Thomson River (Queensland)

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Queensland State Archives 2133 The Thomson River at Longreach March 1938.png
Longreach, 1938
Lake eyre basin map.png
Map of the Lake Eyre Basin showing Thomson River
Etymology Sir Edward Deas Thomson KCMG , CMG
Country Australia
State Queensland
Region Central West Queensland, Western Queensland
City Longreach
Physical characteristics
SourceAlma Range, Great Dividing Range
  locationnorth of Muttaburra
  elevation215 m (705 ft)
Mouth confluence with the Barcoo River to form Cooper Creek
25°10′2″S142°53′24″E / 25.16722°S 142.89000°E / -25.16722; 142.89000 Coordinates: 25°10′2″S142°53′24″E / 25.16722°S 142.89000°E / -25.16722; 142.89000
130 m (430 ft)
Length350 km (220 mi)
Basin features
River system Lake Eyre Basin
  rightLandsborough Creek, Darr River
[1] [2]

The Thomson River is a perennial river that forms part of the Lake Eyre Basin, situated in the central west and western regions of Queensland, Australia. Much of the course of the river comprises a series of narrow channels synonymous with the Channel Country and the Gailee subregion. [2]

Central West Queensland Region in Queensland, Australia

Central West Queensland is a remote region in the Australian state of Queensland which covers 396 650.2 km². The region lies to the north of South West Queensland and south of the Gulf Country.

Western Queensland Region in Queensland, Australia

Western Queensland is split into three regions:

Queensland North-east state of Australia

Queensland is the second-largest and third-most populous state in the Commonwealth of Australia. Situated in the north-east of the country, it is bordered by the Northern Territory, South Australia and New South Wales to the west, south-west and south respectively. To the east, Queensland is bordered by the Coral Sea and Pacific Ocean. To its north is the Torres Strait, with Papua New Guinea located less than 200 km across it from the mainland. The state is the world's sixth-largest sub-national entity, with an area of 1,852,642 square kilometres (715,309 sq mi).


The river was named in 1847 by the explorer, Edmund Kennedy, in honour of The Hon. Sir Edward Deas Thomson KCMG , CMG , the Colonial Secretary of New South Wales at the time of discovery. [3] [4]

Edmund Kennedy Australian explorer

Edmund Besley Court Kennedy J. P. was an explorer in Australia in the mid nineteenth century. He was the Assistant-Surveyor of New South Wales, working with Sir Thomas Mitchell. Kennedy explored the interior of Queensland and northern New South Wales, including the Thomson River, the Barcoo River, Cooper Creek, and Cape York Peninsula. He died in December 1848 after being speared by Aboriginal Australians in far north Queensland near Cape York.

The prefix The Honourable or The Honorable is an honorific style that is used before the names of certain classes of people.

Sir is a formal English honorific address for men, derived from Sire in the High Middle Ages. Traditionally, as governed by law and custom, Sir is used for men titled knights i.e. of orders of chivalry, and later also to baronets, and other offices. As the female equivalent for knighthood is damehood, the suo jure female equivalent term is typically Dame. The wife of a knight or baronet tends to be addressed Lady, although a few exceptions and interchanges of these uses exist.

Course and features

Draining the Alma Range, part of the western slopes of the Great Dividing Range, the northernmost headwaters of the river begin as Torrens Creek, inland from Charters Towers. The watercourse becomes the Thomson just north of the town of Muttaburra, where the channels of Landsborough Creek, Towerhill Creek and Cornish Creek meet. Aramac Creek joins the river from the east, south of Muttaburra and Maneroo Creek flows from the west, joining the Thomson south of Longreach. Just to the west of Longreach the river is crossed by the Landsborough Highway.

Great Dividing Range mountain range in the Australian states of Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria

The Great Dividing Range, or the Eastern Highlands, is Australia's most substantial mountain range and the third longest land-based range in the world. It stretches more than 3,500 kilometres (2,175 mi) from Dauan Island off the northeastern tip of Queensland, running the entire length of the eastern coastline through New South Wales, then into Victoria and turning west, before finally fading into the central plain at the Grampians in western Victoria. The width of the range varies from about 160 km (100 mi) to over 300 km (190 mi). The Greater Blue Mountains Area, Gondwana Rainforests, and Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Areas are located in the range.

Muttaburra Town in Queensland, Australia

Muttaburra is a town and locality in the Barcaldine Region, Queensland, Australia. In the 2016 census, Muttaburra had a population of 88 people.

Longreach, Queensland Town in Queensland, Australia

Longreach is a town and a locality in the Longreach Region, Queensland, Australia. In the 2016 census, Longreach had a population of 2,970 people. It is the administrative centre of the Longreach Regional Council, which was established in 2008 as a merger of the former Longreach, Ilfracombe, and Isisford shires.

The river continues in a south westerly direction, passing the towns of Longreach, Stonehenge and Jundah, before reaching its confluence with the Barcoo River north of Windorah to form Cooper Creek. [5] This is the only place in the world where the confluence of two rivers form a creek.[ citation needed ] From source to mouth, the Thomson is joined by 41 named tributaries over its 350 km (210 miles) course. [1]

Stonehenge, Queensland (Barcoo Shire) Town in Queensland, Australia

Stonehenge is an outback town and locality in the Shire of Barcoo, Queensland, Australia. In the 2016 census, Stonehenge had a population of 44 people.

Jundah, Queensland Town in Queensland, Australia

Jundah is a town and a locality in the Shire of Barcoo, Queensland, Australia. Jundah is the administrative centre of the Barcoo Shire local government area. In the 2016 census, Jundah had a population of 106 people..

Confluence Meeting of two or more bodies of flowing water

In geography, a confluence occurs where two or more flowing bodies of water join together to form a single channel. A confluence can occur in several configurations: at the point where a tributary joins a larger river ; or where two streams meet to become the source of a river of a new name ; or where two separated channels of a river rejoin at the downstream end.

As with all of the rivers in the Lake Eyre Basin, the waters of the Thomson never reach the sea, and instead either evaporate, or, in exceptional flood, empty into Lake Eyre. Floods are relatively common within the catchment because of the summer monsoon rains. [6] Due to the flat nature of the country traversed, the river can then become many kilometres wide. For much of the time, however, the river does not flow, and becomes a line of billabongs, [5] of which fifteen are named. [1]

Lake Eyre endorheic lake in South Australia

Lake Eyre, officially known as Kati Thanda–Lake Eyre, contains the lowest natural point in Australia, at approximately 15 m (49 ft) below sea level (AHD), and, on the rare occasions that it fills, is the largest lake in Australia, covering 9,500 km2 (3,668 sq mi). The shallow endorheic lake is the depocentre of the vast Lake Eyre basin and is found in Northern South Australia, some 700 km (435 mi) north of Adelaide.

Billabong Australian term for a seasonal oxbow lake

A billabong is an Australian term for an oxbow lake, an isolated pond left behind after a river changes course. Billabongs are usually formed when the path of a creek or river changes, leaving the former branch with a dead end. As a result of the arid Australian climate in which these "dead rivers" are often found, billabongs fill with water seasonally but can be dry for a greater part of the year.

The area through which the river flows is semi-arid blacksoil plains. The main industries of the area are sheep and beef cattle. [4]

Plain Extensive flat region that generally does not vary much in elevation

In geography, a plain is a flat, sweeping landmass that generally does not change much in elevation. Plains occur as lowlands along the bottoms of valleys or on the doorsteps of mountains, as coastal plains, and as plateaus or uplands.

Sheep Domesticated ruminant bred for meat, wool and milk

Domestic sheep are quadrupedal, ruminant mammals typically kept as livestock. Like most ruminants, sheep are members of the order Artiodactyla, the even-toed ungulates. Although the name sheep applies to many species in the genus Ovis, in everyday usage it almost always refers to Ovis aries. Numbering a little over one billion, domestic sheep are also the most numerous species of sheep. An adult female sheep is referred to as a ewe, an intact male as a ram or occasionally a tup, a castrated male as a wether, and a younger sheep as a lamb.

Beef cattle cattle breed

Beef cattle are cattle raised for meat production. The meat of mature or almost mature cattle is mostly known as beef. In beef production there are three main stages: cow-calf operations, backgrounding, and feedlot operations. The production cycle of the animals start at cow-calf operations; this operation is designed specifically to breed cows for their offspring. From here the calves are backgrounded for a feedlot. Animals grown specifically for the feedlot are known as feeder cattle, the goal of these animals is fattening. Animals not grown for a feedlot are typically female and are commonly known as replacement heifers. While the principal use of beef cattle is meat production, other uses include leather, and beef by-products used in candy, shampoo, cosmetics, insulin and inhalers.

See also

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  1. 1 2 3 "Map of Thomson River, QLD". Bonzle Digital Atlas of Australia. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  2. 1 2 "Current water accounts and water quality for the Galilee subregion: Surface water". Bioregional Assessment Programme. Bureau of Meteorology, Australian Government. 9 September 2016. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  3. Towner, A. C. (1962). "An outline of the history of Western Queensland" (PDF). Journal of the Royal Historical Society of Queensland. Brisbane: Royal Historical Society of Queensland, State Library of Queensland. 6 (4): 781. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  4. 1 2 "Travel: Longreach". The Sydney Morning Herald . 8 February 2004. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  5. 1 2 "Flood Warning System for the Cooper Creek Catchment". Australia: Bureau of Meteorology.
  6. "Water resources - Overview - Queensland - Surface Water Management Area: Cooper Creek (Qld)". Australian Natural Resources Atlas. Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Archived from the original on 4 October 2009. Retrieved 25 May 2009.