Estuary name Gellibrand River Estuary
CMA Corangamite CMA

The Gellibrand River Estuary is approximately 8.7km's in length and flows through a variety of different landscape types before it enters the ocean directly into the Twelve Apostles Marine National Park. It has a catchment area of 2346Ha.

Estuary Values
  • the Princetown Wetlands-Gellibrand estuary are listed in the Directory of Important Wetlands for Australia. 
  • significant birds can be found on the Gellibrand River estuary such as the Australasian Bittern (Botaurus poiciloptilus)- Status: Endangered (IUCN, Adv List) and the Royal Spoonbill (Platalea regia)- Status: Vulnerable (Adv List).
  • a significant fish species found on the Gellibrand River is the Australian Grayling.
  • Estuarine Wetland Ecological Vegetation Class is Depleted in the Otway Ranges bioregion
  • Riparian Forest Ecological Vegetation Class (Vulnerable)
  • Swamp Scrub Ecological Vegetation Class (Endangered)
  • camping
  • game  hunting
  • motor boating
  • non-motor boating
  • picnics and barbecues
  • recreat
Estuary Threats
  • degraded estuarine vegetation
  • degraded water quality
  • disturbance of acid sulphate soils
  • intermittently open estuary
  • invasive fauna
  • livestock access
  • reduced floodplain and wetland connectivity
Data Site observations
Status Active
Monitor group Gellibrand River EstuaryWatchers
Document P116120_FS01V04_Gellibrand_Factsheet_20171101.pdf
Document Gellibrand River Estuary Fact Sheet



Site details Options

G1 Gellibrand River Estuary Mouth

Retired Physico-Chemical 20-04-2007 - 16-05-2008
Open estuary area behind sand dune
Observations 11

G2 Old Coach Road Bridge Princetown

Active Physico-Chemical 20-04-2007 - 08-12-2018
Road bridge over estuary on Old Coach Road
Observations 566

G3 Camp Kangaroobie

Retired Physico-Chemical 20-04-2007 - 15-06-2012
Platform at estuary adjacent to Camp Kangaroobie
Observations 28

L1 Bridge at Latrobe Creek Mouth as it enters the Gellibrand

Active Physico-Chemical 15-06-2007 - 08-12-2018
Foot bridge over wetlands
Observations 161

G4 Bridge at Rivernook

Active Physico-Chemical 21-04-2007 - 16-11-2018
Bridge at Rivernook
Observations 120

G5 Coxon's Bridge

Active Physico-Chemical 21-04-2007 - 16-11-2018
Bridge at Coxon's
Observations 172

G6 Great Ocean Road Bridge at Lower Gellibrand

Retired Physico-Chemical 20-04-2007 - 11-03-2017
Great Ocean Road Bridge at Lower Gellibrand
Observations 227

G6GB Gellibrand River (upstream) Water Level Gauge Board

Retired Gauge Board
Water level gauge board located on eastern river bank, downstream of Great Ocean Road bridge.

GGB Water Level Gauge Board

Active Gauge Board
Adjacent to the permanent monitoring station approximately 5m upstream of the Old Coach Road bridge.

GMC Gellibrand River Estuary Mouth Observation Site

Active Mouth Condition 20-04-2007 - 06-12-2018
EstuaryWatch post marker on top of sandune at estuary mouth
Observations 673

Gp1 Gellibrand River Estuary Mouth Photopoint

Active Photopoint 18-07-2010 - 08-12-2018
EstuaryWatch post marker on top of sandune at estuary mouth
Photos 2425

Recent Events

Event Details
06-11-2018 Estuary Entrance Closure

Berm formed a few days after high seas & westerly gale force winds

06-11-2018 15:05
05-08-2018 Weather Event

Waves entering wide across entrance from very rough sea

09-08-2018 16:45
09-08-2018 16:45
18-07-2018 Weather Event

Storm surge at entrance -salt water starting to enter. Strong north wind was lifting sand in channel & driving it into sea

24-07-2018 11:55
24-07-2018 11:55
07-07-2018 Weather Event

Storm surge from 7m. high seas & strong gale force winds. Large amount of sand being carried by wind gusts into channel & estuary. Waves entering across a wide area & becoming shallow as they cross over high sand build up then turning east along south side of estuary

11-07-2018 12:00
11-07-2018 12:00
12-05-2018 Weather Event

Gellibrand river barred after storm event

Berm very low at entrance rising mid channel & continuing under shallow water north well into estuary

13-05-2018 11:05
11-05-2018 Weather Event

The Gellibrand Estuary was almost closed despite 7m high seas & a gale force south wind. 

Very large amount of sand was being blown off the dunes & beach into the estuary at start of channel.

11-05-2018 14:30
24-04-2018 Unusual/Extraordinary occurrence!

Extremely low tide with very little flow from upstream - very large amount of sand exposed in estuary

28-04-2018 14:40
28-04-2018 14:40
28-04-2018 14:40
21-04-2018 Estuary Entrance Opening

High channel entrance after artificial opening

28-04-2018 14:30
28-04-2018 14:30
20-04-2018 Estuary Entrance Opening

Start of strong outflow after artificial opening

28-04-2018 14:25
28-04-2018 14:25
28-04-2018 14:25
19-04-2018 Estuary Entrance Opening

Artificial opening


28-04-2018 14:15
28-04-2018 14:15
28-04-2018 14:15
15-04-2018 Weather Event

Gail force winds & high sea. Waves going far up on beach & wide over berm

16-04-2018 12:35
16-04-2018 12:35
16-04-2018 12:35
11-03-2018 Estuary Entrance Opening

Gellibrand River 18 hrs after opening

21-03-2018 13:25
21-03-2018 13:25
21-03-2018 13:25
10-03-2018 Estuary Entrance Opening

Artificial Opening Gellibrand River 10-03-18

Started 13:00 complete 15:20

21-03-2018 12:45
21-03-2018 12:45
21-03-2018 12:45
21-03-2018 12:45
21-03-2018 12:45
27-02-2018 Unusual/Extraordinary occurrence!

Drilling to obtain core samples in preparation for construction of a new much larger bridge across the Gellibrand river (At G2 site - on the Old Coach Road, between the camping ground and Great Ocean Road) 

04-03-2018 08:00
04-03-2018 08:00
07-02-2018 Estuary Entrance Closure

Berm - Gellibrand estuary at low tide  09--22018

09-02-2018 08:05
09-02-2018 08:05
09-02-2018 08:05
View all events

Estuary Snapshots

The EstuaryWatch snapshots provide a summary of estuary condition on a particular day. For all EstuaryWatch Snapshots, photopoint photos and a longitudinal water quality profile from the estuary mouth  to the inland extent is displayed. Read more

Full estuary snapshots below use dates where samples at every active monitoring site were recorded. View full and partial snapshots

Summer 2018

Spring 2018

Winter 2018

Autumn 2018

Summer 2018

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