This paper presents an evaluation of several automated techniques concerned with base flow separation and recession analyses. Two base flow techniques were considered, one based on a digital filter and the other on simple smoothing and separation rules. A comparison between two commonly used techniques of recession analyses, the correlation method and the matching strip method, was also undertaken. The relative performances of the techniques were evaluated using the results obtained from the daily streamflow records of 186 catchments in southeastern Australia. The work described in this paper was undertaken within the general framework of defining the low-flow characteristics of small rural catchments, the overall objective being the development of a regional model for use on ungauged catchments.