River Derwent

HS Melville, 'On the Derwent, Hobarton', no date, perhaps 1830s? (W.L. Crowther Library, SLT)

The River Derwent flows from Lake St Clair in Tasmania's Central Plateau and, after a course of 182 kilometres, discharges into Storm Bay. Its European discovery was made during the second (1793) visit of Bruny d'Entrecasteaux. The French name, 'Rivière du Nord', was never accepted. Lt John Hayes came upon the river in April 1793, unaware of d'Entrecasteaux's visit two months earlier. He named the river after the Cumbrian Derwent. Matthew Flinders and George Bass sailed the sloop Norfolk upriver in 1798, which led to the first European settlement being located at Risdon Cove. David Collins moved the settlement to Sullivan's Cove on the western shore, establishing Hobart Town in 1804. In 1835, surveyor George Frankland discovered the river's source to be Lake St Clair.

Dan Sprod