Todd River

Todd River in the Lake Eyre Basin

Dry river bed of the Todd River, Alice Springs

The Todd River is a river in the southeast of the Australian Territory Northern Territory. For most of the year, however, he does not keep water.



The river rises north of Alice Springs at Bond Springs in the MacDonnell Ranges and flows from there to the south, almost through the city center, at the telegraph station over. Then he left Alice Springs on the south by the Heavitree Gap and continues its path on the south side of the MacDonnell Ranges continues to the east. Northeast of the Todd River settlement, he turns to the southeast and flows along the Ferguson range in the western Simpson Desert. If its water does not seep before, he runs into the Hale River, its course continues in very wet years to the south and south of the border to South Australia, opens in Witjira National Park, in the Finke River.

The Todd River is located in a very dry area of Australia and leads while 95 per cent reported no water. There is water in the river finds, it performs usually much soil from the pasture to Bond Springs with it, which gives it a chocolate brown color and high turbidity.

Tributaries with muzzle heights

  • Coyler Creek - 658 m
  • Charles River - 582 m
  • Emily Creek - 535 m
  • Williams Creek - 453 m
  • Ross River - 424 m
  • Jinker Creek - 410 m
  • Giles Creek - 386 m

Origin of the name

The river was by Charles Todd, the former Postmaster General of South Australia, named.

Importance for Alice Springs

The Todd River is inseparable from Alice Springs: At a water hole in the river bed - a supposed source - the Old Telegraph Station was built in 1871. A little later, the city of Alice Springs was further south directly applied on the riverbank.

A large part of the urban area is in the floodplain, which is caused by the flood above the east-west barrier of the Heavitree Range, a mountain range of the MacDonnell Ranges. The river breaks through this mountain range in the Heavitree Gap, through which also the Stuart Highway and the railway line to Adelaide. High water levels in the Todd River to ensure that the road and railway connections are interrupted. The bottleneck effect of the bottleneck can also cause flooding in large parts of the city.

Cause heavy rains in the catchment area north of Alice Springs, that the Todd River that leads six to eight hours later in the city water. He can swell within 15 minutes of a completely dry bed to a raging river - the tidal wave can be followed on their way through the city on a footpath.

In the river bed are places of worship and sacred trees of the Arrernte.


The Henley- on-Todd Regatta is held annually since 1962 in Alice Springs. The fun "Regatta " will be held in the dry riverbed and attracts several thousand spectators. Boats bottomless be borne by the participants is standing on the track. The organizers have taken out insurance against water in the river bed. Once, in 1993, the Henley- on-Todd Regatta was canceled - the river was too much water for the race.

There are also other events in dry riverbed, eg the closing ceremony of the Alice Festival 2006. tents in the river bed is forbidden, even if this law is rarely enforced.

Water in the river is a spectacular event for the people in Alice Springs; they run to the access roads and telegraph station and playing in the flood water. Although the riverbed is wide and the urban area has very little tendency to play is in the murky water because of the entrained trees and other hazards in the water and those that are caused by the people themselves, quite dangerous.

Above Alice Springs the bed of the Todd River is very steep; it loses at 8 km between the Junction Waterhole and the telegraph station 100 m altitude. The region is hilly and the river bed with rocks in it leads to wild movements during short-term flooding. Many residents beware of the water because they remember the death of a man from Alice Springs in 1997. He drowned when he tried to go down on an air mattress the river. Local kayakers appreciated in recent times these rapids from grade 2-3.

Links and literature

  • Australian Bureau of Meteorology. '' Todd River ''. Australian Bureau of Meteorology - river, map and data
  • Centralian Advocate ( newspaper of Alice Springs ).
  • Alice Springs News
  • PW Wilkins: Henley- on-Todd Regatta - Alice Springs Todd River. (2002)
  • Site of the Henley- on-Todd Regatta - photos, contacts, data