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Brisbane Water
wave dominated, barrier estuary
Brisbane waters (14485491843).jpg
Named for: Sir Thomas Brisbane
Country Australia
State New South Weles
Municipality Central Coast Council
 - left Erina Creek, Kincumber Creek
 - right Woy Woy Creek, Ettalong Creek
Primary source Narara Creek
 - location Gosford
 - coordinates 33°26′00″S 151°19′39″E / 33.4333333°S 151.3275°E / -33.4333333; 151.3275
Secondary source Coorumbine Creek
 - location East Gosford
Mouth Broken Bay
 - location Wagstaffe Point – Ettalong Beach
 - coordinates 33°31′25″S 151°20′5″E / 33.52361°S 151.33472°E / -33.52361; 151.33472
Length 17.72 km (11 mi)
Width 3.74 km (2 mi)
Depth 3.1 m (10 ft)
Volume 84,198.7 m3 (2,973,449 cu ft)
Basin 165 km² (64 sq mi)

Brisbane Water is a wave-dominated barrier estuary located in the Central Coast region, to the north of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Brisbane Water has its origin at the confluence of the Narara and Coorumbine Creeks, to the south–east of Gosford and travels for approximately 18 kilometres (11 mi) in a southerly direction to its mouth at Broken Bay, about 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) from the Tasman Sea, at Barrenjoey Head. A number of towns surround the shores of Brisbane Water, including Booker Bay, Davistown, Ettalong Beach, Gosford, Green Point, Kincumber, Phegans Bay, Saratoga, Wagstaffe, and Woy Woy. Contained within Brisbane Water is St Huberts Island, Rileys Island, and Pelican Island; and adjoining the estuary is Brisbane Water National Park to the west and Bouddi National Park to the east.

The total catchment area of the river is approximately 165 square kilometres (64 sq mi).

The land adjacent to the Brisbane Water was occupied for many thousands of years by the Darkinjung and Kuringai Aboriginal peoples, who used the estuary and foreshore areas for cultural purposes.

Brisbane Water was named in 1825 in honour of Sir Thomas Brisbane, a Governor of New South Wales, serving between 1820 and 1825.


Brisbane Water is part of the traditional lands of the Darkinjung and Kuringgai aboriginal peoples. Places of significance to Aboriginal people located in the area surrounding Brisbane Water that are listed on the Register of the National Estate include Daleys Point area and Staples Lookout, west of Woy Woy. Initial colonial explorers of the area were assisted by Bungaree, a leader of the Kuringgai tribe who went on to assist Phillip Parker King and Matthew Flinders in the circumnavigation of Australia.

Twentieth century European settlement led to the development of an extensive local ferry network, including one supplying an otherwise isolated orphanage, a commuter service from Gosford to Woy Woy and a third operation dedicated to carrying farm produce. The last commuter ferries between Brisbane Water townships ceased in 1971.

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