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Leigh River (Victoria) facts for kids

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Leigh
InverleighLeighRiver.JPG
The Leigh River at Inverleigh. The Hamilton Highway bridge is visible in the background.
Country Australia
State Victoria
Region Central Highlands
Physical characteristics
Main source Mount Mercer
Cambrian Hill
325 m (1,066 ft)
River mouth Barwon River
near Inverleigh
60 m (200 ft)
Length 61 km (38 mi)
Basin features
River system Corangamite catchment
Tributaries
  • Left:
    Wilson Creek (Victoria), Williamson Creek, Cargerie Creek

The Leigh River (or Waywatcurtan in the indigenous language) is a perennial river of the Corangamite catchment, located in the Central Highlands region of the Australian state of Victoria.

Location and features

The Leigh River is a major tributary and catchment of the Barwon River. Fed by the Yarrowee River that rises near Ballarat, the Yarrowee reaches its confluence to form the Leigh in the vicinity of Cambrian Hill and Golden Plains Shire. The Leigh River rises below Mount Mercer and flows generally south, joined by three minor tributaries before reaching its confluence with the Barwon River, southeast of the central business district of Inverleigh. The river descends 265 metres (869 ft) over its 61-kilometre (38 mi) course.

Communities and bridge crossings along the river

There are several crossings over the Leigh River, including road, rail and pedestrian. Some additional roads allow passage through shallow sections of the river when the water levels are low.

Location Bridge name Comments/use Image
Dereel Leigh Gorge Bridge (formerly Leigh Grand Junction Mine bridge) Dereel/Elaine Road
Shelford Town Bridge Bannockburn/Skipton Road
Inverleigh Two Bridges Inverleigh/Teesdale Road
Federation Bridge Pedestrian suspension
Hamilton Highway InverleighLeighRiver.JPG
Standard gauge Melbourne/Adelaide railway

Etymology

The Wathaurong Indigenous Australian people named the river Waywatcurtan.

It is believed that the name Leigh River was given by the surveyor J.H. Wedge who arrived in 1835, probably naming the river after his Tasmanian farm 'Leighlands'.

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