Howqua River

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Howqua (Pyerlite[1])
Howqua River Bridge 002.JPG
The Howqua River, upstream of the Howqua Inlet and the settlement of Howqua, in 2012.
Name origin: multiple possible derivations[3]
Country Australia
State Victoria
Regions Alpine bioregion (IBRA), Victorian Alps
Local government area Shire of Mansfield
Part of Goulburn Broken catchment,
Murray-Darling basin
 - left Lickhole Creek
 - right Black Dog Creek, Little Buller Creek, Stockyard Creek, Dungeon Gully Creek
Landmark Mount Howitt
Source Victorian Alps, Great Dividing Range
 - location below Mount Howitt
 - elevation 1,680 m (5,512 ft)
 - coordinates 37°10′43″S 146°37′46″E / 37.17861°S 146.62944°E / -37.17861; 146.62944
Mouth confluence with the Goulburn River
 - location Lake Eildon
 - elevation 265 m (869 ft)
 - coordinates 37°13′48″S 146°5′54″E / 37.23000°S 146.09833°E / -37.23000; 146.09833Coordinates: 37°13′48″S 146°5′54″E / 37.23000°S 146.09833°E / -37.23000; 146.09833
Length 65.6 km (40.8 mi)
National park Alpine National Park
Reservoir Lake Eildon
Howqua River is located in Victoria
Howqua River
Location of the Howqua River mouth in Victoria
Wikimedia Commons: Howqua River

The Howqua River, a minor inland perennial river of the Goulburn Broken catchment, part of the Murray-Darling basin, is located in the alpine region of the Australian state of Victoria. The headwaters of the Howqua River rise below Mount Howitt in the western slopes of the Victorian Alps, and descend to flow into the Goulburn River within Lake Eildon.

Location and features[edit]

The river rises below Mount Howitt on the western slopes of the Victorian Alps, within the Alpine National Park in the Shire of Mansfield. The river flow generally west, joined by five minor tributaries, before reaching its confluence with the Goulburn River within Lake Eildon, created by the Eildon Weir. The river descends 1,410 metres (4,630 ft) over its 66-kilometre (41 mi) course.[4]

Cultural references[edit]

The Howqua valley was seasonally occupied by the Taungurong people with the valley being a major route for trade or war between tribes in the area.[5] The Howqua River valley contains a number of archaeological sites of significance including at least two quarry sites for greenstone, an exceptionally hard rock used for stone axes, spears and other cutting tools which the Taungurong traded with other tribes.[6]

The character of Billy Slim in Nevil Shute's 1952 novel The Far Country was based on Fred Fry, a notable fly fisherman, who constructed several huts along the Howqua River and eked out a quiet existence in the river valley.[7]

The Howqua River was one of just thirteen locations worldwide featured on the fly fishing documentary television series A River Somewhere.[8]

Howqua River at Tunnel Bend.


In the Aboriginal Woiwurrung and Daungwurrung languages, the river is named Pyerlite, with no clearly defined meaning.[1]

There are four possible origins of the river's current name: firstly, after John "Howka" Hunter (1820–68), a pastoralist; secondly, a portmanteau name from Mount Howitt, where the river rises, and aqua; thirdly, after Howqua, a popular brand of Chinese tea in the early nineteenth century; and fourthly, after Akin Howqua (Ah Kin Wowqua), a Chinese surveyor and early resident of Melbourne.[3][9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Howqua River: 3865: Historical Information: Pyerlite". 12 August 2011. Retrieved 16 July 2014. 
  2. ^ "Howqua River: 17766". Vicnames. 2 May 1966. Retrieved 16 July 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Howqua River: 2050: Historical Information". 12 August 2011. Retrieved 16 July 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "Map of Howqua River". Bonzle Digital Atlas of Australia. Retrieved 16 July 2014. 
  5. ^ Wonnangatta-Moroka Planning Unit, Alpine National Park Management Plan, Department of Conservation and Environment, September 1992, p68
  6. ^ Wonnangatta-Moroka Planning Unit, Alpine National Park Management Plan, Department of Conservation and Environment, September 1992, p69
  7. ^ "Howqua Hills Historic Area, Visitors Guide" (PDF). Parks Victoria (PDF). Victorian Government. November 2011. Retrieved 4 March 2012. 
  8. ^ "A River Somewhere - Series 1 and 2". ABC Shop Online. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 9 April 2011. Retrieved 27 December 2010. 
  9. ^ Lloyd, Brian (7 April 1974). "J. L. Howqua". Mansfield Courier.