The Gippsland Lakes are located in East Gippsland, 300 km east of Melbourne Victoria. The lakes cover a total area of approximately 600 km2 and are an extensive system of estuarine lakes and wetlands forming a coastal complex separated from Bass Strait by the Ninety Mile Beach barrier dunes. Several large rivers discharge into the system which has a permanent artificial opening at Lakes Entrance.
Extending from Sale to Lakes Entrance the waters encompass Lake Wellington, Lake Victoria, Lake King, numerous ‘arms’ and the lower reaches of the Latrobe River, Avon River, Perry River, Mitchell River, Nicholson River and Tambo River.
The lakes cover significant areas such as the Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park, Lakes National Park, Wildlife Reserves, Reserved Crown land and Gippsland Lakes Ramsar Site as listed under the International Convention on Wetlands (Iran 1971).
The estuarine ecosystem includes: seagrass meadows, fringing reed beds, salt marshes, swamp paperback wetlands, intertidal sandy beaches and spits, large and diverse populations of marine and estuarine fish species, approximately 80 species of waterbirds and waders including breeding colonies of several rare and endangered species and an important habitat for migratory bird species.