Murchison River (Western Australia)

Location of the river in Western Australia

Z Bend in the Murchison Gorge

Template: Infobox River / Obsolete

The Murchison River is a river in the west of the Australian state of Western Australia.


It is the second longest river in Western Australia. The Murchison River rises on the south side of the Robinson Ranges near Peak Hill and around 80 kilometers north of Meekatharra in the dry inland. In Kalbarri National Park on the lower reaches it passes through a 80 km long winding gorge called Murchison Gorge, in which he performs almost all year round water. In Kalbarri Murchison River flows into the Indian Ocean.

Its average annual runoff amounts to 193.5 million cubic meters, a little more than six cubic meters per second. After rains or hurricanes, the water level can rise up to seven meters. Then a dirty brown tide pours visible for miles in the Indian Ocean.

Murchison Gorge

In the lower reaches of the river, in the area of ​​Kalbarri National Park, lies the Murchison Gorge, a narrow gorge, which is still in almost naturbelassendem state. Several vantage points provide views of the river bends Z Bend and The Loop. This gorge is not only a tourist attraction but also geologically interesting. There the Tamblagooda Sandstone days, which is rich in Ordovician fossils occurs.

Estuary and mouth

The last 18 km of the lower reaches are subject to tidal influence, so are an estuary. This section is characterized by long sand banks and many pools. The pools are often less than 1 m deep. At low drain penetrates seawater into the estuary and brings with sediment, which is deposited in the bank areas and makes the river channel narrowed. Because of the high sediment load and the churning through wind and current the water is very turbid.

The estuary is a small delta, which almost entirely by a sand bank - is closed - except for a small channel. This channel is indeed open all year round, but very shallow and narrow. Therefore, he is regularly called dredged to allow the fishing boats which passageway.

Tributaries with muzzle heights

  • Millidie Creek - 472 m
  • Mount Fraser Creek - 465 m
  • Ord River - 391 m
  • Bedaburra Creek - 379 m
  • Gould Creek - 372 m
  • Whela Creek - 319 m
  • Murrum Creek - 300 m
  • Impey River - 291 m
  • Roderick River - 283 m
  • Sanford River - 257 m
  • Coollarburloo Brook - 250 m
  • Melia Creek - 247 m
  • Yalgamine Creek - 215 m
  • Shenton Gully - 177 m
  • Mary Springs Creek - 177 m
  • Croton Creek - 171 m
  • Bungabandi Creek - 21 m
  • Second Gully - 9 m

Flushed lakes

  • Oliba pool - 392 m
  • Colyeda pool - 362 m
  • Beringarra pool - 354 m
  • Chyrila pool - 336 m
  • Moolarah pool - 316 m
  • Indegardegarda pool - 304 m
  • Birrin pool - 274 m
  • Ten Mile pool - 184 m
  • Four Mile Pool - 180 m
  • Mooliabatanya pool - 30 m
  • Wilgiamia pool - 22 m
  • Woonana pool - 17 m
  • Bully pool - 12 m


Received its name from the river in 1839 British explorer George Edward Grey, who named it after the Scottish geologist Roderick Murchison.

Estuary and river mouth were used in the 1920s and 1930s as a recreation area for the families of the miners in the Galenitminen and during the Second World War there was there a summer camp for soldiers. 1951, the small town of Kalbarri was established at the river mouth, which reached a total population of 2000 to 1990. 1963, the Kalbarri National Park was designated. Since 1994, the North West Coastal Highway crosses at the Galena Bridge the river.