Local waterways

Hobart has many natural waterways which make their way from kunanyi/Mount Wellington and surrounds down through the city and into the Derwent Estuary.

Our local rivulets provide drainage, native habitat, recreation areas and a great heritage, and we are always looking at new ways to manage them. 

Works or activities near a watercourse or riparian zone

We have developed a by-law with the aim of managing, regulating and controlling what happens near our waterways. 

The requirements of the City of Hobart’s Infrastructure By-law 2018 are that you need permission to:

  • alter the bed, banks or flood plains of a water course
  • construct any structure or otherwise obstruct the watercourse or its flood plain
  • carry out any earthworks, remove any vegetation or allow any livestock to graze or remain within the riparian zone or bank of a water course. 

You may also need planning approval to do your works. A Planning Officer can be contacted by calling 03 6238 2715 or by email coh@hobartcity.com.au

For permission to do works near a watercourse or riparian zone, you must make an application to the City of Hobart. To show that the works will not adversely impact on the waterway, a plan showing the proposed works, an environmental management plan and evidence that the risks and hazards of the works have been considered should be provided with your application. The detail of these plans depends on the level of works occurring. Early consultation with us will help to ensure that all factors are considered as part of your proposed works and activities. 

Please submit the application online or fill in the form(PDF, 60KB) and return it by:

  • email: coh@hobartcity.com.au
  • post: City of Hobart, GPO Box 503, Hobart Tasmania 7001
  • in person: Customer Service Centre, 16 Elizabeth Street, Hobart 

If you would like more information about the Infrastructure By-law or applying to do works in a waterway please phone 03 6238 2886 or email coh@hobartcity.com.au

Rivulet condition assessment program

The City of Hobart has a rivulet condition assessment program that involves a walk-through visual survey of the natural reaches of the City’s waterways to collect data. 

Photos and field measurements collected in these surveys provide details in relation to a rivulet’s bank profile, weed distribution pattern, bank stability and other information considered important for the City. 

The surveys aim to: 

  • profile the stream bed and bank of the non-built portion of the rivulets to assess erosion potential
  • identify and map the location of existing significant bank and stream bed erosion and propose solutions using either hard or soft engineering approaches
  • identify and map locations of significant weeds in the riparian zone to provide information for our vegetation management team
  • identify and map any at-risk structures within the riparian zone, and propose engineering solutions for stabilisation
  • document ongoing monitoring and maintenance requirements. 

This rivulet condition assessment program is an ongoing and long-term program, with the aim of making these areas more attractive and environmentally sustainable. 

If you’d like more information please phone 03 6238 2900 or email coh@hobartcity.com.au

Catchment management planning

The City of Hobart has undertaken catchment management planning for our major rivulets. Catchment management plans for the Hobart Rivulet, New Town Rivulet, Sandy Bay Rivulet and Wayne Rivulet have been prepared and are publicly available. A catchment management plan for Hobart’s minor rivulets is currently being prepared. 

View the Hobart region Catchment management plans:

The New Town Rivulet catchment management plan, published by the Derwent Estuary Program, is available in 3 parts: