Morton Allport, 'Falls on the Hobart Town Rivulet', undated (ALMFA, SLT)
The Hobart Rivulet flows from Mount Wellington, through Hobart's city centre and into the River Derwent. For centuries it was a permanent source of drinking water; first for the Mouheneener band of the South-East people and then, after 1804, the first European settlers – for whom its clean water was an important reason for settling at this site. However it became polluted very rapidly, and typhoid epidemics during the 1880s and 1890s prompted local government to improve the quality of the Rivulet. Floods are frequent on the Rivulet and some, such as that in 1960, have severely damaged the city centre. The Rivulet was also a significant source of energy for early industries and so its history reflects the development of the city.
Further reading: J Button, 'The rise and fall of the Hobart Town Rivulet', Grad Dip Architecture thesis, TCAE, 1978; T Rayner, The Hobart Rivulet historical study, Hobart, 1988.