Derwent River

river in south east Tasmania, Australia

The Derwent is a river in Tasmania, Australia. It was named after the River Derwent, Cumbria, by British Commodore John Hayes who explored it in 1793. The name is Brythonic Celtic for "valley thick with oaks".[3][4] John Hays placed the name "Derwent River" only in the upper part of the river. Matthew Flinders placed the name on all of the river.[5]

River Derwent
timtumili minanya (Mouheneenner language)
Runrise over derwent river.jpg
Sunrise over the River Derwent
Derwent River is located in Tasmania
Derwent River
Location of the river mouth in Tasmania
CitiesDerwent Bridge, New Norfolk, Hobart
Physical characteristics
SourceLake St Clair
 - locationCentral Highlands
Source confluence
  • Narcissus River
  • Cuvier River
 - locationCradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park
 - coordinates42°7′12″S 146°12′37″E / 42.12000°S 146.21028°E / -42.12000; 146.21028
 - elevation738 m (2,421 ft)
MouthStorm Bay
 - locationHobart
 - coordinates43°3′3″S 147°22′38″E / 43.05083°S 147.37722°E / -43.05083; 147.37722Coordinates: 43°3′3″S 147°22′38″E / 43.05083°S 147.37722°E / -43.05083; 147.37722
 - elevation0 m (0 ft)
Length239 km (149 mi)
Basin size9,832 km2 (3,796 sq mi)
 - locationStorm Bay
 - average90 m3/s (3,200 cu ft/s)
 - minimum50 m3/s (1,800 cu ft/s)
 - maximum140 m3/s (4,900 cu ft/s)
Basin features
 - leftNive River, Dee River, River Ouse, Clyde River, Jordan River
 - rightRepulse River, Tyenna River, Styx River, Plenty River, Lachlan River
Natural lakesSaint Clair Lagoon; Lake Saint Clair

The banks of the Derwent were once covered by forests and occupied by Aborigines. European settlers farmed the area and during the 20th century many dams were built on its tributaries.

Derwent River (facing south), at the Bridgewater causeway.
Derwent river as seen from Poimenna Reserve, Austins Ferry


  1. "Map of River Derwent, TAS". Bonzle Digital Atlas of Australia. 2015. Archived from the original on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  2. "Derwent Estuary and its catchment". Department of the Environment. Australian Government. Archived from the original on 3 July 2015. Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  3. Names of Rivers Archived 2006-07-18 at the Wayback Machine
  4. Celtic Place Names Archived 2007-12-06 at the Wayback Machine
  5. Observations on the coasts of Van Diemen's Land, on Bass's Strait and its islands, and on parts of the coasts of New South Wales; intended to accompany the charts of the late discoveries in those countries. By Matthew Flinders, second lieutenant of His Majesty's Ship Reliance.published by John Nichols 1801* page 5

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