Towns River

The Towns River is a river in the Northern Territory, Australia.

Location of the Towns River mouth in the Northern Territory
EtymologyRobert Towns[1]
TerritoryNorthern Territory
Physical characteristics
  locationArnhem Land, Australia
  elevation29 m (95 ft)
Limmen Bight, Australia
14°55′46″S 135°25′31″E
0 m (0 ft)
Length84 km (52 mi)
Basin size5,432 km2 (2,097 sq mi)
  average15.8 m3/s (560 cu ft/s)

The headwaters of the river rise in Arnhem Land and flow in an easterly direction and eventually discharges into the Limmen Bight within the Gulf of Carpentaria.

The estuary formed at the river mouth is tidal in nature and in near pristine condition.[3] The estuary at the river mouth occupies an area of 54.8 hectares (135 acres) of open water. It is river dominated in nature with a tide dominated delta having single channel and is surrounded by an area of 109.4 hectares (270 acres) covered with mangroves.[4]

The catchment occupies an area of 5,432 square kilometres (2,097 sq mi) and is situated between the Roper River catchment to the north and west and the Limmen Bight River catchment to the south.[5] The river has a mean annual outflow of 500 gigalitres (654,000,000 cu yd),[6]

Ten species of fish are found in the river including; glassfish, Barred Grunter, Fly-specked Hardyhead, Salmon Catfish, Mouth Almighty, Barramundi, Rainbowfish and Bony Bream.[7]

Believed to have been named by the explorer Francis Cadell during his expedition of 1868, he named it for Robert Towns, the person that the city of Townsville is also named after. The name also appears on Goyder's pastoral compilation of 1888.[1]

See also


  1. "Place Names Register Extract - Towns River". NT Place Names Register. Northern Territory Government. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
  2. "Map of Towns River, NT". Bonzle Digital Atlas of Australia. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
  3. "Australian Catchment, River and Estuary Assessment" (PDF). Natural Heritage Trust. 2002. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 February 2014. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
  4. "Towns River, NT". Australian online Coastal Information. Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
  5. "Drainage Divisions" (PDF). Commonwealth of Australia. 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 April 2015. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
  6. "Towns River" (PDF). TRaCK. 2009. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
  7. "Towns River catchment". Fish Atlas of North Australia. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
  8. John Sands, The New atlas of Australia Sydney : J. Sands, [1886]
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