8 Rivers – Tamar & Derwent Rivers TAS

Tamar River

Formed by the joining of the North Esk and South Esk rivers at Launceston, the waters of the Tamar River flow north into Bass Strait, meeting the Great Southern Reef. The catchment area of the Tamar River covers over 15% of Tasmania, catching water and runoff from mountains, farmlands, towns, and forests.

The Tamar Wetlands Reserve, located just north of Launceston, is a safe haven for migratory shorebirds including the Greenshank and Eastern Curlew. Flying from their breeding grounds in Russia and Asia down to the fertile Tamar wetlands to feed during the southern summer, these birds put the Tamar River and wetlands on the global map as vital habitat.

Tamar River Wetlands

Tamar River Wetlands

Derwent River

Beginning in the internationally renowned Tasmanian highlands, and emerging from World Heritage Listed National Parks, the Derwent River supports a remarkably diverse range of ecosystems in its relatively short length of 230 km. From critically endangered Swift and Orange Bellied parrots to some of the oldest and slowest growing trees on earth, the Derwent brings vibrant life and fresh waters to the city of Hobart. Flowing through wetlands of international importance, the Derwent River meets the waters of the Tasman Sea and Great Southern Reef only after leaving its large and partially enclosed estuary. The river and estuary are hugely popular areas for recreation as well as vital habitat for native flora and fauna, including many engendered species including the Spotted Handfish, and unlikely mascot for ocean conservation.


Spotted Handfish

Spotted Handfish. Photo by Rick Stuart-Smith / Reef Life Survey via CC

#SeaToSource and 8 Rivers

#SeaToSource is an initiative powered by Conservation Volunteers Australia, supporting you to take action on one of the world’s most solvable environmental issues – ocean litter.

Part of the #SeaToSource project, 8 Rivers profiles 8 urban waterways in Australia, sharing information about their importance to the local environment and threats the rivers are facing from plastic litter.

Plastic is around 60-95% of the litter in our waterways and oceans, and causes a wide range of issues in these environments. We’re committed to reducing the amount of plastic litter entering our creeks, rivers and oceans and causing harm to the animals that call these places home.


Head over to the Campfire to find out more about the Tamar and Derwent Rivers, and get involved in #SeaToSource