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Avon River (Western Australia) facts for kids

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Avon vally gnangarra-36.jpg
Avon River flowing through the Avon Valley National Park
Avon River.png
Location of the Avon River and its catchment area
Country Australia
State Western Australia
Region Wheatbelt
Physical characteristics
Main source surface runoff
East of Pingelly
269 m (883 ft)
River mouth confluence with Wooroloo Brook to form the Swan River
below Mount Mambup
29 m (95 ft)
Length 240 km (150 mi)
Basin features
River system Swan River
Basin size 125,000 km2 (48,000 sq mi)
  • Left:
    Dale River
  • Right:
    Mackie River, Mortlock River, Brockman River
National park Avon Valley National Park

The Avon River is a river in Western Australia. A tributary of the Swan River, the Avon flows 240 kilometres (150 mi) from source to mouth, with a catchment area of 125,000 square kilometres (48,000 sq mi).

Avon catchment area

Lake Yealering in the Shire of Wickepin is the point of origin for the upper Avon River, and the catchment size above the confluence with the Salt River at Yenyenning Lake is 91,500 square kilometres (35,300 sq mi).

The basin covers much of the West Australian wheatbelt and extends beyond that in some areas near almost-always-dry Lake Moore in the northeast, water is received regularly from only the extreme western edge of the basin. Indeed, until an abnormally wet year in 1963 it was not realised that the northeastern part of the basin beyond Wongan Hills ever drained water into the river. Under present climatic conditions, it is almost impossible to produce runoff from anywhere outside the extreme west of the basin because the amount of rain required to fall before runoff would begin is as high or higher than the mean annual rainfall. The river has three main sub-catchments: catchments for the Mortlock, Yilgarn, and Lockhart rivers.

The river flows past County Peak, creating a picturesque view from the top.

Course and features

Thirty creeks and rivers flow into the Avon; some of the larger tributaries include the Dale River, Brockman River, Mortlock River and the Mackie River. Most of these watercourses are ephemeral and only flow after rain events in winter and spring.

Some permanent pools exist along the course of the river including Burlong Pool, Robins Pool, Long Pool, Cobblers Pool and Jimperding Pool.

The Avon River Valley is the third and final route for the Eastern Railway line through the Darling Scarp between Midland and Northam, having been constructed in the 1960s.

It is the site of an annual whitewater boating event, the Avon Descent.


Due to the extraordinary age of the soils in the basin (which is on the extremely ancient Yilgarn Craton), the rooting density of native flora is very high and its average specific discharge probably the lowest of any basin of comparable size in the world. The extreme age of the soils also means that, at least after clearing for agriculture, almost all rivers in the basin have salinities above 0.3% (one tenth that of the oceans and eight times that necessary to qualify as "fresh" water) and some much more than that.

Passing through some of the oldest settled European agricultural areas in Western Australia, the catchment area has extensive soil salinity issues, which have attracted governmental programmes to alleviate the loss of agricultural lands. Catchment groups that oversee projects in the tributary parts of the river have had considerable support and funding from commercial and non-governmental sources as well.

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