About the Port
The Port of Gippsland Lakes is one of Australia’s biggest and most beautiful inland waterways. The Port waters cover 420 square kilometres from Sale in the west to Lakes Entrance in the east, and include Lake Wellington, Lake Victoria and Lake King. The port waters also include the lower reaches of the Latrobe, Nicholson, Mitchell and Tambo rivers. A man made ocean access at Lakes Entrance has provided safe passage to Bass Strait since it was opened in 1889 and has contributed significantly to the region’s history.
The waters of the Gippsland Lakes are safe and pleasant to navigate but there are areas of shallow water, which may not be identified by navigation aids. Many parts of the Lakes are accessible only by boat; however, public toilets, picnic facilities and fresh water are available at, or in the vicinity of most public jetties. There are numerous public destination jetties for casual berthing throughout the Lakes system, although boat operators should be aware that time limits apply to all public jetties. It is recommended that new users obtain a copy of the Gippsland Lakes Boating Guide for navigating the lakes and the adjoining rivers.
The Port of Gippsland Lakes is easily reached by road and is adjacent to many towns of East Gippsland including Sale, Bairnsdale, Paynesville, Nicholson, Swan Reach, Metung and Lakes Entrance.
Relvant Charts – AUS182 and AUS357
VOZR (Vessel Operating and Zoning Rules) Schedule 104 Local Port of Gippsland Lakes
Navigational aids within the Gippsland Regional Ports conform to the International Association of Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) Buoyage System “A”. Starboard-hand (or right side) marks are green, whilst Port-hand (or left side) marks are red. Cardinal marks are yellow and black; Special marks are yellow and Isolated Danger marks black and red. In using the system it is essential to remember that the direction of buoyage is taken from the seaward entrance of these ports. When returning towards the entrance the situation would be reversed.
The waters of Gippsland Lakes are safe and pleasant to navigate but there are areas of shallow water, which may not be identified by navigation aids. For this reason it is advisable to carry a compass, obtain good local knowledge of the Lakes system and avoid navigating at night.
The area is subject to prevailing south-westerly winds in winter and south-easterly winds in summer.
Sea Conditions – Navigation of the ocean entrance to the Lakes system by operators of small boats is dangerous and attention is drawn to the caution notices erected at various points on shore at or near the entrance and at boat ramps in the locality.
Dredging Operations – Dredgers are often operating in the area of The Bar, ‘The Narrows”, Reeves Channel, Cunninghame Arm and the eastern end of Hopetoun Channel. Boat operators should exercise care when in these areas.
Ferry – A vehicular ferry operates on underwater cables across McMillan Strait at Paynesville. A flashing light located at each end of the ferry indicates its direction of travel.
Marks In Line – Gippsland Ports has established “marks in line” for the purpose of assisting safe navigation of Lakes Entrance Ocean Entrance and Bar. Click Here for further information
Crossing Bars – Click Here for more information on Crossing Bars.
OVERHEAD CABLES & BRIDGE CLEARANCES
Yachtsmen are cautioned about the existence of overhead electric cables across rivers and similar areas and should keep a look out for warning notices on the shore and riverbanks advising of these obstructions and safety heights.
|Bullock Island Bridge||8.4m|
|Lakes Entrance North Arm Bridge||15.2m|
|Swan Reach Bridge||15.05m|
|Nicholson River Bridge||9.8m|
|Mitchell River (approx. 7km from mouth)||16.2m|
|Mitchell River (approx. 8km from mouth)||17.5m|
|Mitchell River (approx. 1 km south of bridge)||15.7m|
|McMillan Strait (northern end)||22.9m|
|Picnic Arm (at entrance)||19.5m|
|Latrobe River (approx. 10 km from mouth)||11.8m|
|Latrobe River (approx. at swing bridge)||13.6m|
|Latrobe River (approx. 1km South of Sale)||12.95m|
Power Line Clearance Distances are taken at mean tidal level.
Signage on banks/shore in the vicinity show respective heights.
Heights may vary in certain weather conditions (e.g. loss of clearance height during time of floods) (note that heights taken from signage on site installed by relevant power authority)
Bridge clearance heights are displayed on the shore or banks approaching the majority of bridges located on the lakes or rivers.
|Paynesville Canal (south)||1.2m|
|Paynesville Canal (north)||5.0m|
|North Arm Bridge (Lakes Entrance)||6.5m|
|Cunninghame Arm Footbridge (Lakes Entrance)||2.8m|
|Eastern Beach Bridge (Lakes Entrance)||1.0m|
|Bullock Island Bridge (Lakes Entrance)||1.8m|
|Tambo River Bridge (Swan Reach)||6.6m|
|Nicholson River Bridge (Princes Highway)||2.5m|
|Nicholson River Bridge (Sarsfield)||7.0m|
|Mitchell River Bridge (Princes Highway)||6.0m|
|Mitchell River Backwater Bridge (Howitt Ave Eastwood)||2.5m|
|Mitchell River Backwater Bridge (Howitt Park footbridge)||4.2m|
|Mitchell River Bridge (Lind bridge)||6.4m|
|Thompson River Bridge (Swing Bridge)||3.8m|
|Thompson River Bridge (Longford)||6.8m|
Bridge Clearance Distances are taken at the mean tidal level.
Heights may vary in certain weather conditions (e.g. loss of clearance height during time of floods (note that heights are supplied by Vic Roads and East Gippsland Shire Council)
CHANNELS IN THE PORT OF GIPPSLAND LAKES
Entrance and Bar
Lakes Entrance is where the Gippsland Lakes system opens into Bass Strait. The entrance and bar can be extremely dangerous given certain conditions, whilst strong tidal influences are experienced in this area. Mariners are requested to contact the local coastguard and perform a radio check prior to passage inwards/outwards across the bar.
Cunninghame Arm provides access to the CBD of Lakes Entrance and is navigable up to the footbridge. Short-term berthing is available adjacent to public jetties and boardwalks along the foreshore. The channel is well defined and is detailed in the Gippsland Lakes Boating Guide and Waterways Online.
North Arm Channel is well marked with navigation beacons and has an average depth of 2 metres in the lower reaches. The channel is well defined and is detailed in the Gippsland Lakes Boating Guide and Waterways Online.
Hopetoun and Rigby Channels
Both channels are navigable and well defined, however larger vessels should take care because of moving shoals.
Reeve Channel to The Narrows
Vessels navigating in Reeve Channel with the tide have “right of way” over vessels stemming the tide. These channels are well defined and are detailed in the Gippsland Lakes Boating Guide and Waterways Online.
Bancroft Bay Metung
Bancroft Bay has good water with safe anchorages in Chinaman’s Creek and Boxes Creek.
Lake King provides good depth with well-defined navigation beacons. This lake is affected by south west and easterly winds, with sea conditions varying accordingly. Entrances to the Tambo, Nicholson and Mitchell Rivers are navigable and have well defined entrance beacons. The rivers provide safe anchorages. Gergon and Carstairs Banks on the southern side of Campbell Channel require sea room for clear passage. McMillan Strait between Raymond Island and Paynesville provides shelter from prevailing winds.
The water depth average is 5 metres throughout its length, however shallowing occurs towards McLennan Strait. South of Raymond Island the Aurora, Steamer and Grange Channels are clearly defined leading to Ocean Grange and Bunga Arm. Mariners are advised that the Steamer Channel (to the East of Crescent Island) is the preferred channel. In the East, Newlands Arm off McMillan Strait, Duck Arm and Picnic Arm adjacent to Banksia Peninsula provide safe anchorages, whilst Loch Sport, Blonde Bay and Toms Creek provide safe anchorages at the western end of Lake King.
McLennan Strait joins Lake Victoria and Lake Wellington and provides safe anchorage and an average depth of 4 metres throughout. The entry and exit to the strait is well defined with minimum depths of approximately 1.8m.
Lake Wellington is only recommended for shallow draught vessels due to the limited depth of water. The shallow depth when accompanied with changing weather conditions can change the sea state in a very short time. The passage across the lake is well defined, as is the entrance to the Latrobe River. The Latrobe, Avon and Perry Rivers provide good anchorages.
An air force bombing range is defined in the south western corner of the lake.
GIPPSLAND PORTS MANAGES THE FOLLOWING FACILITIES:
All in-water Navigation Aids
Tide and compass piles
Public Swing Moorings
Harpers Bight Reeve Channel (x2)
Duck Arm Paynesville (x9)
Waddy Point Lake Victoria (x2)
All on land Navigation Aids (excluding light at Mt Barkley)
All designated swing mooring permit areas
Bunga Arm sewage pumpout barge
Wharves and Jetties
Lakes Entrance Area
Myer Street Destination jetty
Cunninghame Quay Jetty
Post Office jetty
Bullock Island – All jetty structures
North Arm Jetty – near recreation reserve
Drews Jetty (Hopetoun Channel)
Boat Harbour – East Central, West
Inner Green Light pier (Reeves Channel)
Barrier Landing Jetty (Hopetoun Channel)
Metung Town Wharf
Silvershot Landing (Boole Poole)
Lake King jetty
Paynesville Boatyard jetties
Grassy Point Marina Floating jetties
Boat Harbour (South, Central, North)
Steamer Landing Raymond Island
Eagle Point Jetty
Steamer landing jetty Bunga Arm
Services jetty and Refuelling facility Paynesville
Mitchell River Silt Jetties Landing
Grassy Point jetty (including sailability jetty)
Raymond Island Public jetty
Paynesville Boardwalk (including pontoons)
Resides Jetty Raymond Island
Ocean Grange jetty
Nicholson River jetty
Nicholson River pen berths
Johnsonville Public Jetty
Swan Reach Wharf
Butter Factory jetty
Lake Victoria Area
Rotomah Island Jetty
Sperm Whale Head jetty
Loch Sport Marina jetty
Wattle Point jetty
Loch Sport Mooring jetty
Hollands Landing (McLennan Strait)
Lake Wellington Area
Marlay Point Boatramp jetty
FACILITIES MANAGED BY OTHER AUTHORITIES:
Bairnsdale Town Wharf
Eagle Point Boat Ramp Jetty
Paynesville Fort King Boat Ramp Jetty
Paynesville Slip Bight Marina
Paynesville Dawsons Cove Boat Ramp Jetty
Johnsonville Boat Ramp Jetty x2
Metung Chinamans Creek Marina
Lakes Entrance Boardwalk
Nicholson Boat Ramp Jetty
Mitchell River Silt Jetties Boat Ramp Jetty
Paynesville King Street Boat Ramp Jetty
Raymond Island Boat Ramp Jetty
Paynesville Sunset Drive Boat Ramp Jetty
Metung Shaving Point Jetty
Metung Chinamans Creek Jetty
Metung Bancroft Bay Marina including jetties
Wattle Point Boat Ramp and Low Landing
Public Boat Ramps
Operable all year round on all tides and in most weather conditions.
Rotomah Island Jetty
North Arm Spit
Silvershot Landing (Boole Poole)
Tambo River at Johnsonville
Nicholson River at Nicholson
Mitchell River Backwater (Bairnsdale)
Slip Road (Boat Harbour)
Esplanade (adjacent to Yacht Club)
Eagle Point – Eagle Bay
Birrell’s Peninsula (Newlands Arm)
Commissioner Point (Newlands Arm)
Port of Sale all infrastructure
Sale Canal Boat Ramp Jetty
Loch Sport Boat Ramp and Jetty
Public Boat Ramps
Lake Wellington at Marlay Point
Sewage Disposal Pumpout and Hopper Facilities
Sewage disposal facilities are provided and managed by various agencies at the following locations:
|Lakes Entrance||North Arm Spit||Yes||No||East Gippsland Shire|
|Boat Harbour East||Yes||Yes||Gippsland Ports|
|Bullock Island North(with refuelling facility)||Yes||Yes||Gippsland Ports|
|Bunga Arm Barge||Yes||Yes||Gippsland Ports (summer only)|
|Metung||Metung Marina||Yes||No||East Gippsland Shire|
|Chinamans Creek||Yes||No||East Gippsland Shire|
|Riviera Nautic||No||Yes||Riviera Nautic|
|Paynesville||Progress Jetty (onshore toilet block)||Yes||No||East Gippsland Shire|
|Services Jetty||Yes||Yes||Gippsland Ports via licence|
|Duck Arm sewage pumpout Jetty||Yes||Yes||East Gippsland Water|
|Nicholson||Onshore Toilet Block||Yes||No||East Gippsland Shire|
|Lake Victoria||Loch Sport Marina||Yes||Yes||Private|
|Loch Sport Mooring Jetty||Yes||Yes||Gippsland Ports|
|Hollands Landing (onshore toilet block)||Yes||No||Wellington Shire Council|