River with sheep and bridge, rivers and streams


The Falklands has a number of small rivers of some length, the longest being San Carlos River, but none are particulary long due to the geography and geology of the islands. They tend to end in creeks or large inlets. There are numerous streams. On East Falkland there are 5 main rivers. On the East, streams are very often termed Arroyo, the Spanish connection from when gauchos worked the wild cattle. On West Falklands they are mostly a 'Stream'.

East Falkland Rivers and Streams

  • San Carlos River, largest and longest river in the islands, rising on the flats of Mount Usborne and flowing for about 24 miles (38.6 km) to run out through Port San Carlos.
  • Malo River or Arroyo Malo named for the Breton port of St Malo by the French when they occupied Port Louis, rises on the north side of the Wickham Heights near No Man's Land and runs for 13 miles (20.9 km) to exit through Malo Creek and Port Salvador.
  • The Murrel River sources from various streams including Shanty Stream and rises off Mount Challenger with tributaries joining off Mount Harriet, The Two Sisters and Mount Kent, just northwest of Stanley. The Murrel runs out into Hearnden Water and Port William. The Battle of Mount Longdon in 1982 was fought by the Murrel River and bridge. It is a good fishing river.
  • Fitzroy River rises from streams on the south side of the Wickham Heights and runs out through Port Fitzroy.
  • Swan Inlet River is roughly 8.5 miles (13.6 km) long and sources on the south side off the Wickham Heights around the Ceritos and Black Rock area, running out through Swan Inlet and on to Mare Harbour and Choiseul Sound.
  • Mullet Creek Stream sources between Two Sisters Mountain and Tumbledown and runs in to Mullet creek just over the Common some 3 miles (5.6 km) southwest of Stanley, in 1982 Argentine marines landed here.
  • Moody Brook named for Governor Moody who moved the seat of government from Port Louis to the new town of Stanley, sources in between Tumbledown and Two Sisters mountains and exits through Stanley harbour.

West Falklands Rivers and Streams

West Falkland has 6 main rivers and numerous streams.

  • Warrah River named for the extinct Falklands Fox which favoured the area, is the longest West Falklands river at around 18 miles (28.9km) and fed is from a complex of streams originating on the northern slopes of Mount Maria and Mount Robinson. It's estuary exits on the northern coast running into River Harbour near Purvis and River Island. A good river for fishing brown trout.
  • Chartres River about 16 miles (25.7 km) with its origins in the Hornby Mountains and running out through Chartres estuary to King George Bay. A good river for brown trout.
  • Blackburn River a short river, less than 5 miles (8km) long, sourcing from streams in the Mount Edgworth area and running out into Byron Sound. The name suggests it was named by Scottish origin shepherds as it is a 'burn' (small river or large stream), a name commonly used in lowland Scotland and northern England.
  • Teal River a short river, less than 5 miles (8km) long sourced from streams on the southern side of Mount Adam and emptying into Christmas Harbour and King George Bay.
  • Doyle River, short, less than 5 miles (8km) long rises from a network of streams between Mount Philomel and Mount Sulivan and exits into Port Philomel.
  • Dean's River, short, less than 5 miles (8km) long, rises from the slopes of the complex of the mountains Alice, Young and Dean just northeast of Port Stephens, and runs out into Hoste Inlet and Port Stephens.

Notable West Falklands streams

  • Arroyo Malo, Fox Bay West draining from Fox Bay Mountain, and the flats towards Lake Sullivan and exiting at Malo Creek into Port Edgar. The FI magazine 1894 records 'a bridge for the passage of flocks has been constructed over the Arroya Malo, Fox Bay W, 36 yards long and 12 feet wide'. By the 1940s it was in a bad state of repair and under the instruction of the then manager Tom Gilruth, a replacement was built in 1944, a mile upstream from the original. (Joan Spruce).
  • Bull Stream a small stream at Fox Bay East Home Flock set amongst all the ponds, before roads a difficult and notorious stream to cross with landrovers and livestock. Scene of many 'boggings' before the new roads.
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Contact: falklands.southatlantic@gmail.com
Photographic credits: Header: Robert Maddocks


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