Sunset across the flooded Culgoa River floodplains

Flinders River

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!

Sign warning about crocodiles in multiple languages

The Flinders River is the longest river in Queensland, stretching over 1,000 kilometers from its source in the rugged terrain of the Great Dividing Range to its mouth in the Gulf of Carpentaria. The river is a vital lifeline for the local ecosystems and communities, providing water for irrigation, drinking, and fishing. Its catchment area covers about 109,000 square kilometers, encompassing diverse landscapes ranging from tropical rainforests and wetlands to arid outback plains. Despite its importance, the Flinders River remains relatively unknown outside the region, making it a hidden gem for those seeking an authentic outback experience.

Key Waypoints

  • 0 km

    Source

    Elevation 900 m
    Coordinates 19° 58' 6.2" S, 144° 36' 59.0" E

  • 203 km

    Hughenden

    Distance between locations 203 km Elevation 315 m Slope 2.89‰
    Coordinates 20° 50' 25.8" S, 144° 12' 6.8" E

    Dry riverbed Google Street View

  • 358 km

    Richmond

    Elevation 206 m Slope 0.70‰
    Coordinates 20° 43' 38.3" S, 143° 9' 10.8" E
    Population 155

    Dry riverbed Google Street View

    20° 38' 12.5" S, 142° 55' 3.7" EStawell (Cambridge Creek) River
    Distance note 33 km From Richmond
    18° 36' 5.0" S, 140° 40' 31.4" ECloncurry River
    Distance note 454 km From Richmond
    18° 24' 46.4" S, 140° 52' 17.4" ESaxby River
    Distance note 486 km From Richmond
  • 905 km

    Burke Developmental Rd

    Distance between locations 547 km Elevation 7 m Slope 0.36‰
    Coordinates 18° 9' 41.4" S, 140° 51' 22.7" E
    Bynoe River
    Distance between locations 28 km
    Coordinates 17° 56' 8.5" S, 140° 50' 13.9" E
  • 1,013 km

    Gulf of Carpentaria

    Distance between locations 109 km Elevation 0 m Slope 0.06‰
    Coordinates 17° 35' 44.9" S, 140° 35' 37.0" E
    17° 29' 16.4" S, 140° 50' 1.3" EKarumba (Norman River)
    Distance note 35 km From mouth
    17° 39' 54.0" S, 141° 5' 20.4" ENormanton
    Distance note 115 km From mouth

    Wide river Google Street View

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River Map

Key towns along the river are shown below.

  • Source
  • Hughenden
  • Richmond
  • Stawell River
  • Cloncurry River
  • Saxby River
  • Burke Dev Rd
  • Bynoe River
  • Gulf of Carpentaria

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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
Hughenden
Richmond
Stawell River
Cloncurry River
Burke Dev Rd
Ocean
Distances (KM)
Source 0 203 358 391 839 905 1013 Source
Hughenden 203 0 155 188 636 702 811 Hughenden
Richmond 358 155 0 33 481 547 655 Richmond
Stawell River 391 188 33 0 448 514 622 Stawell River
Cloncurry River 839 636 481 448 0 65 174 Cloncurry River
Burke Dev Rd 905 702 547 514 65 0 109 Burke Dev Rd
Ocean 1013 811 655 622 174 109 0 Ocean
Distances (KM)
Source
Hughenden
Richmond
Stawell River
Cloncurry River
Burke Dev Rd
Ocean
Distances (KM)

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Flow

The river is heavily affected by the Australian monsoon season and is often in the path of typical cyclones around the Gulf, making it a dynamic and unpredictable natural system.

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Climate

Flinders River is a significant waterway in North Queensland, and its flow is heavily affected by the Australian monsoon season. The monsoon season typically occurs from November to March and is characterized by periods of heavy rainfall and thunderstorms, which can lead to flash flooding in the region. During this time, the river system is often in the path of typical cyclones that usually form around the Gulf of Carpentaria.

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.

All locations have consistently dry winters, and the climate is fairly constant until you reach the coast.

Karumba sits on the coast just NE of the Flinders River meets the Gulf of Carpentaria. It is significantly wetter and has a more constant temperature. It rarely gets colder than 10°C while the other locations are on average low is 5°C colder in winter. This trend is reversed in summer with Karumba having an average high that is 5°C cooler than the other locations.

Mean Temps

Annual: 30.7 to 34.3°C
Monthly low: 8.7 to 24.4°C
Monthly high: 25.9 to 39.8°C

Mean Rainfall

Annual: 450 to 891 mm
Monthly min: 0 to 55 mm
Monthly max: 13 to 664 mm

And a head to head comparison of Hughenden (inland) and Karumba (coast):

Hughenden

Karumba

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Homesteads

Reedy Station appears closest to the source. Upstream of Hughenden down to Burke Developmental Road there are significant numbers of farms on the left and right sides of the main flood plains.

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