Physical Features

Natural features of Western Port

Western Port and its catchment contain many wonderful natural features shaped by geological, hydrological and biological processes over many millions of years.

Human intervention, especially since European settlement, has also had significant impacts on the natural ecosystems and landscapes. Clearance of natural vegetation and draining of extensive regional wetlands to facilitate human habitation and agriculture has had major ramifications on these habitats especially for our internationally renowned migratory birds. This era has also seen damage to the coastal and marine ecosystems of Western Port including devastation of the extensive seagrass communities that underpin the bay’s food and energy chains.

To protect these wonderful natural features and retain vital ecosystem services for future generations, the community needs to better understand what natural assets we have and how to manage them wisely and sustainably. We hope the information provided about some of the natural features of Western Port will engender improved understanding and appreciation of what we have and facilitate improved management approaches.


Major Land Users in the Western Port Catchment

Western Port & Catchment

Waterways, Drains, Islands & Shoreline

Satellite Photograph of Western Port

Channels, Mud Flats & Sediment Plumes Streaming into Bass Strait 

Western Port Marine Parks & Reserves

Map of the Great Swamp from the historic Map of Australia Felix 1847

Showing the extent of the original swamp, later to be called the Koo Wee Rup Swamp 

Climate Change Predictions – Coastal Digital Elevation Model

This DSE map shows the coastal inundation / impact areas resulting from sea level change and tidal extremes due to climate change