Corner Inlet and Nooramunga


The Corner Inlet and Nooramunga local area includes the country of the Gunaikurnai Traditional Owners. At present there are also parts of the local area where formal recognition is not in place.

The Gunaikurnai have a deep, longstanding connection with the area, and have an ongoing role in caring for Country. Corner Inlet Nooramunga lies in a central part of the Gunaikurnai creation story line where Borun, carrying his canoe, travelled from the mountains in the north to the place called Tarra Warackel on the coast (now called Port Albert)15.

The Corner Inlet and Nooramunga local area includes the lower slopes of the Strzelecki Ranges, the internationally recognised Corner Inlet Ramsar site and the Yanakie Isthmus that connects with Wilsons Promontory.

The western part of the local area has high and generally reliable rainfall and this declines towards the east. Major towns in the local area include Foster, Toora, and Yarram. 

Agriculture, forestry, and dryland grazing are important to the local economy. The proximity to Melbourne attracts visitors and those looking for a lifestyle change. 

Landcare volunteers and groups in the local area are supported by the South Gippsland Landcare Network and the Yarram Yarram Landcare Network. There is a long history of collaboration between community groups, agencies, and industry on natural resource management issues in this local area with the health of Corner Inlet the focus of efforts. 

The major river systems in the catchment are the Agnes, Franklin, Albert-Jack, Tarra Rivers and Bruthen Creek. A series of smaller seasonal waterways drain from the Yanakie isthmus.

Surface water is a valuable resource in the catchment supporting agriculture, domestic and urban supply. There is no environmental water held in the South Gippsland basin, however, there is other water in the system that contributes to environmental outcomes1.  

Groundwater resources include the Yarram Water Supply Protection Area. It is a major water resource for both irrigation, industry, and town water supplies (Yarram) and has been confirmed to interact with rivers on the southern edges of the Strzelecki Ranges north of Yarram.  This aquifer also contains the oil and gas reserves mined offshore in Bass Strait.  The Latrobe Group Aquifer contains extremely large volumes of high quality (fresh) groundwater2

The soils in the local area are part of the Coastal Plain land system that supports dairy, dryland grazing and forestry as well as important vegetation communities. The land system includes dunes, swales and swamps all dominated by wind-blown sands which experience extremes in drainage. Soils are largely intact when covered by native vegetation2;3

A range of complex habitats and vegetation communities are found in Corner Inlet and Nooramunga. These include sheltered, shallow waters, unique intertidal mudflats, extensive seagrass meadows, and the barrier islands west of 90 Mile Beach. Corner Inlet and Nooramunga supports the only broad-leaf seagrass meadows in Victoria. The area is home to large numbers of birds and a range of rare and threatened species and communities, such as coastal saltmarsh vegetation and areas of mangrove. Further inland are healthy woodlands, grasslands and wetlands that also support a rich diversity of plants and animals.

The Corner Inlet and Nooramunga Marine and Coastal Parks are highly valued for the recreational opportunities they provide and their natural scenic values. Corner Inlet and Nooramunga is now Victoria’s largest bay and inlet fishery providing around 446 tonnes of fresh seafood annually4

Collaborative action for Biodiversity

The local area incorporates the Corner Inlet Nooramunga and Strzelecki Forests landscapes of interest for Biodiversity Response Planning.

Corner Inlet Nooramunga is a focus area due to its high biodiversity values and the potential to effectively address threats to flora and fauna. In addition to Ramsar values, biodiversity features include important vegetation communities. These include Natural Damp Grasslands of the Victorian Coastal Plain and Subtropical and Temperate Coastal Saltmarsh (Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Federal)) and associated threatened flora and fauna5.