Glenelg Estuary and Discovery Bay Ramsar Site

Glenelg River Estuary as viewed from the Beach Road lookout, the opening to the ocean can be seen at far right.
Coastal dune scrub on the barrier dunes adjacent to Long Swamp and shorebird habitat along the ocean beach.
Lake Mombeong one of the freshwater lakes of Discovery Bay

Glenelg Estuary and Discovery Bay Ramsar Site

  • Country: 
  • Site number: 
  • Area: 
    22,289 ha
  • Designation date: 
  • Coordinates: 
    38°05'S 141°07'E
Materials presented on this website, particularly maps and territorial information, are as-is and as-available based on available data and do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area, or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.


The Site consists of the Glenelg Estuary, the longest in the bioregion at 75 kilometres in length, a beach and dune system, and freshwater wetlands. It includes rare intact fen peatlands and a humid dune slack system. The Site’s habitats support 95 waterbird species including the globally endangered Australasian bittern (Botaurus poiciloptilus), great knot (Calidris tenuirostris) and far eastern curlew (Numenius madagascariensis). It provides food, spawning grounds and nurseries for a range of fish including 14 native species such as the globally vulnerable eastern little galaxias (Galaxiella pusilla) and Yarra pygmy perch (Nannoperca obscura), and a path for species which migrate between the region’s salt and fresh waters. The permanent swamps and lakes provide refuge for obligate aquatic species during drought conditions. The wetlands of Long Swamp within the Site support more than 1% of the total global population, and possibly as much as 5%, of the global population of the globally endangered wetland-dependent ancient greenling (Hemiphlebia mirabilis). The area is popular for recreational and tourism activities, including sightseeing, walking, camping and recreational fishing. The Site is also culturally significant for Gunditjmara indigenous people.

Administrative region: 
Shire of Glenelg, Victoria

  • National legal designation: 
    • State Protected Area (Vic) - Lower Glenelg National Park
    • State Protected Area (Vic) - Nelson Streamside Reserve
    • State Protected Area (Vic) - Discovery Bay Coastal Park
  • Last publication date: 


Ramsar Information Sheet (RIS)

Additional reports and documents