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Elizabeth River (Northern Territory) facts for kids

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Aerial photo of Elizabeth River Bridge, 17 km south of Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia.jpg
The Elizabeth River Bridge across Elizabeth River, upstream the East Arm of Darwin Harbour
Elizabeth River (Northern Territory) is located in Northern Territory
Elizabeth River (Northern Territory)
Location of the Elizabeth River mouth in the Northern Territory
Country Australia
Territory Northern Territory
Physical characteristics
Main source Noonamah, Northern Territory, Australia
35 m (115 ft)
River mouth East Arm, Australia
0 m (0 ft)
Length 28 km (17 mi)

Elizabeth River flows into Darwin Harbour close to Darwin in the Northern Territory of Australia.


The headwaters of the river rise south of Noonamah and flow in a north westerly direction and cross the Stuart Highway south of Humpty Doo. It continues through an estuarine area and discharges into the East Arm of Darwin Harbour then Beagle Gulf and eventually into the Timor Sea.

The river shares a catchment area with the Finniss and Howard Rivers, the combined watershed occupies an area of 8,672 square kilometres (3,348 sq mi).


The climate of the Elizabeth River region is monsoon tropical with two distinct seasons: the Dry and the Wet. The Dry lasts for 6 months between April and September with an average rainfall of 24 mm, whereas the Wet lasts between October and March with an average monthly rainfall of 254 mm/month (according to the Bureau of Meteorology, 1999). The majority of the rain falls between December and April. Runoff varies between 250–1000 mm.

Peak flow for the Elizabeth River occurs in February with 389Ml/day, after which it slowly decreases until July when there is no freshwater input into Darwin Harbour until the onset of the following wet season (Padovan 1997). Cyclone frequency is low to moderate.

The Finniss, Elzabeth and Howard Rivers have a mean annual outflow of 3,000 gigalitres (3.924×109 cu yd),

Water quality

The water quality at the upper estuary monitoring sites of the Northern Territory Government was 2011 in excellent condition. Water quality at the freshwater monitoring sites was in very good condition in 2011.


The underlying lithology is dominated by Permian siltstones and sandstones.

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