The Hunter River is the most important estuary in NSW for shorebirds, and is internationally recognised as a home to a range of threatened and migratory species. It begins in the Mount Royal Range in the Barrington Tops and flows around 460km to its mouth at the port of Newcastle, reaching further inland than any other NSW catchment, covering an area over 21,000km.
World First Model
We’re working with several stakeholders to develop a world first water model for the Hunter Estuary. Find out more here: World First Model
The Hunter Estuary is the tidal portion of the Hunter River. The estuary extends up to the tidal limit of the Hunter River at Oakhampton (65km from the ocean), the Paterson River at Gostwyck (75km from the ocean), and the Williams River at the Seaham Weir (46km from the ocean).
The Hunter Estuary is one of the most complex estuaries in NSW to manage because it is subject to a range of pressures from mining, agriculture, industry and urbanisation, but is also home to internationally important shorebirds and wetlands.
A number of significant conservation sites are found within the Hunter Estuary, including the Hunter Wetlands National Park, Kooragang Wetland Rehabilitation Project and Hunter Wetlands Centre.
Estuaries are semi-enclosed waterbodies with open (or intermittently open) connections with the ocean (1). They are the tidal portion of a waterbody, and the area where freshwater draining from the catchment mixes with ocean waters (2)