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Summary of Waterhouse Conservation Area Management Plan 2003

The full version of the Waterhouse Conservation Area Management Plan can be downloaded as a PDF File (392 Kb)

Constituent maps are available as separate PDF's:


The Waterhouse Conservation Area, a reserve of 6,953 hectares, lies on the northeast coast of Tasmania. The reserve has many values. 

Environmental Values

  • Relic sand dunes are of conservation significance.
  • A wetland site is of international significance.
  • Heaths and coastal forest communities are of high conservation value.
  • Twenty eight plants are scheduled by the Threatened Species Protection Act 1995, including two that are listed as vulnerable and one that is considered endangered.
  • Eleven fauna species are scheduled by the Threatened Species Protection Act 1995, including eight that are listed as vulnerable and one that is considered endangered.

Heritage Values

  • Past use by Aboriginal people has left a series of sites that form a valuable cultural resource.
  • Today's Aboriginal community continues to utilise the area for a number of cultural activities including visits to the numerous Aboriginal sites, shell collecting for necklaces, and as a departure point for ‘Back to the Islands’ trips.

Recreational and Tourism Values

The coastal landscapes are of high scenic value, along with outdoor recreational opportunities such as boating, fishing, and hunting that make the area popular for camping, particularly in summer.

Educational Values

There are valuable education themes with respect to coastal process, particularly dune processes, and the sometimes profound consequences of human influence. The internationally significant wetland site provides unique interpretation opportunities with respect to Australia’s conservation responsibilities on the world stage.

Threats to Conservation Area Values

There are a number of factors detracting from, or having the potential to diminish, values. These include:
  •  the proliferation of vehicular tracks and vehicle use on the beaches with resulting impacts on flora, fauna, tranquillity and scenic values;
  • the continual expansion of campsites and construction of semipermanent standing camps, as well as inappropriate camper behaviour;
  •  off-site pressure to continue to actively manage coastal processes to prevent loss of surrounding agricultural land;
  •  wildfire, which may threaten the safety of visitors and, if too frequent, lead to loss of stability of currently stable dune areas; and
  •  lack of firing, which may lead to a loss of species and community diversity.

Management Initiatives

The major management initiatives are summarised below:
  • protection of the internationally significant wetland will be enhanced by many measures, including appropriate zoning, regulation of eel and trout bait fishing, the discontinuation of duck hunting and regulation of the use of outboard engines;
  • improved protection of Aboriginal heritage will result from the introduction of a number of measures associated with vehicular tracks and camping;
  • improved protection of fauna and flora, particularly in coastal habitats, will occur through the implementation of changes to camping and vehicular access;
  • a basis is provided for improving the provision of recreational opportunities and facilities of the reserve.
  • a basis is provided for the development of a fire management plan to improve fire management; and
  • a basis is provided for assessing future proposals for land rehabilitation and stabilisation works.