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Bowen River (Queensland) facts for kids

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Bowen River Weir.jpg
Bowen River Weir, 2010
Bowen River (Queensland) is located in Queensland
Bowen River (Queensland)
Location of Bowen River mouth in Queensland
Country Australia
State Queensland
Region North Queensland
Physical characteristics
Main source Normanby Range, Great Dividing Range
near Turrawulla
260 m (850 ft)
River mouth Burdekin River
south southeast of Ravenswood
50 m (160 ft)
Length 129 km (80 mi)
Basin features
River system Burdekin River
Basin size 9,452 km2 (3,649 sq mi)
  • Left:
    Rosella Creek, Parrot Creek, Ten Mile Creek (Queensland), Oaky Creek (Queensland), Sandalwood Creek
  • Right:
    Flagstaff Creek, Basin Creek, Jack Creek (Queensland), Twelve Mile Creek (Queensland), Pelican Creek (Queensland)

The Bowen River is a river located in North Queensland, Australia.

Course and features

Formed by the confluence of the Broken River and the Little Bowen River near Tent Hill in the Normanby Range, part of the Great Dividing Range, the Bowen River flows in a north-westerly direction along the base of the range then flows west across Emu Plains and is crossed by the Bowen Developmental Road just north of Havilah. The river then flows north-west again between the Herbert Range and Leichhardt Range then discharges into the Burdekin River, south southeast of Ravenswood. The river descends 98 metres (322 ft) over its 129-kilometre (80 mi) course.

The catchment area of the river occupies 9,452 square kilometres (3,649 sq mi) of which an area of 236 square kilometres (91 sq mi) is composed of riverine wetlands. The catchment is in poor condition with much of the riparian habitat having been cleared and prone to erosion. The area is mostly used for cattle grazing with the towns of Collinsville and Glendon both drawing their town water supply from the Bowen River Weir. The river has a mean annual discharge of 1,618 gigalitres (3.56×1011 imp gal; 4.27×1011 US gal).

The Bowen River Weir supplies water to a coal mine, power station and the township of Collinsville.


StateLibQld 1 199687 Boating party at Bowen, 1910-1920
Bowen boating party, 1910s

The river was named in 1861 by the Queensland Government, derived from the name of the town Bowen which was named in honour of Sir George Bowen, a Governor of Queensland.

In the 1860s, Richard Daintree made mineral discoveries along the river. Daintree made the first systematic examination of the Bowen River coal seams near Collinsville.

Circa 1865, the Bowen River Hotel was built at the top of a steep bank of the river (20°32′02″S 147°33′22″E / 20.534°S 147.5562°E / -20.534; 147.5562 (Bowen River Hotel)). The hotel is now listed on the Queensland Heritage Register.

Construction of the Bowen River Weir commenced in April 1982 and was completed in August 1983. The A$6.5 million project is situated approximately 25 kilometres (16 mi) south of Collinsville and delivers water to the Newlands Coal Mine.

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