The Sale Canal is an excavated channel approximately 2400 metres long and 30 metres wide providing a direct connection between Flooding Creek in the City of Sale to the lower reaches of the Thompson River. A section 370 metres long widens to a maximum of 90 metres, forming a swinging basin near Raymond Street. This area was known as the Port of Sale. Being on land 'permanently reserved for canal purposes' (Gov. Gazette 10/12/1886) the canal comes under the care and management of the City of Sale.
The original purpose of the canal was to provide a navigable connection from Sale to the Gippsland Lakes for the movement of goods and passengers from the railhead at Sale. It was constructed in 1888 following a report to the Victorian Government by Sir John Coode and despite the extension of the railway in 1888 it was used extensively by lake and costal shipping up to the early 1900s.
The canal is unique in Victoria as an example of the variety of works constructed to provide for movements to and from outlying areas of the State in a period of major expansion and development. It is now used mainly by pleasure craft form the Lakes. This, with some associated boat building activity at Sale, should ensure that the canal will be retained as a permanent feature with little risk of serious deterioration or interference.