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".[1][2] 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.[3]

Derwent River
Runrise over derwent river.jpg
Sunrise over the Derwent River
Country Australia
State Tasmania
 - left Ouse River, Jordan River
Cities Derwent Bridge, New Norfolk, Bridgewater, Hobart
Source Lake St Clair
 - location Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, Central Highlands, Tasmania, Australia
 - elevation 1,545 m (5,069 ft)
 - coordinates 42°7′12″S 146°12′37″E / 42.12000°S 146.21028°E / -42.12000; 146.21028
Mouth Storm Bay
 - location Storm Bay, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
 - elevation m (0 ft)
 - coordinates 43°3′3″S 147°22′38″E / 43.05083°S 147.37722°E / -43.05083; 147.37722
Length 239 km (149 mi)
Basin 9,832 km² (3,796 sq mi)
Discharge for Storm Bay
 - average 90 /s (3,178 cu ft/s)
 - max 140 /s (4,944 cu ft/s)
 - min 50 /s (1,766 cu ft/s)

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. Names of Rivers
  2. Celtic Place Names
  3. 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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Coordinates: 43°03′S 147°22′E / 43.050°S 147.367°E / -43.050; 147.367