Wakefield River

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Wakefield River
Wakefield River, Auburn.JPG
Wakefield River flowing through Auburn
Origin Clare Valley
Mouth Port Wakefield
Basin countries Australia
Length 105 kilometres (approx.)
Basin area 1,913 km²

The Wakefield River, is part of an estuary located in South Australia. It is an ephemeral river that usually flows only when there are significant rains. It rises above Mintaro, flowing southward, passing the towns of Watervale and Auburn, where it is fed by several small creeks, and then curves to flow westerly past the town of Balaklava into the head of Gulf St Vincent at Port Wakefield.

The river's catchment covers 1,913 km2 (739 sq mi).[1] Three quarters of the catchment is used for agricultural purposes.[1]


The first European to discover it was William Hill in 1838, who named it after Edward Gibbon Wakefield, the promoter of the scheme of systematic colonization that led to the founding of the Colony of South Australia.[2] The second European to visit was explorer Edward John Eyre, in May 1839, who records that he encamped, 'upon a chain of large ponds of excellent water called by Mr. Hill the Wakefield.' [3]

Skillogalee Creek[edit]

Skillogalee Creek, which rises in the Skilly Hills near Penwortham, is a significant tributary of the Wakefield River. The high rainfall in the Skilly Hills contributes to the Skillogalee Creek being one of the few permanently flowing watercourses in the region.[4]

Dennis Creek[edit]

Dennis Creek is another tributary of the Wakefield River. It is a very short ephemeral stream which is located in the Clare Valley town of Auburn and only flows during periods of rain. Its headwaters are located in the hills on the western side of the town and it runs along a small gully, passing under Main North Road, and into the Wakefield River. The creek was named after the father of C.J. Dennis, who ran a hotel in the town for a time.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Soils - Wakefield River". Australian Natural Resources Atlas. Department of Sustainabililty, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. 6 May 2009. Retrieved 25 October 2011. 
  2. ^ "Wakefield, River". State Library of South Australia. Retrieved 29 July 2015. 
  3. ^ E.J. Eyre's Autobiographical Narrative, 1832-1839, edited by Jill Waterhouse (Caliban, London, 1984), page 196.
  4. ^ Water Allocation Plan for the Clare Valley Prescribed Water Resources Area, (Government of South Australia, 2009) ISBN 978-0-9806143-1-2.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°11′24″S 138°08′38″E / 34.19000°S 138.14389°E / -34.19000; 138.14389