Pennefather River

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Pennefather River
Pennefather River
Near Pennefather River mouth, Cape York
Basin countries Australia Australia
Location Queensland

The Pennefather River in Queensland, Australia, is located on western Cape York Peninsula at 12°13′S 141°44′E / 12.217°S 141.733°E / -12.217; 141.733. The river is about 11 km long and up to about 2 km wide.

The mouth of the river was the site of the first recorded landfall in Australia by a European explorer, by Willem Janszoon in 1606.[1] Janszoon named it R. met het Bosch ("River with the Bush").[2]

In 1802 Matthew Flinders mistook the river for the Coen River named by Jan Carstensz in 1623 (now the Archer River), so that the Bosch / Pennefather River was named Coen River on maps in the 19th century. In 1880, Captain Charles Edward de Fonblanque Pennefather established that there were now two Coen Rivers,[3] and in 1894 Queensland authorities named the river after him, although the British Admiralty Chart for the Gulf of Carpentaria kept the name Coen River until 1967.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mutch, T. D. (1942). The First Discovery of Australia. Sydney: Mutch, Project Gutenberg of Australia. p. 31. Retrieved 30 September 2012. 
  2. ^ Jan Tent, Geographic and Linguistic Reflections on Moent and Dubbelde Ree: Two of Australia’s First Recorded Placenames, Geographical Research 44(4):372–385
  3. ^ The name Coen River eventually was only retained by a southern tributary of the original Coen River.
  4. ^ Pennefather River at

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