Murchison River (Tasmania)

The Murchison River, part of the Pieman River catchment, is a major perennial river located in the West Coast region of Tasmania, Australia.

Location of the Murchison River mouth in Tasmania
RegionWest Coast
Physical characteristics
SourceWest Coast Range
  locationbelow Pyramid Mountain
  coordinates41°59′19″S 145°54′56″E
  elevation773 m (2,536 ft)
MouthPieman River
below Tullah
41°44′00″S 145°36′38″E
160 m (520 ft)
Length64 km (40 mi)
Basin features
River systemPieman River catchment
  leftAnthony River
  rightWallace River (Tasmania), Achilles River, Bluff River (Murchison River)
ReservoirsLake Murchison, Lake Rosebery

Course and features

The Murchison River rises below Pyramid Mountain, part of the north eastern section of the West Coast Range within the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. The river flows generally northwest, joined by six tributaries including the Wallace, Achilles, Bluff, and Anthony rivers and flowing through the impoundment, Lake Murchison.[2] The river reaches its confluence with the Mackintosh River to form the Pieman River near Tullah in what is now Lake Rosebery, formed by the impounding of the Pieman by the Bastyan Dam.

The river catchment easternmost point can be located at Mount Pelion West, while the junction point in the river catchments of the Mackintosh River and the Murchison can be located at Barn Bluff. The catchment is bordered to the south by the Eldon Range, and its south western area is in the West Coast Range, with the Tyndall Range and Lake Rolleston on its south west border.

The Murchison River forms part of the Pieman River Power Development scheme. The Murchison Dam across the Murchison River was constructed in the 1980s by Hydro Tasmania.[3][4] The dame forms the narrow Lake Murchison that lies east of Mount Murchison. Water from the dam is fed through the Sophia Tunnel into Lake Mackintosh for hydroelectric power generation.

See also


  1. "Map of Murchison River, TAS". Bonzle Digital Atlas of Australia. 2015. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
  2. Waterman, Peter, 1941-; South West Tasmania Resources Survey (1979). Mackintosh-Murchison catchment (landforms map). 1:250 000. Steering Committee, South West Tasmania Resources Survey. p. 42. ISBN 978-0-7246-0261-2.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  3. Mather, R. P. (1958), Pieman River development: the Mackintosh and Murchison dam sites, n.p, retrieved 9 June 2015
  4. Kinstler, F. L. (1982), "Mackintosh and Murchison Dams River Diversions", Engineering Conference 1982: Changing Society, a Challenge for Engineering; Technical Papers, The, Institution of Engineers, Australia: 146–151, ISBN 978-0-85825-163-2

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