ABBA RIVER – the Abba River is short south west stream which is about 24km long and flows from south east to north west into the Vasse Inlet east of Busselton. The name was first recorded by Frederick Ludlow in 1834, and is an Aboriginal word which is most likely a greeting word used by south-west Aborigines. Another explorer records ‘Aba’ as a word used by the Aborigines as a term expressing ‘friend’ or an invitation to approach, and G F Moore records ‘Abba’ as ‘a word of friendly salutation with the natives about Augusta, accompanied by the act of rubbing the breast with the hand, and spitting at the same time’.
ADCOCK RIVER – the Adcock River is a 118 km long tributary of the Fitzroy River, and rises in the Phillips Range in the central Kimberley. It was named in 1898 by the explorer Frank Hann in compliment to Charles and William Adcock of whom Hann wrote “Messrs Adcock Bros of Derby were very kind to me and provided exceedingly reasonable in the important matter of a supply of rations”.
ALEXANDER RIVER – the Alexander River is a short (10 km) river flowing into the Southern Ocean at Alexander Bay, east of Esperance. It was named by surveyor (later Surveyor General and Premier) John Forrest in 1870, most likely after his brother, Alexander Forrest. Alexander Forrest was also a surveyor, and later explorer, financier, Member of Parliament and Mayor of Perth 1892-1895.
ALMA RIVER – this river is a 32 km long tributary of the Lyons River. It was named by the explorer F T Gregory in 1858, but the origin of the name is not known at present.
ANGELO RIVER – the Angelo is a major tributary (about 150 km long) of the Ashburton River, rising in hills west of the Ophthalmia Range. It was named by prospector R C S McPhee in 1887 after Colonel Fox Angelo, the Government Resident in Roebourne at the time. Colonel Angelo of the First Scots Imperial Army in India became Commandant of the WA Volunteer Forces and, later, Superintendent of Rottnest 1890-1898.
ANGOVE RIVER – the Angove River is a short (9 km long) stream which flows into Lake Angove near Two Peoples Bay east of Albany. It was named by surveyor B W Ridley in 1913 after surveyor William Henry Angove who first recorded the position of the stream in 1898.
ARMANDA RIVER – the Armanda rises in the Bob Black Hills north east of Halls Creek, and flows for about 32 km into the Panton River, a tributary of the Ord. Little is known of its origin, but it was possibly named by surveyor C W Nyulasy in 1887.
ARROWSMITH RIVER – the Arrowsmith River commences north west of Three Springs and flows westerly for about 85 km to a swampy area about 5 km east of the coast near Cliff Head. It was named by the explorer George Grey in 1839 after the distinguished English geographer and map producer, John Arrowsmith.
ARTHUR RIVER – the Arthur River commences in the Arthur River Nature Reserve about 30 km north of Wagin and flows about 140 km south westerly to its junction with the Balgarup River. These two rivers combine to form the Blackwood River. The Arthur was named by Governor James Stirling in 1835 after Mr Arthur Trimmer who was a member of the exploring expedition led by the Governor.
ASHBURTON RIVER – the Ashburton is one of the longest rivers in the State, rising south of Newman and flowing for about 690km to the Indian Ocean west of Onslow. It was named by the surveyor/explorer Francis T Gregory in 1861 after William Bingham Baring, 2nd Baron Ashburton (1799-1864) who held the office of President of the Royal Geographical Society from 1860 to 1864. The Ashburton had formerly been named the ‘Curlew River’ at its mouth by Commander Phillip Parker King RN of HMC ‘Mermaid’ in 1818 because pelicans and curlews were very numerous there.
AUGUSTUS RIVER – the Augustus River is a short (10.6 km long) tributary of the Brunswick River in the Darling Range north east of Brunswick Junction. It was possibly named by the surveyor Henry Ommanney in the 1840’s after Ernest Augustus (Hanover), Duke of Brunswick-Luneburgh and King of Hanover, 5th son of King George III.
AVON RIVER – the Avon River commences near Yealering and flows about 290 km NW, then northwards through the towns of Beverley, York, Northam and Toodyay, then westwards, to its confluence with Wooroloo Brook where it becomes the Swan. The total length of the Avon/Swan river system is about 365km. The river was sighted by Ensign Robert Dale of the 63rd Regiment in August 1830 during one of his preliminary explorations eastwards of the Swan River settlement. It was probably named by Governor Stirling, most likely after the Avon River in England.
AVON RIVER SOUTH – this river is the 43km long southern branch of the Avon River, rising near Pingelly and joining the Avon near Mt Kokeby.
BALGARUP RIVER – the Balgarup River is a 66 km long tributary of the Blackwood River, rising south east of Kojonup and joining the Blackwood near Wild Horse Swamp. The name is Aboriginal, and was first recorded by surveyor Alfred Hillman in 1840.
BALLA BALLA RIVER – the Balla Balla River is a 30km long river which rises near Whim Creek and flows into the ocean near Depuch Island on the Pilbara coast. The name was first recorded by surveyor John Forrest in 1878, and is an Aboriginal name, probably from ‘Parla’, the Kariyarra language word for mud.
BANNISTER RIVER – the Bannister is a 50 km long tributary of the Hotham River which is in turn a tributary of the Murray River. It begins east of North Bannister, and flows generally southwards to meet the Hotham near Boddington. The river was named by Surveyor General J S Roe in 1832 after Captain Thomas Bannister who discovered it in December 1830.
BARKER RIVER – the Barker River was named by surveyor John Forrest in 1883 during a trigonometrical survey of the Kimberley. The river is named after Lady Mary Anne Barker, the wife of the then current Governor, Sir Frederick Napier Broome. The river rises near Mount Matthew in the King Leopold Ranges and flows for about 89 km generally southwards before joining the Lennard River.
BARNETT RIVER – the Barnett River is located in the Kimberley, rises in the Caroline Ranges and flows generally southwards before joining the Hann River near Harris Creek. It was named by the explorer Frank Hann in 1898 after Alfred H Barnett (1857-1916) who was manager of Balmaningarra Station on the Lennard River at that time.
BARTON RIVER – the Barton River is located in the north Kimberley, and is a 27 km long tributary of the Drysdale River. It was named by surveyor/explorer F S Brockman in 1901, probably after Edmund Barton (1849-1920), the first Prime Minister of Australia, from 1901 to 1903.
BEASLEY RIVER – the Beasley River was named in 1962 in honour of surveyor T Beasley who recorded its existence in 1885. It was previously named the Turner River, and was renamed because this name was duplicated. The river rises in the Hamersley Range north west of Tom Price and trends generally south west for 105 km before joining the Hardey River, a tributary of the Ashburton.
BEASLEY RIVER WEST – this river is a 24 km long branch of the Beasley River, and was named by an Army field check party in 1966.
BEAUFORT RIVER – the Beaufort River is a 80 km long tributary of the Arthur River, rising near Woodanilling and flowing into the Arthur near Duranillin (the Arthur is a tributary of the Blackwood River). It was named by Surveyor General J S Roe in December 1835 after Rear Admiral Sir Francis Beaufort, a long serving hydrographer to the British Admiralty who is best remembered as the originator of the table for estimating wind force at sea, the Beaufort Scale. Roe knew Beaufort well, and in his journal he states ‘I called it “Francis Brook” and had the pleasure to name the river to which it was a tributary the “Beaufort”, after my esteemed friend Capt Francis Beaufort, Hydrographer to the Admiralty’.
BEAUFORT RIVER EAST – the name of this river, the east branch of the Beaufort, was first recorded by a surveyor in 1908. The river is about 10km long, rising near Martinup Lake.
BEHM RIVER – the Behm River, which commences in the Northern Territory and flows for about 66km into Lake Argyle, was formerly a tributary of the Ord. The river was discovered by Alexander Forrest in 1879. Forrest’s published journal reads ‘This river I called the “Behn”, after Dr Behn, of Gotha, successor to Petermann, and who cooperated with that gentleman for many years in his researches towards the advancement of Australian scientific geography. The river was shown as the Behn River on maps until 1996 when it was established that it was named after Dr Ernest Behm (1830-1884), a renowned German geographer, and the spelling was then corrected.
BERCKELMAN RIVER – the Berckelman River is located in the north west Kimberley, and is a 28km long tributary of the Sale River. It was named by Trevarton C Sholl during an expedition from Camden Harbour to the King Leopold Ranges after his mother’s maiden name. Mary Ann Berckelman (1822/8 – 1889) married Robert John Sholl at Picton in 1844, and they had eight children of whom Trevarton was the oldest.
BERKELEY RIVER – the Berkeley River is located in the east Kimberley and flows for about 135 km into the Timor Sea near Reveley Island in Joseph Bonaparte Gulf. It was named by the explorer Charles Price Conigrave in 1911 after Berkeley Fairfax Conigrave, his brother.
BINGHAM RIVER – the Bingham River is a 42km long tributary of the Collie, and joins the Collie about 10km ENE of Collie. The name was first recorded by surveyor F T Gregory in 1847, and was most likely named by Marshall Waller Clifton, Chief Commissioner of the Western Australia Company (Australind Settlement) after his mother’s maiden name, Rebecca Bingham.
BLACK ELVIRE RIVER – the Black Elvire River is located in the east Kimberley, and is a 54km long tributary of the Elvire River, which is itself a tributary of the Panton River which flows into the Ord. It is named because of its association with the Elvire River as one of its major tributaries, and possibly from the presence of black soil plains near its head. It was referred to as the ‘Black Elvira’ by diggers as early as 1886.
BLACKWOOD RIVER – the Blackwood is one of the major rivers of the south west, beginning at the junction of two of its major tributaries, the Arthur and the Balgarup, and flowing 300 km generally south westerly before entering the sea from the Hardey Inlet at Augusta. The river was named by Governor James Stirling at its mouth in 1830 after Vice Admiral Sir Henry Blackwood. Stirling was a Midshipman in the Royal Navy when, in 1809, he was transferred to the ‘Warspite’ under Captain Henry Blackwood, and he received his first commission whlist serving under Blackwood.
BLUFF RIVER – the Bluff River is a short 10km long river flowing into the Southern Ocean at Hassell Beach east of Albany. The name was first recorded in 1895 and it is named after the presence of a rocky bluff north of its mouth.
BOONDADUP RIVER – the Boondadup River is a short 10km long river flowing into the Southern Ocean at Doubtful Island Bay in the Fitzgerald River National Park. The name is of Aboriginal origin and was first recorded by a surveyor in 1875.
BOW RIVER – there are 2 Bow Rivers in WA, the shorter one being this 22km long stream flowing into Irwin Inlet between Denmark and Walpole on the south coast. Although part of this river was explored in 1833, the origin of the name is not known, and did not appear on maps until 1911.
BOW RIVER – this is the longer of the two rivers with this name in WA, and it is a 148km long tributary of the Ord River. The river was named by ‘Stumpy’ Michael Durack in 1882 after the Bow River in County Galway, Ireland, the ancestral home of the Duracks.
BOWES RIVER – the Bowes River begins about 16km north east of Northampton, and flows generally south west and west for about 50km before reaching the Indian Ocean near Horrocks townsite. The river was named by the explorer George Grey in 1839, but the origin of the name is not known at present.
BREMER RIVER – the Bremer is a south coastal river which rises near Jerramungup and flows generally south west for about 70km into Wellstead Estuary at Bremer Bay. The name was first recorded in 1919, and derives its name from its proximity to Bremer Bay. The Bay is believed to have been named by Governor James Stirling in 1835 after James John Gordon Bremer, captain of the ‘Tamar’ under whom Surveyor General Roe served between 1824 and 1827 and who was also known to Stirling.
BROCKMAN RIVER – the Brockman is a tributary of the Avon, commencing at the southern end of Chittering Lake and then flowing generally southwards for 37km and joining the Avon near Walyunga National Park. The name of the river was first recorded by surveyor F T Gregory in 1853, and is believed to honour William Locke Brockman(1802-1872) who was a J.P. from 1831, an unofficial member of the Legislative Council from 1839, a member of the Swan Road Committee during the 1840’s and who held large pastoral leases from Gingin to Northam in the 1840’s.
BROCKMAN RIVER – this Brockman River is located in the west Kimberley, and is a 14.5km long tributary of the Calder River. The name was reported to be in local use in 1941, and it honours surveyor Frederick Slade Brockman(1857-1917) who led the North West Kimberley Exploring Expedition in 1901.
BRUNSWICK RIVER – the Brunswick River is a tributary of the Collie River, rising in the Darling Range and flowing generally south south west for about 48km into the Collie near Australind. The river was named by Governor James Stirling in 1830 after Ernest Augustus (Hanover), Duke of Brunswick-Luneburgh and King of Hanover(1771-1851), 5th son of King George III. Stirling transported the Duke across the English Channel on board the ship HMS ‘Brazen’ in 1813.
BUAYANYUP RIVER – the Buayanyup River is a short coastal stream(24km long) in the area west of Busselton, flowing into Geographe Bay about 10km west of Busselton. The name is Aboriginal of unknown meaning, and was first recorded by a surveyor in 1839.
BUCHANAN RIVER – the Buchanan River is a tributary of the Arthur River, and beginning north east of Wagin and flowing for about 50km to its junction with the Arthur. It was named by Surveyor General Roe in 1835 after Walter Buchanan, a London gentleman who, Roe wrote, was ‘extensively connected with the Australian Colonies’.
BULLER RIVER – the Buller River is a short coastal stream of around 10km length just to the north of Geraldton. It was named by the explorer George Grey in 1839, probably after Charles Buller M.P. who was on the Committee of the Western Australian Land Company in 1840. Buller (1807-1848) was a member of Parliament in England, an associate of Edward Gibbon Wakefield and a founder of the New Zealand Company.
CALDER RIVER – The Calder River is located in the west Kimberley, and is about 99km long, rising in the Elizabeth and Catherine Range and joining the Charnley River to form Walcott Inlet. This river was first sighted by surveyor F S Brockman in 1901, and is named after John G Calder, the leader of a prospecting party that Brockman encountered near the mouth of the river.
CANE RIVER – the Cane River is located in the Pilbara region, rising in the west of the Hamersley Range and flowing about 168km to the Indian Ocean north east of Onslow. It was named by the explorer Harry Whittall Venn in 1866 after Charles Cane who was with Venn when the river was discovered.
CANNING RIVER – the Canning River was named by Captain James Stirling of HMS ‘Success’ following an examination of the region in March 1827. Stirling named the river after George Canning (1770-1827), an eminent British statesman who was Prime Minister of Great Britain at that time. The Canning rises about 10km NNE of North Bannister and flows generally NW for about 100km into Melville Water, the estuary of the Swan and Canning rivers. The mouth of the river was discovered by a French exploring party in 1801 and named ‘Entrée Moreau’ after Charles Moreau, a midshipman with the party.
CANNING RIVER EAST – the Canning River East is a 19km long tributary of the Canning River from which it derives its name. It joins the Canning at Canning Dam
CANTERBURY RIVER – the Canterbury is a 27km long tributary to the Gardner River, and is located east of Northcliffe. It was previously named Gardner River East Branch. The origin of the name is unknown at present.
CAPEL RIVER – the Capel River is located in the south west of the state, beginning at the junction of its two branches, Capel River South and Capel River North. It is 32 km long (57km to source of Capel River South), flowing into the Indian Ocean at Geographe Bay. It was discovered by explorer Frederick Ludlow in 1834 and is named after Miss Capel Carter, a cousin of the Bussell family. The river was crossed by Lt H W Bunbury in 1836, and he states that it ‘was named the Capel by Mr Bussell’.
CAPEL RIVER NORTH – the Capel River North is the 14km long northern branch of the Capel River.
CAPEL RIVER SOUTH – the Capel River South is the major branch of the Capel River, rising west of Balingup and flowing for 25km before joining the Capel River North to create the Capel River.
CARBUNUP RIVER – the Carbunup River rises in the Whicher Range, and flows generally northwards for about 30 km into Geographe Bay at Molloy Ditch west of Busselton. The river was previously named ‘Lenox River’ by John Molloy, apparently in honour of Lennox Bussell. The date and reason for the change to Carbunup, an Aboriginal name, are no known. ‘Carbunup’ is an Aboriginal place name that has been variously said to mean ‘place of a kindly stream’, ‘place of cormorants’ or ‘place of the stinkwood thicket’.
CARROLUP RIVER – the Carrolup is a 31km long tributary of the Beaufort River, beginning near Holly Siding and flowing roughly north westerly to the Beaufort. Carrolup is an Aboriginal name first recorded by a surveyor in 1878.
CARSON RIVER – the Carson River is located in the north Kimberley, and is a 152km long tributary of the King Edward River. The river was named by Charles A Burrowes in 1886 whilst exploring and locating leases in the East Kimberley on behalf of the Victoria Squatting Company. It is named after Mr David Carson of Melbourne, a Director on the Board of the Victoria Squatting Company. Harry Stockdale is known to have given this name to a river in this region in 1884, probably after the same person, but the location of the river named by Stockdale is uncertain.
CHAMBERLAIN RIVER – the Chamberlain River is an east Kimberley river, rising south of the Durack Range, and running parallel to this range for 220km to its confluence with the Pentecost River near El Questro homestead. The river was named by surveyor F S Brockman in 1901, most likely after William Alexander Chamberlain (1851-1932) or possibly Joseph Chamberlain (1836-1914). William Alexander was a shipbuilder at Fremantle from 1870-1900, who built over 100 pearling luggers, and Joseph Chamberlain was an English politician who held various ministries, including Secretary of State for the Colonies from 1895 to 1903 and was very active around the time of Federation.
CHAPMAN RIVER – there are two Chapman Rivers in WA, this one being a 135km long tributary of the Durack River in the east Kimberley region. It was named in a report by Neal Durack in 1918, and is possibly named after Tom Chatman (aka ‘Tom Chapman’), a popular figure in the Kimberley at that time.
CHAPMAN RIVER – the Chapman River is located in the mid west region, rising north east of Nabawa and flowing generally south west for about 105km to the Indian Ocean just north of Geraldton. It was named by the explorer George Grey in 1839, probably after Mr John Chapman MP who was Deputy Chairman of the Western Australian Land Company in 1840.
CHAPMAN RIVER EAST – this is a 28 km long eastern branch of the Chapman which joins it near Narra Tarra Bridge
CHARNLEY RIVER – the Charnley is a 148km long east Kimberley river, rising in the Caroline Ranges and joining with the Calder River to form Walcott Inlet. It was named by the explorer Frank Hann in 1898 after Walter Cecil Chearnley, a pioneer miner and pastoralist at Nullagine. Hann used the spelling Charnley in his diary, but there is little doubt that the person he intended to honour was Walter Chearnley of Nullagine.
COBLININE RIVER – the Coblinine River is located in the Great Southern agricultural region, rising at Ewlyamartup Lake east of Katanning. The river flows roughly north for about 50km to Lake Dumbleyung, then flows westwards out of Lake Dumbleyung for 11km to Gundaring Lake. It then flows for another 16km south west to Parkeyerring Lake where it becomes part of a lake system that eventually finds its way into the Beaufort River East. The name is of Aboriginal origin, having been first recorded by a surveyor in 1879.
COCKERAGA RIVER – the Cockeraga River is a 78km long tributary of the Yule River in the Pilbara region, rising in the Chichester Range and flowing northwards to join the West Yule River. The name was first recorded by surveyor F S Brockman in 1884 and is an Aboriginal name of unknown meaning.
COLLIE RIVER – one of the larger rivers in the south west, the Collie was named by Surveyor General J S Roe in 1829 after Dr Alexander Collie. Collie, accompanied by Lt William Preston, had discovered the river in November 1829 when exploring with Preston. The Collie is about 154km long, flowing westwards from its source in the Darling Range to its mouth in Leschenault Estuary.
COLLIE RIVER EAST – the Collie River East is the 19km long eastern branch of the Collie River.
COLLIE RIVER SOUTH – the Collie River South is the 58km long southern branch of the Collie River which joins the Collie River just south of Collie.
COONDEROO RIVER – the Coonderoo River is a tributary of the Moore River, joining the Moore at Moora. The river is poorly defined flowing through low lying country and lakes north of Moora. It is an Aboriginal name first recorded by a surveyor in 1893, and sometimes spelt Koondaroo.
COONGAN RIVER – the Coongan River is a 200km long tributary of the De Grey River, beginning west of Nullagine and flowing northwards to join the De Grey at Mulyie Pool near Mt Woodhouse. The name is Aboriginal and was first recorded by surveyor Alexander Forrest in 1878.
COORBEELIE RIVER – the Coorbeelie River is a short northwards flowing tributary of the Sherlock River which rises in the Chichester Range in the Pilbara. The name is of Aboriginal origin, first appearing on maps in 1910.
CORDINUP RIVER – the Cordinup is a short 16km long coastal stream flowing into the Southern Ocean near Mettler, north east of Albany. The name is of Aboriginal origin, and was first recorded by a surveyor in 1888.
CROSSMAN RIVER – the Crossman River is a 42km long tributary of the Hotham River which rises near Wandering and flows generally westerly to join the Hotham near Boddington. The river is named after Lt William Crossman of the Royal Engineers who was resident in WA from 1852 to 1856, and who in company with surveyor A C Gregory, examined and reported on various routes between Perth and Albany in 1853. He recommended a direct line passing through Kelmscott and Williams rather than the then current routes through York or Bunbury. The river was most likely named by surveyor F T Gregory in 1853.
CUNJARDINE RIVER – the Cunjardine River is a 43km long tributary of the Mortlock River North which is a tributary of the Avon River. The river was named by the Shire of Goomalling in 1991 after consultation with land-owners in the vicinity, and derives its name from an Aboriginal place name near its mouth which was also the name of a former school in the area. The river was sometimes previously referred to as the Salt River.
CUNNINGHAME RIVER – The Cunninghame River is an unusual river, in that it is an anabranch of the Fitzroy River. It is located in the Kimberley, diverging from the Fitzroy River near Fitzroy Crossing, and rejoining the Fitzroy some 54km further south west. The name of the river was suggested by surveyor Hugh Barclay and approved in 1939, It is named after a former Postmaster at Fitzroy Crossing, James Cunninghame, who had recently retired and been decorated for his long service in the tropics. The name has sometimes been misspelt Cunningham.
DAILEY RIVER – the Dailey River is a 9km long coastal stream on the south coast east of Esperance, near Duke of Orleans Bay. It was named by Commander J W Combe RN of HMS ‘Penguin’ during hydrographic surveys in 1900 after Mr R J Dailey, the boatswain aboard HMS ‘Penguin’.
DALE RIVER – The Dale River is a major tributary of the Avon River, and flows generally north east for about 75km before joining the Avon north west of Beverley. The river was named by Governor James Stirling prior to 1835 after Ensign Robert dale who first sighted the river during explorations in September 1831
DALE RIVER SOUTH – this river is the 38km long southern branch of the Dale River. It begins near Dattening and flows generally northerly.
DALYUP RIVER – the Dalyup River is a south coastal river, rising west of Scaddan and flowing generally southerly for 46km into Lake Gore. It was named the Gore River by Surveyor General J S Roe in 1848, after Third Lieutenant John Gore of Captain Cook’s bark the ‘Endeavour’, but referred to as the ‘Gage or Dal-yup River by surveyor Carey in 1875. Dalyup is an Aboriginal word which may be associated with the Noongar word for the King Parrot or Hookbill.
DALYUP RIVER WEST – this is the 39km long western branch of the Dalyup, first recorded a surveyor in 1925.
DANDALUP RIVER – the Dandalup is one of the shortest rivers in the state, being only 4km long. It is formed where the North and South Dandalup Rivers meet north of Pinjarra, and flows for about 4km to its confluence with the Murray River. The name is of Aboriginal origin, having been first recorded by a surveyor in 1835.
DARE RIVER – the Dare River is a short desert stream which rises in the Schwerin Mural Crescent near Giles, and flows for about 8km in a generally south east course. It was first noticed signposted in 1984, and is probably named after John Dare, a resident of Alice Springs who ran tourist buses out to the Giles Meteorological Station.
DARKIN RIVER – the Darkin River is a 27km long tributary of the Helena River, rising in state forest and flowing generally north westerly into the Helena at Lake O’Connor. The name is Aboriginal of unknown meaning.
DAVIS RIVER – the Davis River is a 116km long tributary of the Oakover River in the eastern Pilbara. It was named by surveyor W F Rudall in 1897, although F T Gregory had named a river in this general vicinity the Davis in 1861. The origin of the name is not known.
DE GREY RIVER – the De Grey River is one of the major rivers of the Pilbara region, rising at the confluence of the Oakover and Nullagine Rivers, and flowing generally westwards and north westwards for about 193km into Breaker Inlet on the Indian Ocean. The length of the De Grey and its longest tributary, the Oakover, is 468km. The De Grey was named by the surveyor/explorer F T Gregory in 1861 ‘in honour of the noble Lord who took a lively interest in promoting the objects of the expedition’. This was Earl de Grey, later the Marquis of Ripon, who was President of the Royal Geographical Society in 1859-60.
DE LANCOURT RIVER – the De Lancourt River is located in the east Kimberley region, and is a 57km long tributary of the Berkerly River. The name was adopted by the Surveyor General in 1927 after J C De Lancourt who explored in the region in 1926. The location of the river was doubtful for some time, and the current position was adopted in 1963.
DEEP RIVER – the Deep River is one of the few perennial rivers in the State, rising near Lake Muir and flowing generally southerly for about 103km into Nornalup Inlet. The river was named by Colonial Secretary Peter Brown in 1841, and was probably named to achieve a compromise between alternative names for the Frankland River being used by sealers who were in the vicinity prior to 1841. The Deep River was sighted by Captain Thomas Bannister in January 1831, and he crossed it a numb er of times in its upper reaches without naming it. It later appeared on plans in tow different parts as part of the Shannon River and the Forth River. W N Clark in 1841 explored and carried out soundings up this river which he called, descriptively, the ‘West River’, it being the westernmost watercourse entering Nornalup Inlet. In his report Clark stated that the sealers knew the eastern river (the Frankland) as the ‘Deep River’ and he suggested to Colonial Secretary Peter Brown that its name should be changed to ‘Hutt River’. Presumably this was to curry favour with the then Governor, William Hutt. The Colonial Secretary disagreed, the name Frankland River was retained and the name ‘Deep River’ applied to Clark’s ‘West River’.
DENMARK RIVER – the Denmark River was discovered by Dr T B Wilson RN during explorations in the area in December 1829, and was named by Wilson after his friend, Dr Alexander Denmark RN, a physician to the British Fleet. The river rises near Pardelup and flows 55km in a generally southerly direction into Wilson Inlet. The Noongar name of the river was recorded as ‘Koorrabup’ by surveyor Alfred Hillman in 1833.
DONALD RIVER – the Donald River is a 10km long stream on Barrow Island in the north west. The river was named by Professor A J Marshall during an ornithological expedition to the island in 1958. It was named after a small boy from Hampstead who had presented one of the party with a notebook used to take notes on the expedition.
DONNELLY RIVER – the Donnelly River is a south western stream about 85km in length which discharges into the Southern Ocean. Its main tributary is Barlee Brook. It was probably named by Governor James Stirling during the early 1830’s, possibly after Ross Donnelly Mangles, Stirling’s brother in law, but probably after Admiral Ross Donnelly, a close friend of the Mangles family and after whom Ross Donnelly Mangles was named. Donnelly was Rear Admiral of the Red, and had ‘stood’ for Ellen Mangles during her marriage to Stirling. The river was first sighted by Lt William Preston in 1831, but apparently not named at that time. Preston was also a brother in law to Ross Donnelly Mangles, having married Ellen Stirling’s sister, Hamilla Mary Mangles.
DRYSDALE RIVER – the Drysdale River is located in the north Kimberley region and is approximately 432km in length. It begins in the Caroline Ranges and flows into Napier Broome Bay north east of Kalumburu. The river was named by explorer Charles A Burrowes in 1886 whilst exploring in the Kimberley on behalf of the Victorian Squatting Company. It is named after T A Drysdale of Melbourne, a Director of the Victorian Squatting Company.
DUNHAM RIVER – the Dunham River is a 153km long tributary of the Ord River which flows north easterly into the Ord near Kununurra. The river was named by Kimberley pioneer ‘Stumpy’ Michael Durack in 1882 after Reverend Father Dunham of Brisbane, the first clergyman to visit Coopers Creek in western Queensland in 1873. The river has sometimes been shown incorrectly as the ‘Denham River’.
DURACK RIVER – the Durack River is a 306km long east Kimberley River which flows north and east into Cambridge Gulf south west of Wyndham. It was named by the surveyor/geologist John Pentecost in 1882 whilst on an exploring expedition led by ‘Stumpy’ Michael Durack. It was named after Durack, the expedition leader who was the first white man to cross the river.
EAST HARDING RIVER – the East Harding River is a distributary of the Harding River from which it takes its name, and separates from the Harding just downstream from Woodbrook Homestead and flows generally north east for about 26km into salt marshes and mangroves adjacent to the coast at Sherlock Bay. The name was first recorded by Assistant Surveyor James Cowle in 1866.
EAST STRELLEY RIVER - the East Strelley River is the eastern tributary branch of the Strelley River. It is 97km long, and joins with the West Strelley River east of Port Hedland to form the Strelley River.
EDMUND RIVER – the Edmund is a tributary of the Lyons River, which is itself the largest tributary to the Gascoyne River. The river rises near the Barlee Range and flows generally south west for 85km to join the Lyons. The river was probably named by Surveyor General j S Roe during the plotting of a plan of the explorations of surveyor/explorer F T Gregory in 1858. It is named after Admiral Sir Edmund Lyons G C B, Baron Lyons of Christchurch (1790-1858), a diplomat and naval hero who played ‘a bold and brilliant part with his ship, the ‘Agamemnon’ in bombarding the forts at Sebastopol and landing troops in the Crimean War’.
ELVIRE RIVER – the Elvire River is a127km long tributary of the Ord River in the east Kimberley, and was named by surveyor H F Johnston in 1884 after Margaret Elvire Forrest, the wife of John Forrest, then Surveyor Genaral and Commissioner of Crown Lands.
ERNEST RIVER – the Ernest is a minor 4km long tributary of the Brunswick River in the Darling Range east of Brunswick Junction. It was possibly named by surveyor H M Ommanney in the early 1840’s, after Ernest Augustus (Hanover), Duke of Brunswick-Luneburgh and King of Hanover, 5th son of King George III.
ERNEST RIVER – the Ernest River is a 69km long tributary of the Forrest River, an east Kimberley River that flows into the Timor Sea in Joseph Bonaparte Gulf. It was named by C A Burrowes, surveyor to the Victoria Squatting Co., in 1886, but it is not known after whom it was named.
ETHEL RIVER – the Ethel River is a 48km long tributary of the Ashburton River. The river was surveyed by surveyor C M Denny in 1893, and he recorded the name of it as ‘Ethel or Coobarra River’. Further surveys were carried out in July 1896 by surveyor W F Rudall who called it the ‘Ethel River’.
EYRE RIVER – the Eyre River is a minor south coast stream of 12km lengthwhich flows into the Southern Ocean at Cheyne Bay north east of Albany. It was named by surveyor F T Gregory in 1850 after the explorer Edward John Eyre, the first to travel by land around the Great Australian Bight from South Australia to Albany in 1841. Eyre would have crossed this river.
FERGUSON RIVER – the Ferguson is a 36km long tributary of the Preston River, rising in the Darling Range and flowing generally north westerly to join the Preston at Picton near Bunbury. It was named by surveyor H M Ommanney in 1844 after Dr John Ferguson (1802-1883) whose property on the river Ommanney was surveying at the time.
FISH RIVER – the Fish River is located in the west Kimberley near Kuri Bay, and is a 20km long tributary of the Gairdner River. It was named by the explorer/botanist James Martin in 1864, because, as Martin wrote in his diary, ‘the river positively swam with fish’.
FITZGERALD RIVER – located on the south coast, the Fitzgerald was named by Surveyor General J S Roe during explorations in 1848 after Charles Fitzgerald (1792-1887), Governor of WA from 1848 to 1855. The river rises near Lake Magenta and flows generally south easterly for about 70km into Fitzgerald Inlet in the Fitzgerald River National Park on the south coast.
FITZROY RIVER – the Fitzroy River is one of the two major rivers of the Kimberley region (the Ord is the other). It rises in the King Leopold Ranges and empties into King Sound south of Derby after flowing for 622km. The combined length of the Fitzroy and its major tributary, the Hann, is 733km. The river was named by Lt J L Stokes of HMS ‘Beagle”, ‘with Captain Wickham’s permission’, on 26/2/1838. It is named after Captain Robert Fitzroy (1805-1865), the second Commander of the ‘Beagle’, a man Stokes greatly admired. Robert Fitz-roy, a British naval officer, was born in Suffolk 5/6/1805. He commanded the 'Beagle' from 1828 to 1830 and from 1831 to 1836 in extended surveys of the South American coast. During his second trip Charles Robert Darwin accompanied him as naturalist. Fitzroy was awarded the Geographical Society gold medal in 1837. In 1839 he published the narratives of the surveying voyages of the 'Adventure' and the 'Beagle' in three volumes. the third by Darwin. He was Governor of New Zealand from 1843 to 1845, Superintendent of Woolwich Dockyard in 1848-9 and also held other important posts. Responsible for several well-known works on navigation and meteorology, he is regarded as the founder of modern meteorological services. Pressure of work caused his mind to give way and he committed suicide in London 30/4/1865.
FLETCHER RIVER – the Fletcher River is a 30km long tributary of the Barker River in the west Kimberley region, and was named by a survey team from the Bureau of Mineral Resources that carried out a geological survey of the region in 1955. It is possibly named after Harold Fletcher, Curator of Palaeontology at the Australian Museum who had previously passed through the area.
FORREST RIVER – the Forrest River is located in the east Kimberley region, rising about 100km west north west of Wyndham and flowing for about 141km into the west arm of Cambridge Gulf. It was named by Staff Commander J E Coghlan RN during hydrographic surveys of the area in 1884 after John Forrest (1847-1918), Surveyor General of the colony at the time and later Premier (1890).
FORTESCUE RIVER – the Fortescue River is the State’s third longest river, rising in the Ophthalmia Range near Newman and entering the Indian Ocean in Mardie Station, a total length of 760km. The river was named by the surveyor/explorer F T Gregory, leader of the North-West Australian Exploring Expedition in June 1861. It is named after C S Fortescue, ‘the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, under whose auspices the expedition took its origin’. C S Fortescue was Under Secretary 22/5/1857 – 27/02/1858 and 18/06/1859 – 25/06/1865.
FORTESCUE RIVER SOUTH – the southern branch of the Fortescue, this river is about 71km long, rising near Mt Frederick in the Hamersley Range. It was first surveyed in 1889.
FORTH RIVER – the Forth is a small south western river, 10.5km long and flowing into Broke Inlet west of Walpole. It is not known who named the river or why this name was given. In 1831 Captain T Bannister discovered a river to the east of Broke Inlet to which the name Forth River was applied, the plans indicating that it flowed into the inlet. It appears the river Bannister discovered was part of the Deep River, so the name Forth River was afterwards applied to a river flowing into Broke Inlet in a more north-westerly position.
FOX RIVER – the Fox River was named by surveyor C W Nyulasy in 1887 after Peter J Fox, an outback butcher, one of the first on the Halls Creek goldfields and who was camped at the rivers junction with the Johnston River when Nyulasy passed by. The river is about 32km long and is a tributary of the Johnston River south east of Halls Creek.
FRANK RIVER – the Frank River is a tributary of the Ord River in the east Kimberley, flowing for about 38km through the Osmand and Bungle Bungle Ranges. It was named during surveys in the Kimberley in 1884, but it not known after whom at present.
FRANKLAND RIVER – the Frankland is the largest southerly flowing river in WA, and is some 162km in length from its source to discharge in Nornalup Inlet west of Walpole. Its main tributary is the 96km long Gordon River. The river was sighted by Captain Thomas Bannister in 1831, and was apparently named by Governor James Stirling when Bannister reported its existence to him. A nearby hill had earlier been named Mount Frankland by explorer T B Wilson in 1829, after George Frankland (1979-1875), the then Surveyor General of Tasmania, and this probably influenced the choice of name by Stirling. The Frankland was apparently previously known by sealers as the Deep River.
FRASER RIVER – the Fraser River is located in the west Kimberley and was named by surveyor/explorer Alexander Forrest in 1879 after Malcolm Fraser (1834-1900), the Commissioner of Crown Lands at that time. The river is about 70km long, flowing in a generally easterly direction into King Sound west of Derby.
FRASER SOUTH RIVER – this river is the southern branch of the Fraser River in the west Kimberley, and is about 56km long. It was named by the Bureau of Mineral Resources in 1955.
FREDERIC RIVER – the Frederic River is a small 5km long tributary of the Brunswick River in the Darling Range east of Brunswick Junction. It was possibly named by surveyor H M Ommanney in 1840, and is believed named after Frederick William Brunswick (see Brunswick River).
FREDERICK RIVER – the Frederick River is a 77km long tributary of the Lyons River, rising in the Kenneth Range and joining the Lyons near Cobra Homestead. It was named by the explorer E T Hooley in 1866 after Federick Mackie Roe, son of Surveyor General J S Roe who was at the time a third class clerk in the Survey Office.
GAIRDNER RIVER – there are two Gairdner River’s in WA, one in the Kimberley, and one in the south west. This Gairdner River is located in the west Kimberley, and is a 42km long tributary of the Glenelg River. It was named by the explorer Captain George Grey in 1838, most likely after Gordon Gairdner Esq of the Colonial Office in London. The other Gairdner River and Gairdner Range near Geraldton are also named after this person.
GAIRDNER RIVER – the second of the Gairdner Rivers is located in the Great Southern Region, rising near Lake Magenta, and flowing 110km south easterly into the Gordon Inlet near Bremer Bay on the South Coast. This river was named by Surveyor General J S Roe in 1848 after Gordon Gairdner of the Colonial Office, London
GARDNER RIVER – the Gardner River is located in the south west forest area, rising north east of Northcliffe and flowing generally south for 47km to the Southern Ocean east of Windy Harbour. The river was probably named by Governor Stirling sometime between 1833 and 1835, possibly after Captain Sir Alan Gardner RN. The mouth of this river was reported by Lieutenant William Preston, who camped near it in 1831 during a voyage by whaleboat along the south coast, however, he did not name it. It was believed for a time to be the outlet of the Gordon River and appeared on early plans with that name. By 1835, this error had been corrected and it was shown on subsequent maps as Gardner River.
GASCOYNE RIVER – the Gascoyne River, Western Australia’s longest river, was named in 1839 by the explorer Captain George Grey, after a Captain Gascoyne, a friend of his. The Gascoyne River rises as the Gascoyne River (North Branch) in Three Rivers Station near the Great Northern Highway, and flows generally westerly for about 865km to the Indian Ocean at Carnarvon. In his exploration journal Grey states ‘the river which I named the Gascoyne in compliment to my friend, Captain Gascoyne’. Gascoyne was most likely a fellow officer in 83rd Regiment of Foot.
GASCOYNE RIVER MIDDLE – this 15km long middle branch of the Gascoyne was probably named by a surveyor in 1886.
GASCOYNE RIVER NORTH – the Gascoyne River North is about 125km long, rising near the Collier Range and joining the Gascoyne at the foot of Mt Pleasant. The river was traversed by surveyor T Beasley in 1886.
GASCOYNE RIVER SOUTH – the 15km long southern branch of the Gascoyne flows north from near Doolgunna homestead, and was named by surveyor Beasley in 1886.
GEORGE RIVER – the George River is located in the Pilbara region, rising in the Chichester Range and flowing generally northwards for 45km to its junction with the Little Sherlock River east of Roebourne. The George was named by the surveyor/explorer Francis T Gregory, leader of the North West Australian Exploring Expedition in 1861, but it is not known after whom.
GERVASE RIVER – the Gervase River is a 5km long tributary of the Collie River which it joins in Wellington Dam. The river was probably named by Marshall Waller Clifton, Chief Commissioner of the Western Australian Land Company, after his son, Gervase Clifton. The nearby Worsley River is named after another son of Clifton, Leonard Worsley Clifton. The names of these rivers were first recorded by surveyor H M Ommanney in 1845 during surveys for the WA Land Company.
GIBB RIVER – the Gibb River is located in the central Kimberley region, and is a 112km long tributary of the Drysdale River. It was named by surveyor Charles Crossland in 1901 after Andrew Gibb Maitland (1864-1951), the Government Geologist who was accompanying Crossland when the river was sighted. Maitland was Government Geologist from 1896 to 1926. He was formerly Assistant Government Geologist in Queensland.
GLENELG RIVER – the Glenelg River is located in the west Kimberley, commencing in the Elizabeth and Catherine Ranges, and flowing generally north east for about 85km into Maitland Bay, George Water. It was named by the explorer Captain George Grey in 1838 ‘in compliment to the Right Hon Lord Glenelg, to whom we were all under great obligations’. Charles Grant, Lord Glenelg (1778-1866), was born in Bengal, India, and went to England with his family in 1790. He was M.P. for Inverness from 1811 until raised to the peerage in 1835, when he took the title Baron Glenelg, the name of his estate in Scotland. He was Secretary of State for the Colonies from 1835 to 1839 and it was under his auspices that Grey undertook his Australian explorations. Grey's first volume contains a dedication to Lord Glenelg.
GLIDDON RIVER – the Gliddon River is a 74km long tributary of the Margaret River located in the Kimberley region, the name being first recorded as Glidden River by a team from the Geological Survey of Western Australia in 1965. The name was probably supplied by Ian Thom of Moola Bulla Station after Reginald Frank Howard Gliddon (1882-1962), part owner of Mt Amhurst Station until 1957. The spelling was amended to Gliddon River in 1991 following research into the naming by Kim Epton.
GOODGA RIVER – The Goodga River is a small 10km long stream which flows into Moates Lake close to the coast east of Albany. The name which is most likely of Aboriginal origin, was first recorded by a surveyor in 1913.
GORDON RIVER – the Gordon River was named by Surveyor General J S Roe during an exploration from Perth to Albany in 1835. It is named after the George Hamilton Gordon (1784-1860), 4th Earl of Aberdeen and Secretary of State for War and the Colonies in 1834-35. He was also Prime Minister of England, 1852-1855. The river rises near Broomehill and flows generally westerly for 121km into the Frankland River.
GREENOUGH RIVER – the Greenough is located in the mid west region, rising in Jingemarra Station and flowing generally south westerly for about 340km to the Indian Ocean near Cape Burney about 9km south of Geraldton. It was named by the explorer George Grey in 1839 after George Ballas Greenough, President of the Royal Geographical Society in 1837 at the time Grey’s expedition was equipped.
HAMERSLEY RIVER – the Hamersley River is located in the south coastal region, beginning near Fitzgerald townsite and flowing generally south east for about 40km into Hamersley Inlet in Fitzgerald River National Park. It was probably named by surveyor/explorer John Forrest during explorations in 1871, most likely after his future wife Margaret Hamersley or her family
HAMILTON RIVER – the Hamilton River is an 11km long tributary of the Collie River which flows generally southerly into the Wellington Dam west of Collie. The name was first recorded by surveyor H M Ommanney in 1845 when he was surveying land for the Western Australian Land Company. It is probably named after Mr Robert Gordon Hamilton, a young man who arrived in WA in 1841 on the ‘Parkfield’ with members of the WA Land Co and who died at Australind in 1843.
HANN RIVER – the Hann River in the central Kimberley is a 224km long tributary of the Fitzroy River. It was probably named by Surveyor General H F Johnston in 1900 after the explorer Frank Hann who had sighted the river in 1898 and named it the Phillips River. It was renamed to honour Hann as there was already a Phillips River in the south of the state.
HANN RIVER NORTH – this 42km long northern tributary of the Hann River was named in 1987.
HARDEY RIVER – the Hardey River is a tributary of the Ashburton River in the Pilbara region, rising in the Hamersley Range north west of Tom Price and flowing for 217km to join the Ashburton near Wyloo homestead. The river was named by surveyor/explorer F T Gregory, leader of the NW Australian Exploring Expedition in 1861. It is probably named after J W Hardey, an early Swan River colonist who would have been well known to the Gregory family.
HARDING RIVER – the Harding River is located in the Pilbara region, rising in the Chichester Range and flowing generally northerly for about 80km to the Indian Ocean near Cossack. It was named by surveyor/explorer F T Gregory, leader of the NW Australian Exploring Expedition in 1861 after J Harding, a volunteer member of the expedition.
HARDING RIVER EAST – this eastern branch of the Harding River is about 36km long, rising in the Chichester Range and flowing in a general northern direction.
HARRIS RIVER – the Harris River was named by the surveyor F T Gregory in 1847, most likely after Joseph Strelley Harris (1813-1889), a Williams pastoralist who pioneered the droving of sheep from Albany to the Avon/Swan districts after contracting to carry the mails between Albany and Perth in 1838. Harris was appointed Resident Magistrate at Williams in 1840. The river is a 48km long tributary of the Collie River.
HARVEY RIVER – the Harvey River is about 90km in length, rising near Mt Keats and flowing southerly, westerly, then northerly into the Harvey Estuary. The presence of this river was reported by Collie and Preston on 18/11/1829 and probably named by Governor Stirling soon afterwards. It is most likely named after Rear Admiral Sir John Harvey, Commander in Chief of the West Indies Station in 1818 when Stirling was commanding the 'Brazen' in those waters. It was Admiral Harvey who recommended Stirling for promotion.
HAY RIVER – the Hay River is located in the south coastal region, rising west of Mt Barker and flowing south south west for about 50km into Wilson Inlet east of Denmark. The river was named by the explorer Dr T B Wilson RN during exploration of the region in December 1829. It is named after Robert William Hay, the Permanent Under Secretary of State for the Colonies at that time.
HELBY RIVER – the Helby is a 17km long river which flows south easterly into Cambridge Gulf in the east Kimberley. It was named by Named by Commander F.C.P. Vereker of H.M. Surveying Ship 'Myrmidon' during his 1888-1889 survey of Cambridge Gulf. It is named after one of the officers aboard Vereker's ship, Lieutenant Harold W.H. Helby, who joined the Royal Navy in 1878, served aboard surveying ships in Australian waters from 1887 to 1902 and retired from the service in 1910.
HELENA RIVER – the Helena River rises in state forest near Mt Talbot and flows generally WNW and then W for about 64km to its confluence with the Swan at Guildford. The river was probably named by Governor Stirling in 1829, possibly after Helena Barbara Dance, the wife of Captain William Dance, captain of the ‘Sulphur’. Some records show her first name as Helen, so it is not certain if the name was given in her honour. The mouth of the Helena was seen by Stirling and other settlers in September 1829, and the river was explored by Ensign Robert Dale in October and December 1829.
HENRY RIVER – the Henry River is a major tributary of the Ashburton River in the Pilbara region, beginning in the High Range and flowing generally northerly for 135km to join the Ashburton in Nanutarra Station. The river was named by the drover/explorer E T Hooley in 1866 when he was establishing a stock route to Roebourne. It is named after John Henry Monger Esq of York.
HENRY RIVER EAST – this eastern branch of the Henry River is about 56km long and joins the Henry near Mt Padbury.
HILL RIVER – the Hill River is another of many rivers named by the explorer George Grey in 1839 whilst exploring the country from the Gascoyne River to Perth. It is not known who Grey named this river after. It is about 55km long, and begins south east of Badgingarra and enters the Indian Ocean north of Cervantes.
HILLMAN RIVER – the Hillman River is a 45km long tributary of the Arthur River, and flows generally east and south to join the Arthur south east of Darkan. The river was named by Governor James Stirling in 1837 during an exploring trip from Kojonup to Pinjarra. It is named after the colonial draftsman and surveyor Alfred Hillman (1807-1883), one of the Governor’s companions on this expedition.
HILLMAN RIVER SOUTH – this southern branch of the Hillman River is about 11km long and flows in a generally easterly diection.
HOPE RIVER – the Hope River is a tributary of the Yalgar River, which is in turn a tributary of the Murchison. It is about 102km long, extending from Lake Annean near Meekatharra and running NNW into the Yalgar. The name of the river was supplied by the manager of Belele Station in 1943, but it is not known who it is named after.
HOTHAM RIVER – the Hotham River, the largest tributary of the Murray River, is about 160km long, rising north east of Narrogin, and flowing generally north and then south westerly before joining the Williams River to form the Murray. The river was discovered by the explorer Thomas Bannister in 1830 and probably named by Governor James Stirling in 1832-33 after Admiral Sir Henry Hotham. Hotham was a Royal Navy hero who had destroyed the French West Indian Squadron in 1812 and was the commander of the Royal Navy forces blockading France after the defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo. He was on HMS 'Superb' which was in company with HMS 'Bellerophon' off Rochefort in July 1815 when Napoleon surrendered to Captain Frederick Maitland of the latter ship.
HOTHAM RIVER NORTH – this 28km long northern branch of the Hotham River begins in the Dutarning Range and flows in a generally westerly direction to join the Hotham where it crosses the Great Southern Highway near Popanyinning.
HOTHAM RIVER SOUTH – this 15km long southern branch of the Hotham River begins near Cuballing and flows generally northerly to join the Hotham near Yornaning.
HUNTER RIVER – located in the east Kimberley, the Hunter River is about 30km long, discharging into the Indian Ocean in Prince Frederick Harbour. It was named by Captain Phillip Parker King of HMS ‘Mermaid’ in 1820 after Lieutenant James Hunter, the surgeon aboard the ‘Mermaid’.
HUNTER RIVER – this ‘river’ is a small stream less than 2km long, and it is a puzzle that it is named such. It flows into a coastal lake just east of Bremer Bay, and the name was possibly recorded by a surveyor in 1895. The origin of the name is not known.
HUTT RIVER – the Hutt River is located in the mid west region, rising east of Ogilvie and flowing generally west and then south westerly for about 60km, discharging into the Indian Ocean near Port Gregory. The river was named by the explorer Captain George Grey in 1838 after William Hutt M P (1791-18882), the brother of Governor John Hutt, and later in 1840, Chairman of the Western Australian Land Company.
IMPEY RIVER – the Impey is a 24km long tributary of the Murchison which it joins near Mt Murchison. The river was probably named by the explorer F T Gregory in 1857-58 after Sir Roderick Inpey Murchison (1792-1871), a noted geologist who was elected President of the Royal Geographical Society in 1843, and later, in 1855, appointed Director General of the Geological Society in Great Britain.
INLET RIVER – the Inlet River flows into Broke Inlet west of Walpole on the South Coast, and is about 16km long. The name of the river is descriptive, and was first used by surveyor H L Paine during surveys in 1937.
IRGULBA RIVER – the Irgulba River is located in the west Kimberley region, being about 12km long and flowing into Dugong Bay. It is an Aboriginal name recorded by surveyor Tom Cleve in 1937.
IRWIN RIVER – the Irwin River is located in the mid west agricultural region, rising near Pindar and flowing south west and west for about 140km, entering the Indian Ocean near Dongara. It was named by explorer George Grey in 1839 after his friend, Major Frederick Chidley Irwin (1788-1860), the Commandant at Swan River settlement. Frederick Chidley Irwin was the son of Reverend James Irwin. He began his military career in 1808, seeing active service in Spain and Portugal, taking part in several of the major sieges, retreats and battles of the Peninsula War. He was later stationed in Canada and later still in Ceylon. In June 1829, he arrived in the Swan River Colony with a detachment of the 63rd Regiment per the 'Sulphur. He acted as Administrator of the Colony in 1832-33 during Governor Stirling's absence. He was Acting Governor of the Colony in 1847-48 as a result of the death of Lt. Col. Andrew Clarke until relieved by Capt. Charles Fitzgerald. Captain late 1828, promoted to Major in 1837 and to Lt. Col. in 1845. He retired from the army in 1854 and died in Cheltenham in 1860.
IRWIN RIVER SOUTH – this southern branch of the Irwin River is about 25km long and was probably named by surveyor John Forrest.
ISDELL RIVER – the Isdell is located in the west Kimberley region, rising in the Packhorse Range and flowing in a generally north westerly direction for 206km into Walcott Inlet. It was named by explorer Frank Hann in 1898 after James Isdell, then a storekeeper at Nullagine, ‘in recognition of his many good offices to me’. The Isdell Range (part of the King Leopold Ranges) and Mount Isdell (north of the Rudall River National Park in the Great Sandy Desert) were also named by Hann after James Isdell who fulfilled many roles both in the Kimberley and the Pilbara areas. A suggestion of Isdell's led to the development of the Canning Stock Route.
JAMES RIVER – the James River was named by the explorer Frank Hann in 1898 after Mr James ‘of the Cable Station, Petang’. (Petang is a town in Bali where the overseas telegraph cable from Broome came ashore at that time). The James is a small intermittent watercourse, 6.5km long, a tributary of the Charnley River in the west Kimberley.
JEEAILA RIVER – the Jeeaila River is located in the Gascoyne region, rising near Mt Vernon and meandering for about 45km before dissipating near the Lyons River North. The name is Aboriginal, of unknown source and meaning.
JERDACUTTUP RIVER – the Jerdacuttup River is located on the south coast, rising north of Ravensthorpe and flowing for about 75km into the Jerdacuttup Lakes east of Hopetoun. The name is Aboriginal, having been recorded with various spellings by John Forrest in 1870 and surveyor Price in 1875-76.
JINUNGA RIVER – the Jinunga is a short west Kimberley river, flowing for about 18km into Strickland Bay south of Yampi Sound. It is an Aboriginal name, first recorded by surveyor T Cleve in July 1937 during the survey of a stock route between Yampi Sound and Derby.
JOHNSTON RIVER – the Johnston River is located in the east Kimberley region, beginning on Ruby Plains station and flowing generally northerly for about 46km into the Elvire River at Elvire Gorge, east of Halls Creek. The river was named by surveyor C W Nyulasy in 1887 after surveyor Harry F Johnston (1893-1915) who had surveyed the river in 1884. Johnston later became WA's fourth Surveyor General, succeeding John Forrest in 1896, and held that office until his death in 1915.
JONES RIVER – the Jones River is located in the Pilbara region, flowing in a generally northerly direction for about 56km into the Indian Ocean at Sherlock Bay, east of Roebourne. The name was first recorded by assistant surveyor Charles Wedge in 1867, and it is probably named after Walter Jones, a police constable of Roebourne. Robert Sholl, the Roebourne Resident Magistrate reported in 1867 that Jones had taken part in every exploring expedition sanctioned by Sholl during his term at Roebourne.
KALGAN RIVER – the Kalgan River is located in the great southern region, rising north west of Kendenup and flowing generally southwards for about 100km into Oyster Harbour east of Albany. This river was recorded as ‘Kal-gan-up by the explorer Dr Alexander Collie in April 1831, but it had been named earlier as the ‘Riviere des Francais’ by the French Scientific Expedition in 1803, and was subsequently known as the ‘French River’ by early settlers until the Noongar name came into general use from 1831. Collie also recorded the name Ya-mung-up for the river, but from late 1831 explorers such as Clint, Dale and then Collie, all used the Kalgan spelling for the river.
KAMMARGOORH RIVER – the Kammargoorh River is located in the east Kimberley region, being about 19km long and discharging into Strickland Bay near Yampi Sound. The name is Aboriginal of unknown origin, and was recorded by surveyor Tom Cleve in 1937 during his survey of a stock route between Yampi Sound and Derby.
KEEP RIVER – the Keep River rises in the Northern Territory and flows for about 172km into the Timor Sea at Joseph Bonaparte Gulf. Only about 9.5km of the river passes through Western Australia. The name was recorded by pastoralist M.P. Durack during explorations on 19/8/1894, and is probably named after Henry Francis Keep (1863-1905), a former Wyndham resident who had moved to Roebourne in 1891 and was M.L.A. for the Pilbara from1894 to 1897. Keep and John Craigie may have carried out an early examination of this river in May 1888. According to Bruce Shaw, the Aboriginal name for this feature where it crosses the Weaber Plain is 'Ngalba'.
KEIGHTLY RIVER – the Keightly River is located in the west Kimberley region, flowing generally southerly for about 37km into the Townshend River near King Sound. The river was named the Keightley River by Surveyor General John Forrest in 1883 during the first Kimberley Survey Expedition, but the name has been spelt Keightly since 1890. The name probably honours an English dignitary, and it is interesting to note that 7 names Forrest used for rivers, a mountain and a town in this region were also used by him for streets in Subiaco, viz: Barker, Keightley, Robinson, Stewart, Townshend, Heytsbury and Derby.
KENT RIVER – the Kent River is located in the south coast region, and is about 140km long. It rises near Tenterden, and terminates in Irwin Inlet, after flowing through the Owingup Swamp. It was Named by Dr T B Wilson R.N.during explorations on 7/12/1829, after one of his exploration party, John Kent of the 39th Regiment, the officer in charge of the Commissariat at the King George Sound settlement.
KING EDWARD RIVER – the King Edward River is located in the north Kimberley, and was named by the surveyor/explorer F S Brockman, leader of the North West Kimberley Exploring Expedition in 1901. It is named after the reigning monarch at that time, King Edward VII (1841-1910) who succeeded Queen Victoria upon her death in 1901. The river flows in a generally northerly direction for 221km into Napier Broome Bay
KING GEORGE RIVER – also located in the north Kimberley region, the King George River was named by the explorer C P Conigrave in 1911 during his privately funded Kimberley explorations. It is named after King George V (1865-1936) who had succeeded to the throne on the death of King Edward VII in 1910. The river flows in a generally northerly direction for about 125km into the Timor Sea. The river meets the sea at the spectacular King George Falls, an approx 80 metre twin falls dropping into a 14km long canyon.
KING RIVER – there are two King Rivers in WA, this one and one in the east Kimberley. Both are named after the same person, Captain Phillip Parker King RN (1791-1856). The name of this river was first recorded by Dr T B Wilson during exploration in December 1829, and it is named King River because King, Captain of HMC ‘Mermaid’ examined the lower reaches of the watercourse during hydrographic surveys in January 1818. One of King's Master's Mates aboard HMC 'Mermaid' in 1818, J.S. Roe, later Surveyor General of WA, located the entrance to this river during a walk around the shore of Oyster Harbour and this is what led King to explore its lower reaches. Other early explorers to use this name were Captain Collett Barker (November 1830), Dr Alexander Collie (May 1831), Stephen Henty and Raphael Clint (December 1831) and Robert Dale (January 1832). The King River rises east of Redmond and flows for about 27km into Oyster Harbour north east of Albany.
KING RIVER – this King River named by (probably) Staff Commander J.E. Coghlan RN during hydrographic surveys in 1884
Named after Captain Phillip Parker King (1791-1856) of HMC 'Mermaid' who recorded the mouth of this river during hydrographic surveys in 1818.
Comments: The King River rises at co-ords 402 700mE 8 227 200mN and flows about 123km into the West Arm of Cambridge Gulf.
King was described as 'the greatest of the early Australian marine surveyors' and had another river (near Mt Barker), King Sound (Derby), King Bay (Dampier) King Cascade (on the Prince Regent River), Mount King (near Kuri Bay) and Mount King (north of Halls Creek) named after him.
The Aboriginal name for the King River near its mouth was recorded as 'Goolime' by surveyor C.W. Nyulasy in 1885.
KORDABUP RIVER – name recorded (as 'Kordalup' or 'Kordabup') by Colonial Draftsman Alfred Hillman during explorations on 6/7/1833.
Named after (unknown - name is of Aboriginal origin)
Comments: The Kordabup River rises at co-ords 509 300mE 6 134 400mN and flows generally southwards for about 11.5km into Parry Inlet.
The Exp. Plan showing Hillman's route shows 'Kordabup' as the Noongar name for Parry Inlet. Exactly when the name came to be applied to the river in not known.
KYULGAM RIVER - named recorded by surveyor Tom Cleave in July 1937 during his examination of this region for a stock route between Yampi Sound and Derby.
Named after (unknown - of Aboriginal origin)
Comments:The Kyulgam River commences at co-ords 581 100mE 8 178 500mN and flows about 10.5km into Strickland Bay..
Aerial photo mosaics prepared in October 1936 prior to Cleave's survey revealed the existence of this watercourse. Cleave's ground party would have crossed it sometime in July the following year.
LANDOR RIVER – the Landor River is a 36km long tributary of the Gascoyne River which it joins near Landor homestead. The name of the river was first recorded by surveyor H S Carey in 1882, and possibly honours E W Landor (1811-1878), Perth Barrister, Magistrate and author
LAURA RIVER – located in the east Kimberley region, the Laura River is a tributary of the Margaret, rising in the Baily range near Halls Creek and flowing for about 85km before joining the Margaret. The river was named by surveyor G R Turner, second-in-charge of the 1884 Kimberley Survey Expedition in 1884 whilst he was undertaking a traverse of the Margaret. It is possibly named after Laura Louise Forrest (1877-1960), then the 7 year old niece of Surveyor General John Forrest.
MACKIE RIVER – the Mackie River is a tributary of the Avon, rising in the central wheatbelt area south east of York and flowing for about 44km in a north north westerly direction to enter the Avon about 7km above York. The river was named by Surveyor General John Septimus Roe in 1836 after William Henry Mackie (1799-1860), an early settler who was part owner of 7,000 acres on the Avon River and had a distinguished civil career in Western Australia as Chairman of Quarter Sessions, MLC, Advocate General and Commissioner of the Civil Court.
MAITLAND RIVER – the Maitland River is one of the coastal Pilbara rivers, rising south of Karratha and flowing generally NE then NW for about 92km into the Indian Ocean south west of Dampier. The river was named by the surveyor/explorer Francis T. Gregory, leader of the North West Exploring Expedition, in May 1861. Gregory named it after Maitland Brown (1843-1905), a volunteer with the expedition, and later, a prominent pastoralist in the Geraldton and Gascoyne region.
MARGARET RIVER – there are two Margaret Rivers in WA, in the Kimberley and the south west. The south western Margaret River rises in the Whicher range and flows generally westwards for about 65km before discharging into the Indian Ocean near Cape Mentelle and west of the town of Margaret River. The river is believed to have been named by John Garrett Bussell, an early settler and explorer of the region, and who crossed it several times in 1831. It is possibly named after Margaret Whicher, a friend of the Bussell’s from the Portsmouth area in England.
MARGARET RIVER – this river, a tributary of the Fitzroy River, is located in the Kimberley region, rising in the King Leopold Ranges west of Halls Creek. The 335km long river was named by the surveyor/explorer Alexander Forrest in 1879 during his exploration of the Kimberley region. He named it after his sister-in-law, Mrs Margaret Elvire Forrest, the wife of his brother, surveyor (and later Premier) John Forrest.
MARGARET RIVER NORTH – this branch of the Margaret River was named due to it being a northern branch of the Margaret River. It is about 25km long, rising in the Whicher Range and joining the Margaret River near “The Rapids”.
MARY RIVER – located in the central Kimberley region, this river was named by surveyor H.F. Johnston, leader of the 1884 Kimberley Survey Expedition in 1884. Johnston probably named it after his mother, Mary Johnston, nee Clifton, (1822-1893), the daughter of Marshall Waller Clifton and Elinor Bell. The river is a 100km long tributary of the Margaret River
MATILDA RIVER – the Matilda is a 4km long tributary of the Lunenburgh River in the Darling Range east of Brunswick Junction. It was explored by Marshall Waller Clifton in 1841, and is believed to be named after the Princess Sophia Matilda (1777-1848) the twelfth child and fifth daughter of King George III. The Sophia River is a short tributary of the Matilda.
MAY RIVER – the May River is a distributary of the Lennard River in the west Kimberley, commencing where the Lennard splits into the May and Meda Rivers near Kimberley Downs homestead. It flows for about 69km into Stokes Bay north east of Derby. The May was named by the Kimberley pioneer Julius Brockman in 1881 during a private expedition in search of grazing land north of the Fitzroy River. He named it after Mary Matilda Lucille (May) Thomson (1858-1946) of Brookhampton (near Bridgetown), a granddaughter of WA’s first Surveyor Genaral, John Septimus Roe.
McDERMOTT RIVER – the McDermott River is a shallow slow flowing river in the Swan/Avon catchment, named in 2006 following research and community consultation by the Mt Marshall Natural Resource Management Committee. It begins south of Beacon and trends southerly for 92km to join the “Yilgarn River” (administrative name) near Nungarin. It is named after Captain Marshall McDermott, an early settler to the Swan River Colony.
McRAE RIVER – the McRae River in the west Kimberley was named by R.J. Sholl, Government Resident of the Camden Harbour settlement, during an exploration of the district in 1865. He named it after Alexander Joseph McRae (1842-1888), a member of the Camden Harbour Pastoral Association, a group that sailed from Melbourne and took part in the ill-fated attempt to settle the Camden Harbour region. The river is a 35km long tributary of the Glenelg River and rises in the Whateley Range.
MEDA RIVER – the Meda River is one of the two distributaries of the Lennard in the west Kimberley (the other is the May River), commencing where the Lennard splits into two channels and flowing about 88km into Stokes Bay north east of Derby. The river was named by the Kimberley pioneer G.Julius Brockman during a private expedition in 1881 after the Admiralty Surveying Vessel HMS 'Meda', a vessel that was engaged in hydrographic surveys in the vicinity under Staff Commander W.E. Archdeacon RN and located the mouth of this river in 1880.
MEERUP RIVER – the Meerup is 21km long westerly flowing river in the D’Entrecasteaux National Park west of Northcliffe. It flows into the Southern Ocean south of the Warren River. The name is Aboriginal, of unknown meaning, and has been shown on maps since 1877. This river was crossed at its mouth by Lieutenant William Preston RN in 1831 but not named at that time. It was shown as 'Bowles River' on maps in 1833 and 1839. This name was probably put forward by Governor James Stirling and may have been named in honour of Captain Sir William Bowles (1780-1869), later to become Admiral of the Fleet.
MIDDLETON RIVER – the Middleton River is 29km long tributary of the sale River in the west Kimberley, and was named by the explorer Trevarton C. Sholl in 1865. Sholl named it after H.B.A. Middleton, Deputy Assistant Comptroller General of the Convict Establishment in Perth, one of Sholl's superiors when he was earlier employed with the Convict Establishment.
MINILYA RIVER – the Minilya River is located in the Gascoyne region, and flows generally westwards for about 210km into Lake MacLeod. The name is of Aboriginal origin of unknown meaning, and was first recorded by Charles Brockman and George Hamersley in 1876.
MINILYA RIVER SOUTH – this south branch of the Minilya is about 50km long, and was first recorded by surveyor W.A. Saw when he traversed part of its course in 1882.
MINNIE RIVER – the Minnie River is a 33km long anabranch of the Fitzroy located close to the mouth of the river, south of Derby. The name was first recorded by Hamlet Cornish and George Paterson of the Murray River Squatting Company in 1881, but it is not known after whom it is named.
MITCHELL RIVER – there are two Mitchell Rivers in WA, with this one in the east Kimberley being the most significant. It is about 117km long, and flows generally north-westwards and northwards into Walmsley Bay near Port Warrender. It is also known for the Mitchell Falls located on it, a 3 tiered series of sheer drops with a combined height of approx 60-80 metres. The river was named by surveyor W R Easton during surveys in July 1921 after Sir James Mitchell (1866-1951), Premier of WA and Minister for Lands at the time of Easton' survey expedition.
MITCHELL RIVER – this river, the shorter of the two Mitchell Rivers in WA, is a 23km long tributary of the Hay River. It rises near Mt Lindesay, and flows south easterly to join the Hay north of Wilson Inlet. It is not known who named the river, but it has been shown on maps since the 1940’s, and is believed to be named in honour of Sir James Mitchell (1866-1951), Premier of WA and Minister for Lands.
MOORE RIVER - the Moore River, a winter flowing watercourse, rises near Walebing and Miling and flows about 193km into the Indian ocean at Guilderton. The river was named by Private Patrick Heffron (Hefferon) of the 63rd Regiment in May 1836 after George Fletcher Moore, the leader of the expedition that discovered the river. In his journal Moore wrote “Handing the flask to Hefferon to qualify his draught, he said, 'Sir, you are the first to see this river, here I think, you have a right to name it; I'll christen it, if you please, Sir, the "River Moore" and so he made his libation, but not on the ground. Whether this christening will be considered good is not for me to say”. George Fletcher Moore (1798-1863) was an early settler at Millendon on the Swan River and was Advocate General of Western Australia.
MOORE RIVER EAST – this eastern branch of the Moore River flows southerly through New Norcia before heading west to join the Moore near Mogumber.
MORAN RIVER – the Moran River is located in the west Kimberley, and is a 101km long tributary of the Roe River. It was named by surveyor F.S.Brockman, leader of the 1901 N.W. Kimberley Exploration Expedition after Charles J. Moran (1868-1936) who was appointed Minister for Lands in February 1901.
MORGAN RIVER – the Morgan River was named by the Nomenclature Advisory Committee in 1958 after surveyor John F. Morgan, leader of the 1954 Kimberley Survey & Mapping Expedition that reported details of this river. The Morgan rises in the Couchman Range and flows in a generally northerly and easterly direction for about 106kms into the Carson River. John F Morgan (1923- )joined the Department of Lands & Surveys in 1942. He was Surveyor General from 1968 until 1987 when the position was abolished.
MORTLOCK RIVER – the Mortlock River was named in the 1830’s after surveyor Henry Mortlock Ommanney (1817-1880), who traversed this watercourse in 1835 during an excursion eastward of Northam. The river is about 91km long, rising north west of Quairading and flowing into the Avon near Northam.
MORTLOCK RIVER EAST - Named because it is the eastern branch of the Mortlock, this river rises in Lake Dowerin, and flows generally south east and west for 130km into the Mortlock River. For much of its course the river is poorly defined in salt flats and small salt lakes.
MORTLOCK RIVER NORTH - Named by Alfred Hillman in 1846 because it is a northern tributary of the Mortlock River, this river commences from Lake Hinds near Wongan Hills and flows about 140km generally southwards to its junction with the Mortlock River near Northam.
MOWEN RIVER – this river is a small 8km long tributary of the Margaret River located east of the town of Margaret River. It is not known who named the river, the name first appearing on maps in 1839. It was possibly named by John Garrett Bussell on one of his trips from Augusta to the Vasse. Bussell is also reported to have been known as "Mowen" by Aborigines in the area. In his book, The Colony of Western Australia" by Nathaniel Ogle, 1839, the author records this river as the "Morven". This is the name of a mythical Gaelic kingdom in the epic poems of Ossian. It is possible that the rv in this name was mistaken as a w.
MUNDURRAL RIVER – the Mundurral is one of a number of Aboriginal named rivers in the west Kimberley recorded by the surveyor Tom Cleave, during a search to find a suitable stock route between Yampi Sound and Derby in July 1937. The river is a 8km long tributary of the Yuraddagi River.
MUNGLINUP RIVER – the Munglinup River is a south coastal river about 42km long, rising north of Munglinup and entering the Southern Ocean at Oldfield Estuary. The name is Aboriginal, being recorded by surveyor C.D. Price in 1875-76. Munglinup, a local Aboriginal place name, was used as the name for a sheep station established by the Dempsters in the 1860s.
MURCHISON RIVER – at 820km long the Murchison River is the second longest river in the state after the Gascoyne (which is 838km long). It was named by the explorer George Grey in 1839 when he sighted its mouth following the wrecking of his boats in the area. The Murchison River rises in the Robinson Ranges and flows generally west-south-westerly into the Indian Ocean at Kalbarri. It is named after Sir Roderick Impey Murchison (1792-1871), a noted geologist who was then the Secretary of the Royal Geographical Society (England) and was elected as President of that society in 1843 and later, in 1855, appointed Director General of the Geological Society in Britain. The Roderick and Impey rivers are tributaries of the Murchison.
MURRAY RIVER - The Murray River, one of the larger south western rivers, is formed by the junction of the Hotham and Williams Rivers to the west of Mount Saddleback and flows 134km, passing through Pinjarra before falling into Peel Inlet at Yunderup. It was probably named by Governor James Stirling in 1829 after Sir George Murray (1772-1846), then Secretary of State for the Colonial Office in London. Major Lockyer at Albany reported that a river was entered and traced for '20 miles from the sea' by a party of sealers in 1826 or 1827, and in October 1829 Dr T.B. Wilson was advised that “another river, named the Murray, had been recently discovered”. The river was explored and referred to by name by Dr Alexander Collie and Lieutenant William Preston in November 1829.
O’DONNELL RIVER - The O'Donnell River rises near Springvale Hill and flows about 149km south-west into the Margaret River about 8km east of Mount Dent. Located within the Shire of Halls Creek, and named after William John Nagle O'Donnell (1831-1900), who sighted this river in July 1883 during private explorations in the Kimberley on behalf of the Cambridge Downs Pastoral Company. The name was suggested by prospector Robert Button in a letter to the Surveyor General on October 11 1903.
An extract from Button's letter: 'O'Donnell called after the late Mr W.J. O'Donnell who done [sic] a lot of exploring in Kimberley and who mistook this river for the Margaret. It was shown on Public Plans in red as a tributary of the 'Nellie River' marked 'O'Donnell or Sandy River'. On the Army 10 Mile Topo Map 'Halls Creek' (1952) this name was printed along part of the 'Nellie River' that flowed into the Margaret River’.
In 1959, a query from the Director of Works regarding the conflicting positions and names of rivers and creeks in this area as shown on air photos and lithographs, compared with local usage, was received. As a result, the entire watercourse previously shown as 'Nellie River' became the O'Donnell River and the alternative name, 'Sandy River', was deleted. This was approved on March 25 1959.
OAKAJEE RIVER - Situated north of Geraldton, the origin of this short 10 km long river is unknown, but is most likely Aboriginal in origin. Oakajee Well is on a tributary of this watercourse, and was first noted as 'Oakajee Spring' by surveyor A.C. Gregory in 1850.
OAKOVER RIVER - Named by surveyor and explorer Francis T. Gregory during explorations on August 30 1861, the Oakover River is formed by the junction of two creeks, Stag Arrow Creek and Bulldog Creek, on Balfour Downs pastoral station. Located in the East Pilbara Shire, it was most likely named after 'Oakover' on the Swan River, the property of Samuel Moore which is situated not far from the Gregory family residence on the Swan, 'Rainworth'. The Oakover River flows generally northwards about 275km to its confluence with the Nullagine River where these two watercourses combine to form the De Grey River.
OLDFIELD RIVER - Situated in the Shire of Ravensthorpe, the Oldfield River rises north east of Ravensthorpe and flows generally south easterly for 124km into the Southern Ocean south of Munglinup. The river was mentioned by name in a letter/diary dated June 1 1866 by William Simon Dempster (1844-1892).
Most likely named after Augustus Frederick Oldfield (1821-1887) who was a collector of plant specimens in areas of Western Australia, including the south west. The river was possibly named by Albert Young Hassell (1841-1918) of Jerramungup who crossed this river during an exploration in August/September 1861. Hassell's party consisted of a lad of nineteen and a white man aged about forty. Oldfield was exactly forty at the time of Hassell's exploration.
ORD RIVER - 606km in length which includes Lake Argyle, the Ord River rises in the Durack Range and flows generally east into Lake Argyle. The overflow then flows generally northwards into Cambridge Gulf.
The Ord is named after Major-General Sir Henry ('Harry') St George Ord (1819-1885), who was the Governor of Western Australia from 1877 to 1880. Surveyor and explorer Alexander Forrest named the river during an exploring expedition on August 2 1879. Forrest first sighted this river on the July 25 1879 and named it on August 2 1879. Extract from Forrest's journal: 'I have named this river the Ord, after His Excellency the Governor of Western Australia, who has taken so great an interest in this expedition.' Ord had a career with the Royal Engineers from 1837-1855 before beginning work with the Colonial Office. He served as Lieutenant Governor or Governor of a number of colonies, and his service in Western Australia was his last before retirement.
OTHO RIVER - Situated in the Shire of Collie, the Otho River is a tributary of the Lunenburgh River and was possibly named by surveyor H.M. Ommanney in 1842-46. The origin of the name is unknown.