|Etymology||In honour of Major Ovens, the Secretary to Governor Thomas Brisbane|
|Region||Australian Alps (IBRA), Victorian Alps, Hume|
|Local government areas||Alpine Shire, Wangaratta City, Moira Shire|
|Towns and cities||Harrietville, Bright, Porepunkah, Myrtleford, Wangaratta|
|Source||Great Dividing Range|
|Source confluence||East and West Branches of the Ovens River|
|• elevation||529 m (1,736 ft)|
|Mouth||confluence with the Murray River|
|125 m (410 ft)|
|Length||191 km (119 mi)|
|Basin size||7,778 km2 (3,003 sq mi)|
|• average||46 m3/s (1,600 cu ft/s)|
|River system||North-East Murray catchment,|
|• left||Morses Creek, Buckland River (Victoria), Buffalo River (Victoria), King River (Victoria)|
|National parks||Alpine NP, Mount Buffalo NP|
Location and features
Formed by the confluence of the East and West Branches of the river, the Ovens River rises in the Victorian Alps, at the settlement of Harrietville, sourced by runoff from high slopes located within the Alpine National Park and the Mount Buffalo National Park. The river flows generally north by west and is joined by eighteen tributaries including Morses Creek at Bright, the Buckland River at Porepunkah, the Buffalo River and then the King River at Wangaratta. The river descends 405 metres (1,329 ft) over its 191-kilometre (119 mi) course. The Great Alpine Road follows much of the course of the river in its upper reaches.
The river flows through the Ovens Valley, which is a popular tourist destination servicing the ski fields of Mount Hotham, Mount Buffalo and Falls Creek, the Alpine National Park and the Mount Buffalo National Park. Air sports such as gliding and paragliding are also practised here, and there is a hedge maze at Wandiligong. A disused railway line has been converted to the Murray to the Mountains Rail Trail, a cycle trail which stretches from Wangaratta and Beechworth to Bright.
Tobacco was a major industry in the valley until 2006; that year saw the British American Tobacco and Philip Morris companies decide to no longer buy Australian tobacco, and the Federal Government began implementing a plan to transition growers out of this industry. Reminders of the valley's long and prosperous tobacco history continue to dot the valley, such as the many tobacco kilns
List of towns
The Ovens Valley, as seen from Mount Feathertop.
- "Ovens River: 23093: Historical Information". Vicnames. 17 June 2011. Archived from the original on 22 June 2014. Retrieved 22 June 2014.
- "Ovens River: 23093: Historical Information: Burwang". Vicnames. 12 August 2011. Retrieved 22 June 2014.
- "Ovens River: 23093: Historical Information: Djerrang". Vicnames. 12 August 2011. Retrieved 22 June 2014.
- "Map of Ovens River". Bonzle Digital Atlas of Australia. Retrieved 22 June 2014.
- Lee, Tim (10 June 2007). "Tobacco industry up in smoke" (transcript). Landline. Australia: ABC TV. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
Media related to Ovens River at Wikimedia Commons