Wildman River

The Wildman River is a river in the Darwin Coastal bioregion of the Northern Territory, Australia.

Location of the Wildman River mouth in the Northern Territory
EtymologyE. T. Wildman[1]
TerritoryNorthern Territory
RegionDarwin Coastal (IBRA)
Physical characteristics
Source confluenceEast and West Branches of the Wildman River
  locationsouthwest of Kapalga
  elevation20 m (66 ft)
MouthFinke Bay, Van Diemen Gulf, Timor Sea
12°18′S 132°03′E
0 m (0 ft)
Length98 km (61 mi)
Basin size4,818 km2 (1,860 sq mi)
  average25.4 m3/s (900 cu ft/s)
Basin features
  leftAlligator Creek (Northern Territory)
National parkKakadu National Park

Location and features

Formed by the confluence of the East and West Branches of the Wildman River, the river rises southwest of Kapalga in the Kakadu National Park, west of the Alligator Rivers watershed. The Wildman River flows generally northeast and then east, joined by its only major tributary, the Alligator Creek. Approximately 150 kilometres (93 mi) east of Darwin, the river follows a highly meandering course as it reaches the western fringe of the Manassie Floodplain and heads northwest. At this point, the river's eastern bank define a 10-kilometre (6.2 mi) stretch of the western boundary of the Kakadu National Park. The Wildman River reaches its mouth, emptying into Finke Bay in the Van Diemen Gulf of the Timor Sea. The river descends 20 metres (66 ft) over its 98-kilometre (61 mi) course.[2]

The river catchment occupies an area of 4,818 square kilometres (1,860 sq mi) and is wedged between the Mary River catchment to the west and the Alligator Rivers catchment to the east.[3] It has a mean annual outflow of 800 gigalitres (1.046×109 cu yd),[4]

The estuary formed at the river mouth is in near pristine condition.[5] It occupies an area of 4.37 square kilometres (2 sq mi) and is river dominated in nature with a tide dominated delta and is composed of a single channel with an area of 121.9 hectares (301 acres) covered with mangroves.[6]


The river was named by John Davis, the Government store keeper in 1866, after E. T. Wildman, the Secretary to the South Australian Crown Lands Commission, who was a friend of Davis.[1]

See also


  1. "Place Names Register Extract - Wildman River". NT Place Names Register. Northern Territory Government. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  2. "Map of Wildman River, NT". Bonzle Digital Atlas of Australia. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  3. "Drainage Divisions" (PDF). Commonwealth of Australia. 2005. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  4. "Wildman River" (PDF). TRaCK. 2009. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
  5. "Australian Catchment, River and Estuary Assessment" (PDF). Natural Heritage Trust. 2002. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  6. "Rosie Creek, NT". Australian online Coastal Information. Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
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