Tomaree Sandbeds


Catchment area


Accessible  aquifer volume

16,024 ML (million litres)

Annual rainfall

1350mm (Nelson Bay)

Areas supplied

Tomaree Peninsula, 100% of supply

Land use breakdown of catchment

88% National Park, 11% rural residential or urban

Public Access 

The Tomaree Sandbeds catchment is mostly contained within the Tomaree National Park which is managed by New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Services. This National Park includes public access to walking tracks, bicycle riding, and limited vehicle access. For further information refer to the NP&WS website.

Access restrictions include no horse riding, no domestic pets, and no driving off authorised access roads. 

For further information on access restrictions click here.  

The system consists of 21 bores within the Anna Bay, Glovers Hill and Nelson Bay sandbeds. Extracted water is treated at the Anna Bay and Glovers Hill Water Treatment Plants, each with a capacity to treat and deliver up to 12 megalitres per day.

The sustainable yield of the sandbed system is estimated to be around 7.0 megalitres per day over the longer term. The aquifer can, however, be used to supply much higher flow rates to meet peak day demands, provided that average extraction is kept at or below the sustainable yield. To compensate for high pumping rates in peak periods, treatment rates at the water treatment plants are reduced in non- peak periods. A valve in the bore fields splits the supply system in two. The Anna Bay bores pump water to the Anna Bay Treatment Plant whilst the Fingal Bores and Nelson Bay Bores pump water to the Glovers Hill Water Treatment Plant.

The Anna Bay bores deliver water to the Anna Bay Water Treatment Plant. They generally operate with a delivery pressure of around 10-20 metres. The Anna Bay bores are located in a deep sand aquifer. The capacity of some bores is currently constrained by screen diameter and length, and/or by installed pump capacity.

The Catchment

The Tomaree Sandbeds lie on the end of the Tomaree Peninsula approximately 50 kilometers northeast of Newcastle. On the outskirts of the Sandbeds are the growing towns of Anna, Nelson, Fingal and Shoal Bays.

The Sandbeds are primarily covered by Tomaree National Park.

There are 21 bores in total that extract from the Sandbeds and then to two nearby water treatment plants. The water treated from the Sandbeds only requires minimal treatment as the water quality is so high.

The Sandbeds are the Peninsula's primary water source, therefore it is important to ensure that these Sandbeds are effectively managed to avoid contamination.