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Wakefield River facts for kids

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Wakefield River, Auburn.JPG
Wakefield River flowing through Auburn
Wakefield River is located in South Australia
Wakefield River
Location of the river mouth in South Australia
Country Australia
State South Australia
Region Mid North, Adelaide Plains
Physical characteristics
Main source Clare Valley
Black Springs
429 m (1,407 ft)
33°56′9″S 138°51′46″E / 33.93583°S 138.86278°E / -33.93583; 138.86278
River mouth Gulf St Vincent
Port Wakefield
0 m (0 ft)
34°11′24″S 138°08′38″E / 34.19000°S 138.14389°E / -34.19000; 138.14389
Length 116 km (72 mi)
Basin features
Basin size 1,913 km2 (739 sq mi)
  • Left:
    Pine Creek (Wakefield River)|Pine Creek, Woolshed Flat Creek
  • Right:
    Skillogalee Creek

The Wakefield River is an ephemeral river that flows to an estuary in the Australian state of South Australia.


The first European to discover it was John Hill (incorrectly named William Hill by some sources) in early April 1839, who named it after Edward Gibbon Wakefield, the promoter of the scheme of systematic colonization that led to the founding of the Colony of South Australia. Hill was embarked upon the expedition which led to his discovery of the Clare Valley. The second European to visit was explorer Edward John Eyre, in late May 1839, who records that he encamped, 'upon a chain of large ponds of excellent water called by Mr. Hill the Wakefield.'


The major tributaries of the Wakefield River are the Eyre, Skillogalee, Pine, Rices, Hermitage and Woolshed Flat Creeks.

Skillogalee Creek

Skillogalee Creek, which rises in the Skilly Hills near Penwortham, is a significant tributary of the Wakefield River. The high rainfall in the Skilly Hills contributes to the Skillogalee Creek being one of the few permanently flowing watercourses in the region.

Dennis Creek

Dennis Creek is another tributary of the Wakefield River. It is a very short ephemeral stream which is located in the Clare Valley town of Auburn and only flows during periods of rain. Its headwaters are located in the hills on the western side of the town and it runs along a small gully, passing under Main North Road, and into the Wakefield River. The creek was named after the father of C.J. Dennis, who ran a hotel in the town for a time.

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