Estuary name Bourne Creek
CMA West Gippsland CMA

Bourne Creek is a small intermittently closing and opening coastal estuarine lagoon (ICOLL) located to the east of the Kilcunda township. The majority of the creek that is considered estuarine is located within protected crownland reserves with good vegetation cover (i.e. the Kilcunda Creek Water Frontage and Kilcunda Coastal Reserves). The broader catchment that feeds the estuary with freshwater is approximately 10 square kilometres, extending as far north as the Kilcunda Ridge Road. This catchment is relatively steep, eroded and contains very little remnant or newly established vegetation.  

Estuary Values

- EVC pre European settlement: (83) Swampy Riparian Woodland (Endangered).

- EVCs that appear to inhabit the site currently: (9) Coastal Saltmarsh, (10) Estuarine Wetland (this is likely to resulted from changes in hydrology resulting from catchment clearing, intensive landuse leading to the loss of top soil and deepening of the creek channels (i.e. lowering of the landscape and creek channels to allow the intrusion of more saltwater into the creek). On top of this the recent need to carry out artificial estuary entrance openings would also have allowed more saltwater into the creek).

- Bird species sighted at Bourne Creek include; Hooded Plover, Sooty Oystercatcher, Eastern Great Egret, Pacific Gull, Greater Sand Plover, Common Diving Petrel

- Fish species at Bourne Creek; Common Galaxias, Spotted Galaxias, Short-finned Eel, Flatheaded Gudgeon, Black Bream.

- The old trestle bridge that goes over Bourne Creek is a tourist attraction and popular amongst photographers.

Estuary Threats

Unpermitted estuary entrance openings, growing populations, changes in water regimes, high levels of sediment and nutrients, pollution events, habitat modification, land reclamation, Invasion by weeds and pest animals, salinisation and acidification, bank instability, livestock access and altered marine exchange.


Data Site observations
Status Active
Monitor group WGCMA Estuary Management Group



Site details Options

Bo1 Bourne Creek Eastern Bank Phys/Chem

Active Physico-Chemical 24-05-2016 - 08-03-2023

Grassy bank 20 metres upstream of the Kilcunda Rail Trail Trestle bridge. Eastern bank of the creek.

Observations 53

BoGB Bourne Creek Gauge Board

Active Gauge Board

Bourne Creek gauge board located on the eastern bank downstream of Bass Highway bridge and upstream of trestle bridge.

BoMC Bourne Creek Mouth Condition Monitoring Site

Active Mouth Condition 27-04-2017 - 20-03-2023

Mouth of Bourne Creek.

Observations 91

Bop1 Bourne Creek Photopoint Site One

Active Photopoint 15-05-2017 - 27-03-2023

Eastern side of the Kilcunda Rail Trail (Trestle) Bridge, using the corner of the handrail (Oceanside) where the timber meets the gravel path as a guide.

Photos 267

Recent Events

Event Details
06-07-2022 Community Event

New gauge boards have been installed at Bourne Creek. Note that AHD height = Gauge height + 1.5.

06-07-2022 15:10
03-06-2022 Estuary Entrance Opening

With water levels approaching Bass Highway (only 50mm below) and 40mm of rain forecasted over the weekend, the decision was made to artificially open Bourne Creek at high tide. The opening was successful in lowering water levels at least 0.6m.

21-06-2022 13:40
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

Autumn 2023

Summer 2023

Spring 2022

Winter 2022

Autumn 2022

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