Pitt Water-Orielton Lagoon

Aerial view of the Pitt Water-Orielton Lagoon Ramsar Site. Photo by Jim Mollison. Date unknown.
Orielton Lagoon Nature Reserve, Sorell Tasmania. Photo by Michelle McAulay. Date unknown.
Pitt Water, near MC Gees Bridge. Photo by Michelle McAulay. Date unknown.

Pitt Water-Orielton Lagoon

  • Country: 
  • Site number: 
  • Area: 
    3,334 ha
  • Designation date: 
  • Coordinates: 
    42°47'S 147°30'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 is a tidal salt water lagoon with a narrow entrance to the sea, which includes the estuaries of four rivers. It comprises the uppermost parts of a wave-dominated barred estuary with extensive intertidal flats, saltmarshes and sandy shorelines, which are important for maintaining fish and bird biodiversity. The extensive intertidal flats provide feeding areas and the saltmarshes provide roosting and foraging areas for waterbirds. The Orielton Lagoon is one of the only two sites in Tasmania included in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Network. Estuarine and marine fish species inhabit the Site, including several commercially harvested sharks. The Site has also been declared a Shark Refuge Area under the Tasmanian Living Marine Resources Management Act. It is an ecological stronghold for the endemic live-bearing seastar (Parvulastra vivipara) and provides habitat to four threatened species and a saltmarsh community. Since the Site’s listing in 1982, there have been notable changes in its hydromorphology, seagrass beds and saltmarshes. Although the extent of these changes is unknown, the trend has generally been positive. There is also a management plan for the Site.

Administrative region: 
The Pitt Water-Orielton Lagoon Ramsar site lies within the Sorrell and Clarence Municipalities of Tasmania, Australia.

  • National legal designation: 
    • Nature Reserve - Pitt Water Nature Reserve
    • Shark Refuge Area - Upper Pitt Water
  • Last publication date: 


Ramsar Information Sheet (RIS)

Additional reports and documents