4wd on a river crossing.

Cooper Creek

Note, there have been no known trips. Everything is based on water gauge flows and topo maps only.

If you have any additional information, let me know!

Key Waypoints

  • 0 km(-737 km)

    Torrens Creek Source

    Elevation 746 m
    Coordinates 20° 26' 38.4" S, 144° 54' 49.7" E

    Source is somewhere up in White Mountain Nature Reserve.

  • 73 km(-664 km)

    Torrens Creek Township

    Distance between locations 73.4 km Elevation 454 m Slope 3.40‰
    Coordinates 20° 46' 4.8" S, 145° 1' 42.2" E
    Population 64

    Very small settlement with a hotel and garage (as of 2012).

    Cornish Creek
    Elevation 225 m
    Coordinates 22° 26' 28.7" S, 145° 4' 39.4" E
    Thomson River
    Elevation 208 m
    Coordinates 22° 27' 49.3" S, 144° 34' 45.8" E

    The confluence of the Torrens and Landsborough Creeks form Thomson River.

  • 371 km(-366 km)

    Muttaburra

    Distance between locations 298.1 km Elevation 207 m Slope 0.83‰
    Coordinates 22° 35' 33.0" S, 144° 33' 21.6" E
    Population 90

    Small town with a few amenities. The full dinosaur replica of Muttaburrasaurus was built to honor its discovery here.

  • 483 km(-254 km)

    Longreach

    Distance between locations 111.9 km Elevation 182 m Slope 0.22‰
    Coordinates 23° 24' 41.8" S, 144° 13' 29.6" E
    Population 3,000 Supermarket(s)
    Waterhole
  • 637 km(-100 km)

    Stonehenge

    Distance between locations 153.8 km Elevation 151 m Slope 0.20‰
    Coordinates 24° 21' 11.5" S, 143° 15' 22.3" E
    Population 40
  • 697 km(-40 km)

    Jundah

    Distance between locations 60.0 km Elevation 139 m Slope 0.20‰
    Coordinates 24° 49' 48.0" S, 143° 3' 2.5" E
    Population 100 General Store
  • 737 km(0 km)

    Cooper Creek

    Distance between locations 40.3 km Elevation 134 m Slope 0.12‰
    Coordinates 25° 9' 42.5" S, 142° 55' 11.6" E

    The confluence of the Thomson and Barcoo Rivers form Cooper Creek.

  • 772 km(34 km)

    Windorah, QLD

    Distance between locations 34.3 km Elevation 128 m Slope 0.17‰
    Coordinates 25° 22' 12.0" S, 142° 44' 40.6" E
    Population 115
  • 1,270 km(532 km)

    Innamincka, SA

    Distance between locations 498.1 km Elevation 49 m Slope 0.16‰
    Coordinates 27° 44' 29.8" S, 140° 44' 2.0" E
    Population 40

    Innamincka is 30.6 km downstream of the border.

  • 1,908 km(1,171 km)

    Kati Thanda / Lake Eyre

    Distance between locations 638.6 km Elevation -15 m Slope 0.10‰
    Coordinates 28° 16' 29.6" S, 137° 36' 6.1" E

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River Map

Key towns along the river are shown below.

  • Torrens Creek
  • Muttaburra
  • Longreach
  • Stonehenge
  • Jundah
  • Windorah
  • Innamincka
  • Kati Thanda / Lake Eyre (Nth)
  • Kati Thanda / Lake Eyre (Sth)

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Distance Table

The distances were calculated by manually digitising the river path from Bing aerial images in QGIS (WGS 84 / UTM Zone 55S).

Distances (KM)
Source
Torrens Ck
Muttaburra
Longreach
Stonehenge
Jundah
Windorah
Innamincka
Kati Thanda
Distances (KM)
Source 0 73 371 483 637 697 772 1,270 1,908 Source
Torrens Ck 73 0 298 410 564 624 698 1,196 1,835 Torrens Ck
Muttaburra 371 298 0 112 266 326 400 898 1,537 Muttaburra
Longreach 483 410 112 0 154 214 288 787 1,425 Longreach
Stonehenge 637 564 266 154 0 60 135 633 1,271 Stonehenge
Jundah 697 624 326 214 60 0 75 573 1,211 Jundah
Windorah 772 698 400 288 135 75 0 498 1,137 Windorah
Innamincka 1,270 1,196 898 787 633 573 498 0 639 Innamincka
Kati Thanda 1,908 1,835 1,537 1,425 1,271 1,211 1,137 639 0 Kati Thanda
Distances (KM)
Source
Torrens Ck
Muttaburra
Longreach
Stonehenge
Jundah
Windorah
Innamincka
Kati Thanda
Distances (KM)

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Flow Analysis

Cornish Creek
Just upstream of the start of Thomson River, one of the four main feeder streams.
Plot
Plot
Longreach
Plot
Plot
SA-QLD Border
14.6 km upstream of the border
Plot
Plot
Cullyamurra Water Hole
18.0 km downstream of the border, upstream of Innamincka
Plot
Plot

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Climate

The northern upper reaches of the river system are heavily influenced by the Australian monsoon season. As the river travels south, it passes through the harsh and arid outback regions of Queensland and South Australia that experience extremely hot summers with very sporadic rainfall. Clear winter nights can result in frosts, although the low humidity means that these may not always be noticeable.

For the most accurate weather information that reflects recent weather patterns, I have used a 30-year period between 1991 and 2020 for my statistics whenever possible. In some cases, a smaller subset or even longer-term statistics may also be used. To provide normalized figures that exclude extreme values, I have used deciles ranging from 1 to 9, which excludes the lowest and highest 10% of observations.

Above Coopers Creek

The first couple of comparisons are for Hughenden (85 km west of Torrens Creek) and Longreach. Torrens Creek is close to the source and Longreach is about halfway down the first section between the source and the start of Coppers Creek.

There appears to still be a slight influence of the summer monsoon reaching south with summer rains.

Mean Temps

Annual: 31.5 to 32.4°C
Monthly low: 7.2 to 23.8°C
Monthly high: 23.7 to 37.6°C

Mean Rainfall

Annual: 433 to 450 mm
Monthly min: 0 to 6.2 mm
Monthly max: 53 to 420 mm

And a head to head comparison of these two locations:

Hughenden

Longreach

Coopers Creek

The next two comparisons Windorah and Moomba Gas Fields. Windorah is just downstream of the start of Coopers Creek and Moomba is one of the last stations with observations in SA about 40 km south of the river and 250 km from Lake Eyre.

The only significant distinction between the two locations is the slight chance of summer rain in Windorah, with Moomba recieving almost none being in the Strzelecki Desert and sitting beside Australia's most arid region around Lake Eyre.

Mean Temps

Annual: 29.5 to 30.5°C
Monthly low: 6.3 to 24.9°C
Monthly high: 19.8 to 38.9°C

Mean Rainfall

Annual: 173 to 290 mm
Monthly min: 0 to 0 mm
Monthly max: 33 to 498 mm

And a head to head comparison of these two locations:

Windorah

Moomba

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