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Pennefather River

The Pennefather River is a river located on the western Cape York Peninsula in Far North Queensland, Australia.

Near Pennefather River mouth, in southwest Cape York Peninsula
Pennefather River is located in Queensland
Pennefather River
Location of Pennefather River mouth in Queensland
EtymologyIn honour of Charles de Fonblanque Pennefather[1]
RegionFar North Queensland
Physical characteristics
Source confluenceFish Creek and a series of unnamed waterways
 ⁃ locationPort Musgrave Aggregation wetlands
 ⁃ coordinates12°15′17″S 141°48′19″E / 12.25472°S 141.80528°E / -12.25472; 141.80528
 ⁃ elevation1 m (3 ft 3 in)
MouthGulf of Carpentaria
 ⁃ location
south of Mapoon
 ⁃ coordinates
12°13′44″S 141°43′14″E / 12.22889°S 141.72056°E / -12.22889; 141.72056Coordinates: 12°13′44″S 141°43′14″E / 12.22889°S 141.72056°E / -12.22889; 141.72056
 ⁃ elevation
0 m (0 ft)
Length11 km (6.8 mi)
Basin size3,009 km2 (1,162 sq mi)

Location and featuresEdit

Formed by the confluence of a series of waterways including the Fish Creek in the Port Musgrave Aggregation estuarine wetlands, the Pennefather River flows due west, joined by the Turtle Creek from the north and Dingo Creek from the south, before emptying into the Gulf of Carpentaria south of Mapoon. The river descends 1 metre (3 ft 3 in) over its 11-kilometre (6.8 mi) course.[2] At its widest point, the river is approximately 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) wide. The river has a catchment area of 3,009 square kilometres (1,162 sq mi), of which 349 square kilometres (135 sq mi) comprises wetlands.[3]

Etymology and historyEdit

The river mouth was the site of the first recorded landfall in Australia by a European explorer, by Willem Janszoon in 1606.[4] Janszoon named it R. met het Bosch ("River with the Bush").[5]

In 1802 Matthew Flinders mistook the river for the Coen River named by Jan Carstensz in 1623 (now the Archer River), so that the Bosch / Pennefather River was named Coen River on maps in the 19th century. In 1880, Captain Charles Edward de Fonblanque Pennefather established that there were now two Coen Rivers,[6] and in 1894 Queensland authorities named the river after him, although the British Admiralty Chart for the Gulf of Carpentaria kept the name Coen River until 1967.[1][7]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Pennefather River (entry 47589)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Map of Pennefather River, QLD". Bonzle Digital Atlas of Australia. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  3. ^ "Wetland mapping — Pennefather River". WetlandInfo. Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, Queensland Government. 2015. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  4. ^ Mutch, T. D. (1942). The First Discovery of Australia. Sydney: Project Gutenberg of Australia. p. 31. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
  5. ^ Tent, Jan. "Geographic and Linguistic Reflections on Moent and Dubbelde Ree: Two of Australia's First Recorded Placenames" (PDF). Geographical Research. 44 (4): 372–385.
  6. ^ The name Coen River eventually was only retained by a southern tributary of the original Coen River.
  7. ^ "Pennefather River". Project Gutenberg of Australia.

External linksEdit