Macdonald River (Bendemeer)

Macdonald River, a perennial river that is part of the Namoi catchment within the Murray–Darling basin, is located in the Northern Tablelands district of New South Wales, Australia.

Macdonald River
Macdonald River at Bendemeer
EtymologyReputedly named after a Mr H. Macdonald[1]
StateNew South Wales
RegionIBRA: New England Tablelands
DistrictNorthern Tablelands
Physical characteristics
SourceMoonbi Range and Great Dividing Range
  locationeast of Niangala
  elevation1,220 m (4,000 ft)
Mouthconfluence with the Namoi River
Bald Rock Mountain
705 m (2,313 ft)
Length169 km (105 mi)
Basin features
River systemMurray–Darling basin

Course and features

The river rises east of Niangala on the western slopes of the Moonbi Range and Great Dividing Range and flows generally north west after its confluence with its major tributary, the Cobrabald River, and flows through Warrabah National Park before reaching its mouth, with the Namoi River; dropping 515 metres (1,690 ft) over its course of 169 kilometres (105 mi).[2]

From source to mouth, the river passes through or near the villages of Woolbrook and Bendemeer.

Recreation and development

Trout fishing is possible in the waters of the Macdonald River, its creeks and tributaries upstream of the New England Highway road bridge at Bendemeer. The Namoi River Snapping Turtle or Bell's turtle (Elseya belli) is a species of turtle found only in the upper reaches of the Namoi River, Gwydir River and Macdonald Rivers.[3]

The T A Perry Bridge, that carries the New England Highway and crosses the Macdonald River, was completed in 1985, enabling a bypass of the village of Bendemeer.[4]

In November 2008, torrential rain caused severe flooding in the Macdonald River and led to the area being declared a natural disaster area.[5]

See also


  1. "Macdonald River". Geographical Names Register (GNR) of NSW. Geographical Names Board of New South Wales. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  2. "Map of Macdonald River". Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  3. Threatened Species of the New England Tablelands & NW Slopes of NSW, NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service, 2003, ISBN 0-7313-6673-5
  4. "New England Highway". Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 23 November 2009.
  5. "Flood clean up". Walcha News. 11 December 2008.

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