Flood mapping

Flood mapping

Flood Prone Land is land that is susceptible to flooding. It is also known as flood liable land. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology determines the greatest depth of precipitation that is meteorologically possible for locations across the country and the flooding that this rainfall produces determines the flood prone land extent. The full extent of flood prone land defines the floodplain and is used for emergency response planning purposes to address the safety of people and property.

Flooding can occur in rivers and streams flowing across the area, as coastal flooding due to tidal or storm-driven coastal events, including storm surge and wind-induced wave generation, exacerbated by rising sea levels. Flooding can also occur through urban areas and overland flow paths where local drainage systems can't cope with the rainfall. This type of flooding often occurs quickly and subsides faster than mainstream flooding.

It is recommended that critical infrastructure or vulnerable development (such as hospitals, emergency services, evacuation centres, group homes or seniors’ homes) are not located on flood prone land. Increasing our community's resilience to flood risk generally involves a combination of flood mitigation, emergency management, flood forecasting and warning measures, land-use planning, and infrastructure design considering the local flood situation and the associated hazards across the entire floodplain.

Flood Hazard Maps

Council’s Flood Hazard Maps are currently being updated to incorporate the latest data from recent Flood Studies.

The most up-to-date flood information is available as follows:

  • from Flood Studies listed in the Flood Management Program
  • from the NSW Flood Data Portal which makes available Council’s data from flood projects under the current NSW Floodplain Management Program
  • from a Flood Certificate. Customers seeking detailed flood information (including the Flood Planning Level and the flood hazard category) are encouraged to request a Flood Certificate for their particular lot to obtain current flood information.

Online mapping portal

Find out more about the land use, and flood prone areas by vising our mapping portal.

Flooding data disclaimer

"Flood Planning Area" (FPA) is the land inside the extent of the Flood Planning Level. The FPA is subject to flood-related development controls (refer to Council's Development Control Plan).

"Minimal Risk Flood Prone Land" is land on the floodplain that is above the Flood Planning Level where Special Flood Considerations apply specific controls for sensitive, vulnerable and critical uses relating to the management of risk to life and the risk of Hazardous Materials on the community and the environment.  Such uses include caravan parks, eco-tourist facilities, centre-based child care facilities, early education and care facilities, correctional centres, educational establishments, emergency services facilities, group homes, boarding houses, hostels, hospitals, residential care facilities, respite day care centres, seniors housing and tourist and visitor accommodation.  Hazardous Materials includes any item or agent (biological, chemical, radiological, and/or physical) that has the potential to cause harm to humans, animals or the environment, either by itself or through interaction with other factors.

"Flood Prone Land" is the area of land that is likely to be inundated by the Probable Maximum Flood. Where Probable Maximum Flood refers to the largest flood that could conceivably occur at a particular location, usually estimated from probable maximum precipitation coupled with the worst flood producing catchment conditions (refer to Council's Development Control Plan). Flood Prone Land includes all land within the Flood Planning Area and Minimal Risk Flood Prone Land.


This flood information is provided in good faith for flood education purposes in accordance with the provisions of section 733 of the Local Government Act 1993. Any errors, omissions or anomalies in the information shall not incur any liability to Port Stephens Council whatsoever.

The information has been compiled from flood studies provided by external consultants and Council in accordance with the NSW Government’s Floodplain Development Manual.  The information has not been independently verified nor checked beyond the agreed scope of work and Council does not accept any liability in connection with the unverified information.

Council acknowledges that its flood information may be incomplete and varying in accuracy, however it is the best information available to Council at the date of issue and is subject to change if more accurate data becomes available.  Accordingly the information is not warranted after the date of issue.

Council is not responsible for updating flood information when site conditions have changed from the time of the original Flood Study and does not accept responsibility arising from any change in site conditions. Council has no responsibility to inform you of any matter relating to the accuracy of this information which is known to Council at the time of your download or which subsequently comes to the attention of Council.   This information is a Controlled Document and before using it you should check it is the latest version.

A Flood Certificate, available from Council, will provide the most up-to-date information and may provide further detailed flood information for your particular property (refer to Council's website).

FYI:  The insurance industry uses its own estimates of flood risk together with its own definitions for flooding, which may differ when compared with Council’s information and the NSW Floodplain Development Manual.  Accordingly, you should contact your insurance company to find out if a Flood Certificate may influence your insurance premium.