Get to know the River Torrens / Karrawirra Pari

Stretching 85 kilometres – more than 460 times the length of Adelaide Oval – from Mount Pleasant in the Mount Lofty Ranges to the sea at West Beach, the River Torrens / Karrawirra Pari is without a doubt the soul of Adelaide.

The soul of our city

The River Torrens / Karrawirra Pari is the main river in Adelaide. Running through the CBD, it is possibly most well-known for the Torrens Lake section, between Torrens Weir and the Frome Street Bridge, where many events are held both in the lake and on the riverbank.

This river has been an incredibly important part of the culture and history of the Kaurna people for the last 45,000 years. The Kaurna name for the river, ‘Karrawirra Pari’, means ‘Red Gum Forest River’.

After Europeans settled in 1836, the river gradually became polluted and neglected. Over the past 20 year, it has been transformed into a healthier system, which provides an ideal spot for locals and visitors to connect with nature.

Here’s everything you need to know about the River Torrens / Karrawirra Pari – from exciting revegetation and rewilding projects to improving water quality and how you can help along the river or at home.

5 ways you can help the river

As such an important place for Adelaidians, as well as a vital system for our local wildlife and plants, a lot of work goes into improving the health of the river. Our Urban River Torrens Recovery Project with partners has played a major role in the transformation of the Torrens in a healthier river system and this year marks its 10 year project anniversary.

But with your help we can make it even better.

You can help by:

  • keeping our river litter free
  • practicing responsible fishing
  • picking up after your dog and keeping them on a lead
  • helping to keep pollutants out of waterways
  • swapping out hard surfaces.

Check out more detail around 5 things that you can do to help the River Torrens / Karrawirra Pari.

Dive into our river stories


River Torrens Partners