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Trentham Falls 001.JPG
Trentham Falls, in the upper reaches of the Coliban River
Coliban River is located in Victoria
Coliban River
Location of the Coliban River mouth in Victoria
Native name Teeranyap, Pe-er, Dindelong yaluk
Country Australia
State Victoria
Region Riverina bioregion (IBRA), Central Highlands
Local government areas Moorabool, Hepburn, Mount Alexander, City of Greater Bendigo
Towns Trentham, Malmsbury, Metcalfe, Redesdale, Mintaro
Physical characteristics
Main source Great Dividing Range
below Little Hampton
701 m (2,300 ft)
River mouth confluence with the Campaspe River
Lake Eppalock
183 m (600 ft)
Length 89 km (55 mi)
Basin features
River system Victorian north–central catchment,
Murray-Darling basin
  • Left:
    Kangaroo Creek, Myrtle Creek
  • Right:
    Little Coliban River
Waterfalls Trentham Falls

The Coliban River, an inland perennial river of the north–central catchment, part of the Murray-Darling basin, is located in the lower Riverina bioregion and Central Highlands region of the Australian state of Victoria. The headwaters of the Coliban River rise on the northern slopes of the Great Dividing Range and descend to flow north into the Campaspe River with the impounded Lake Eppalock.

The river is a major water supply source for towns and cities in the lower Central Highlands region.

Location and features

The river rises below Little Hampton near Lyonville in the Great Dividing Range and flows generally north, descending 33 metres (108 ft) over the Trentham Falls, and continuing to flow northward to the Upper Coliban, Lauriston and Malmsbury reservoirs. Subsequently it flows through Malmsbury, Metcalfe, Redesdale and Mintaro, and finally reaches its confluence with the Campaspe River within Lake Eppalock. The river descends 518 metres (1,699 ft) over its 89-kilometre (55 mi) course.

Gold was found in the river in 1858, and water from the river was used to supply the goldfields cities of Bendigo and Castlemaine. As the population of those cities grew a water supply system consisting of 70 kilometres (43 mi) of tunnels and aqueducts was constructed. Over time, the water supply was extended to Kyneton, as well as many other smaller towns in the region. Today, the system supplies drinking water to a population exceeding 200,000. Coliban Water manages the three major water supply reservoirs, which are part of the Eppalock Proclaimed Water Supply Catchment.

Fauna and flora

The river is home to the platypus as well as eight native fish species including the Macquarie perch. Four of the fish species are endangered and the trout cod is regarded as critically endangered in the river, and may no longer be present. Indigenous vegetation in the area includes the black gum (Eucalyptus aggregata) which, though once plentiful in the area, is now rare due to vegetation clearance over many years.


In the indigenous Djadjawurrung language, the name for the river is Teeranyap, with no clearly defined meaning. In the Daungwurrung and Djadjawurrung languages, the names for the river is Pe-er, with no clearly defined meaning; and indelong yaluk, with yaluk meaning "river".

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