuary Values
  • significant birds species found on the Barham River estuary are the Eastern Great Egret (Ardea modesta) Status: Vulnerable (Adv List) , Whiskered Tern (Childonias hybrida) Status: Near Threatened (Adv List) , Fairy Tern (Stemula nereis nereis) Status: Vulnerable (EPBC), Endangered (Adv List) and the Hooded Plover (Thinornis rubricollis) Status: Vulnerable (Adv List and EPBC)
  • a significant fish species found on the Barham River estuary is the Australian Grayling.
  • the Barham River supplies water to Apollo Bay
  • canoeing
  • picnics
  • walking
  • camping
  • recreational fishing.
Estuary Threats
  •  degraded riparian vegetation
  • stock access
  • bank erosion
  • invasive flora and fauna
  • reduced connectivity
  •  poor water quality


Data Site observations
Status Active
Monitor group Barham EstuaryWatchers
Document Barham River Estuary Fact Sheet



Site details Options

BmGB Barham River Water Level Gauge Board

Active Gauge Board
The water level gauge board is located on the eastern river bank beside the Great Ocean Road bridge.

BmMC Barham River Observation Site

Active Mouth Condition 23-05-2008 - 16-02-2018
Fence corner 17th hole.
Observations 122

BmP1 Barham River P1- Golf Course

Retired Photopoint 02-04-2010 - 13-09-2017

Fence corner 17th hole.

Photos 70

BmP2 Barham River P2- Ocean Road

Active Photopoint 29-08-2010 - 17-02-2018
Fishing platform
Photos 97

BmP3 Barham River P3- Golf Course

Active Photopoint 01-01-2013 - 17-02-2018
Enter via walking track from the carpark at the corner of Gambier and Trafalgar Street. Follow the track to the 6th hole of the golf course.
Photos 131

Recent Events

Event Details
28-05-2017 Water level

28/05/2017 at 13.39 the predicted high tide is 1.32mAHD. At 13.40 at the harbour the tide reading is 1.49mAHD [2.43mCD]. There is fresh NWW winds and the barometer is 1006.3.  A large swell with the high tide is backing up and filling the estuary. At 13.45 the estuary height is 1.44mAHD.

12-01-2018 14:00
04-04-2017 Estuary Entrance Opening

On the 30/03/2017 at 11.35 the river mouth is closed and the estuary height is 1.57m. A strong West wind and rough seas. The berm clearance is 0.2m.

For the next 3 days the seas remain moderate to rough and there is a large inflow of seawater into the estuary at high tide.

 High tides contributed to the closing of the river mouth and the inflow of seawater into the estuary. My tide readings were:  31/03/2017 at 15.20 harbour reading 1.06mAHD [2.0mCD].  02/04/2017 at 15.30 the harbour tide was 0.96mAHD [1.90mCD] and at 16.00 the tide reading was 1.06mAHD [2.0mCD] and at that time some waves are just crossing the berm at the river mouth and the estuary height is 1.967mAHD.

On 03/04//2017 at 09.20 the estuary height is 1.979m and the berm clearance is approximately 0.2m. At 17.50 there has been a failed attempt at artificially opening the river mouth.The moderate seas and high tide was sufficiently strong to sand up the artificial opening. At 18.00 the estuary height is 1.98m.

On 04/04/2017 at 08.10 the estuary height is 1.982m. At 13.10 the river mouth is closed.

On 05/04/2017 the river mouth has been successfully artificially opened.

03-04-2017 Estuary Entrance Opening

Barham River estuary was artificially opened to the sea.  Water level was 1.96m AHD.



22-03-2017 Estuary Entrance Opening

On 15/03/2017 at 09:00 the Barham river mouth is closed and the estuary height is1.03m AHD. Seas are slight and there is a fresh Northerly.

On 19/03/2017 at 11:45 the estuary height is 1.295m AHD ,the river mouth is closed with a berm clearance of 0.18m. The Paradise river gauge is at 0.17m AHD, the lowest I've seen it this season.

On 21/03/2017 at 17:45 the estuary height is 1.48m AHD, the river mouth is closed the sea is rough and the SE wind is fresh. There has been significant rain, 32mm at Marengo by 14.10 and another 12mm by 06.00. However the river flow is still only moderate, the runoff into the river has been low.

On 22/03/2017 at 08:45 the river mouth is open, the seas are moderate and the wind is a fresh SE. The estuary height is 1.0m AHD. There has been another 20mm of rain overnight [64mm in 24hours] and the Paradise river gauge is at 0.52m AHD. The river flow likely peaked at 0.55m AHD and sediment is moderate in the strong flow.

By 15:30 on the 22nd the strong river flow has scoured out sand inside the river mouth and the estuary height is below 0.5m AHD. At or near the minimum height achievable  with the rock shelf inside the river mouth.

11-03-2017 Estuary Entrance Opening

On 02/03/2017 at 09.00 the Barham river mouth is closed and the estuary height is 0.92m AHD.

The estuary height had not fallen below 0.84m AHD since the last river mouth closure.

On 06/03/2017 at 10.30 the estuary height is 1.22m AHD and the berm clearance is 0.25m AHD.

There has been dominant easterly weather and the rocks outside the River mouth are heavily exposed.

On 09/03/2017 at 14.15 the estuary height is 1.365m AHD.

On 11/03/2017 at 09.00 the river mouth has naturally opened and the estuary height is 0.84m AHD. The next day the height is 0.76m AHD.

View all events

Mouth Condition Snapshots

16-02-2018 #11817

Photopoint BmP2-1
Photopoint BmP3-2

05-01-2018 #11703

Photopoint BmP2-1
Photopoint BmP3-1

05-12-2017 #11628

Photopoint BmP3-1
Photopoint BmP2-1
Photopoint BmP3-3

27-10-2017 #11553

Photopoint BmP2-1
Photopoint BmP3-1

27-09-2017 #11478

Photopoint BmP2-1
Photopoint BmP3-1
Photopoint BmP2-2

20-08-2017 #11397

Photopoint BmP2-1
Photopoint BmP3-1
Photopoint BmP2-2

30-07-2017 #11365

Photopoint BmP2-1
Photopoint BmP3-1
Photopoint BmP2-2

01-07-2017 #11298

Photopoint BmP2-1
Photopoint BmP3-1
Photopoint BmP1-2
Photopoint BmP3-3

26-05-2017 #11213

Photopoint BmP2-1
Photopoint BmP3-1

20-04-2017 #11094

Photopoint BmP2-1
Photopoint BmP3-1
Photopoint Bp3-3

16-03-2017 #10911

Photopoint BmP2-1
Photopoint BmP3-1
Creative Commons CC BY
All content, files, data and images provided by the EstuaryWatch Data Portal and Gallery are subject to a Creative Commons Attribution License

Content is made available to be used in any way, and should always attribute EstuaryWatch and www.estuarywatch.org.au