The Vital Waterways: Australia’s Ten Prominent Rivers

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The Australian continent is renowned for the quantity and caliber of its beaches. While these beaches are among the finest worldwide, Australia also possesses some of the most exquisite rivers situated in various parts of the country. Rivers in Australia are abundant in number, with periodic cruises taking place on these waterways.

Top 10 Rivers in Australia

This article presents a compilation of the finest rivers in Australia that you can explore during your trip to this captivating country. Check out the list:

1. Cooper Creek

Daintree River

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One of the primary rivers in Australia, as well as on the Australian continent, this stunning river flows through Queensland and South Australia. Spanning over 1300 kilometers, it is also referred to as the Barcoo river due to its right tributary. Cooper Creek is among the three most significant rivers that contribute to the Lake Eyre basin. Moreover, it is the second longest inland river system on the Australian continent.

Location: Lake Eyre, Far North, South Australia, Australia.

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2. Daintree River

Murray River

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Flowing between Port Douglas and Cape Tribulation, into the magnificent Coral Sea, the Daintree river can aptly be described as one of the most densely populated mangrove estuaries on Earth. This river also boasts the unique feature of merging the rainforest and the reef, a phenomenon exclusive to our planet. Home to a vibrant ecosystem comprising 150 fish species, 100 crustaceans, and 30 out of Australia’s 38 mangrove species, the Daintree river has gained popularity as a tourist destination over the years.

Location: Within the wet tropics of Queensland, Australia.

3. Murray River

Gordon River

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Flowing through New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia for an astonishing 2520 kilometers, this is the lengthiest river on the continent, while it is the third longest river that can be navigated in the world. Exploring the Mungo National Park, a site of global significance designated by UNESCO, is one of the most popular activities that tourists enjoy along this river. Additionally, it is the venue for the world’s largest canoe race held annually. Home to four dams and sixteen storage weirs along its riverbanks, this river serves as the primary water source for approximately 1.5 million households.

Where: Australian Alps, New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia.

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Noosa River

4. Gordon River

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A significant perennial river located in the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park, the Gordon River flows for a distance of 172 kilometers. It proudly resides within the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, making it an ideal summer destination for a cozy retreat with friends or family. Visitors can engage in activities such as rafting or canoeing, and there are also daily excursions available that take you through the river’s dense forests.

Where: King William Range, Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park, Australia.

5. Noosa River

Derwent River

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Situated in the Cooloola region of the Great Sandy National Park, the Noosa River is a remarkable river that enters the Pacific Ocean at Noosa. Kin Kin and Teewah Creeks serve as the two primary tributaries of this river. Travelers can indulge in a variety of water sports as well as take cruises here. The lakesides of numerous lakes along this river offer fantastic camping sites that are also popular destinations for family picnics and summer retreats.

Where: Cooroibah, Queensland, Australia.

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6. Derwent River


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Emerging in Tasmania’s Central Highlands at Lake St Clair, the Derwent River descends 2300 feet over 200 kilometers. Named after the River Derwent in Cumbria in England, this captivating river is primarily utilized for navigation, maritime transportation, industry, and recreational purposes. Various branches of this river are also valuable in the production of hydroelectricity with several reservoirs being constructed on them in the 20th century. The lower Derwent river is the main origin of water supply for Hobart, the capital of Tasmania.

Where: Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, Central Highlands, Tasmania, Australia.

7. Yarra River

Swan River

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A perennial river in the east-central part of Victoria, Yarra river flows for over 242 kilometers west through the Yarra Valley to the Port Phillip. The Melbourne city was established on the lower stretches of this marvelous river way back in 1835. Initially a significant source of sustenance as well as a gathering place for the indigenous Australians, today the river has the busiest cargo handling area in Australia.

Where: Yarra Ranges National Park, Victoria Central Highlands, Australia.

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Katherine River

8. Swan River

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One of the prominent attractions of Perth in Australia, the Swan River is a renowned river in the southwestern part of Western Australia. With the Avon, Canning, and Helena Rivers as its primary tributaries, the lower stretches of the Swan river are wide and deep while the upper stretches are extremely shallow and narrow. Tourists can also unwind and revel in the boat tours in this area.

Where: Below Mount Mambup, Perth, Western Australia, Australia.

9. Katherine River

Ord River

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Originating in the Kakadu National Park and flowing into the Nitmiluk National Park, the Katherine river moves through the town of Katherine and is also a significant branch of the Daly River. The primary attractions of the Katherine River are the crimson sandstone cliffs of Katherine Gorge, which the river carved over approximately 23 million years. Visitors are provided with canoe packages as well as helicopter trips that allow them to observe the beauty of this area up close. Additionally, there are various tour companies offering cruises that ensure individuals can unwind while also enjoying themselves.

Where: North

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10. Ord River

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Located in Western Australia, primarily in the Kimberley region, this river stretches for 200 miles or 320 km. Named after Western Australia’s governor from 1877 to 1880, the catchment of this river covers approximately 46,100 square kilometers. Kununurra serves as the main town of the Ord River and is also the hub for the Ord River irrigation scheme. This scheme played a crucial role in the development of Lake Argyle, which is one of the main tourist attractions in this area.

Where: Western Australia 6770, Australia.

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These are the most astonishing and breathtaking rivers in Australia that you should visit on your journey to Australia. Be sure to engage in all the water activities that these rivers offer and have the most incredible experience of your life.

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