Macalister River

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Macalister (Wirnwirndook'yeerung[1][2])
Macalister River 1 Stevage.jpg
Name origin: In honour of Captain Lachlan Macalister[4][5]
Country Australia
State Victoria
Regions Victorian Alps (IBRA), South East Coastal Plain (IBRA), West Gippsland
Local government area Shire of Wellington
Part of West Gippsland catchment
 - left Caledonia River, Wellington River, Stony Creek 2 (Macalister River, Victoria), Main Northern Channel
 - right Peters Creek (Victoria), Coleman Creek (Victoria), Grimme Creek, Barkly River, Target Creek, Serpentine Creek, Mount Useful Creek, Cheyne Creek, Stony Creek 1 (Macalister River, Victoria), Glenmaggie Creek, Main Serpentine Drain
Settlements Maffra
Source Great Dividing Range
 - location below Mount Howitt
 - elevation 1,550 m (5,085 ft)
 - coordinates 37°10′18″S 146°39′37″E / 37.17167°S 146.66028°E / -37.17167; 146.66028
Mouth confluence with the Thomson River
 - location south of Maffra
 - elevation 14 m (46 ft)
 - coordinates 38°2′18″S 146°58′52″E / 38.03833°S 146.98111°E / -38.03833; 146.98111Coordinates: 38°2′18″S 146°58′52″E / 38.03833°S 146.98111°E / -38.03833; 146.98111
Length 177 km (110.0 mi)
National park Alpine NP, Avon Wilderness Park
Reservoir and lakes Lake Glenmaggie
Nature reserves Macalister Gorge Scenic Reserve
Mouth of the Macalister River in Victoria
Wikimedia Commons: Macalister River

The Macalister River, a perennial river of the West Gippsland catchment, is located in the Alpine and Gippsland regions of the Australian state of Victoria.

Location and features[edit]

The Macalister River rises below Mount Howitt, part of the Great Dividing Range in the southern portion of the Alpine National Park; and flows generally south by east in a highly meandering course. The river is joined by fifteen tributaries including the Caledonia, Wellington, and Barkly rivers, impounded by the Glenmaggie Dam that creates Lake Glenmaggie, before reaching its confluence with the Thomson River, south of Maffra. The river descends 1,530 metres (5,020 ft) over its 177-kilometre (110 mi) course.[6] The fertile flats and valley floor of the Macalister River support agriculture around the town of Licola.


In the Australian Aboriginal Brataualung language the river was named Wirnwirndook'yeerun, meaning the "song of some bird",[1] purportedly an emu wren.[2]

The river was named by explorer Angus McMillan after his then employer, Captain Lachlan Macalister.[4][5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Macalister River: 20119: Traditional Name: Wirnwirndook'yeerung". Vicnames. Government of Victoria. 12 May 2011. Retrieved 9 February 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Macalister River: 20119: Traditional name: Wirnwirndook'yeerung". Vicnames. Government of Victoria. 12 August 2011. Retrieved 10 February 2014. 
  3. ^ "Macalister River: 20119". Vicnames. Government of Victoria. 2 May 1966. Retrieved 10 February 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Blake, Les (1977). Place names of Victoria. Adelaide: Rigby. p. 294. ISBN 0-7270-0250-3. , cited in Bird (2006)
  5. ^ a b Bird, Eric (12 October 2006). "Place Names on the Coast of Victoria" (PDF). The Australian National Placename Survey (ANPS). Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 February 2011. 
  6. ^ a b "Map of Macalister River, VIC". Bonzle Digital Atlas of Australia. Retrieved 10 February 2014. 

External links[edit]