Kowmung River

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Kowmung (Barnalay[1])
Dryander River[2]
Name origin: Aboriginal: gummung meaning "sore eyes"[1]
Country Australia
State New South Wales
Regions Sydney Basin (IBRA), Central Tablelands
Local government areas Oberon, Blue Mountains
Part of Hawkesbury-Nepean catchment
 - left Morong Creek, Hanrahans Creek, Doris Creek, Christys Creek, Gingra Creek
 - right Redcliff Creek, Waterfall Creek
Source confluence Hollanders River and Tuglow River
 - location Tuglow, near Shooters Hill
 - elevation 941 m (3,087 ft)
Mouth confluence with the Coxs River
 - location west of Mount Cookem
 - elevation 125 m (410 ft)
Length 74 km (46 mi)
National parks Kanangra-Boyd, Blue Mountains

The Kowmung River (Aboriginal: Barnalay[1]), a perennial river that is part of the Hawkesbury-Nepean catchment, is located in the Central Tablelands region of New South Wales, Australia.

Course and features[edit]

The Kowmung River is formed by the confluence of the Tuglow and Hollanders rivers near the locality of Tuglow, east southeast of the village of Shooters Hill. The river flows generally southeast and northeast, joined by seven minor tributaries, before reaching its confluence with the Coxs River west of Mount Cookem. The river descends 816 metres (2,677 ft) over its 74-kilometre (46 mi) course.[4][6]

Approximately seventy per cent of the river's catchment lies within the boundaries of the Blue Mountains and Kanangra-Boyd national parks.[5]

Much of the surrounding country is rugged, with steep cliffs and gorges. It is mostly covered by eucalyptus forest with some rainforest in deep ravines.[6] The river is possibly home to the threatened Macquarie perch (Macquaria australasica), while the surrounds are home to the endangered species the brush-tailed rock wallaby (Petrogale penicillata), stuttering frog and south-eastern petaltail. Endangered flora found include Hakea dohertyi, Trachymene saniculifolia and Diuris aequalis.[6]


The river's name appears to be derived from the local Aboriginal word gummung meaning "sore eyes", likely a term for the condition trachoma. This is possibly because a plant, Centipeda cunninghamii, used by the local people to cure the condition grew along the riverbanks. Surveyor H.C. White recorded the Kowmung name in 1833; however, the Gandangara people called the river Barnalay elsewhere along its course.[1]

In his attempt to cross the Blue Mountains in 1802, Francis Barrallier came to the river and followed it to Christys Creek before turning back due to a lack of supplies. Following in Barrallier's footsteps in 1806, George Caley came to the river and named it the Dryander.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Smith, Jim (2009). "New insights into Gundungurra place naming". In Koch, Harold; Hercus, Luise. Aboriginal Placenames: Naming and Re-Naming the Australian Landscape (paperback). Canberra: ANU E Press. p. 90. ISBN 9781921666087.
  2. ^ a b Prineas, Peter; Gold, Henry (1997). Wild Places: Wilderness in Eastern New South Wales (2nd revised ed.). Sydney: Colong Foundation for Wilderness. p. 60. ISBN 0858811588.
  3. ^ a b "Kowmung River". Geographical Names Register (GNR) of NSW. Geographical Names Board of New South Wales. Retrieved 3 April 2013.
  4. ^ a b "Kowmung River, NSW". Bonzle Digital Atlas of Australia. Retrieved 3 April 2013.
  5. ^ a b "Kowmung River Subcatchment" (PDF). Hawkesbury-Nepean Catchment Management Authority. NSW Government. 2008. pp. 43–45. Retrieved 22 April 2012.
  6. ^ a b c "Kowmung River, Kanangra-Boyd National Park: Wild River Assessment" (PDF). Department of Environment and Conservation. NSW Government. June 2005. ISBN 978-1-74122-894-6. Retrieved 23 April 2012.

Coordinates: 33°52′S 150°16′E / 33.867°S 150.267°E / -33.867; 150.267