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Mount Bellenden Ker
Mount Bellenden Ker summit and aerial cableway from Bruce Hwy.jpg
Mount Bellenden Ker summit and aerial cableway from Bruce Highway
Highest point
Elevation 1,593 m (5,226 ft)
Geography
Location Queensland, Australia
Parent range Bellenden Ker Range

Mount Bellenden Ker is the second-highest mountain in Queensland, Australia, with a height of 1,593 metres (5,226 ft). It is named after the botanist John Bellenden Ker Gawler. Located 60 km (37 mi) south of Cairns near Babinda, it is adjacent to Mount Bartle Frere, the state's highest peak, part of the Bellenden Ker Range which is also known as the Wooroonooran Range. The two mountains dominate the Josephine Falls section of the Wooroonooran National Park. Both peaks are made of resistant granite and are remnants of an escarpment that has been eroded by the Russell and Mulgrave Rivers.

Several television transmitter towers have been built on the mountain. The only access to the television transmitter site and the mountain top weather station is by a privately owned cable car.

History

In 1873, Walter Hill, Queensland's first Colonial botanist, undertook an expedition to northern Queensland to collect native plants and included a trip to Mount Bellenden Ker. In the same year Robert Arthur Johnstone climbed the peak while exploring the coastal lands south of Cooktown with George Elphinstone Dalrymple. Another expedition to the summit, led by Archibald Meston (1851-1924), was conducted in early February to early March 1889.

Environment

Birds

The mountain lies in the Wooroonooran Important Bird Area, identified as such by BirdLife International because it supports populations of a range of bird species endemic to Queensland's Wet Tropics.

Climate

The rain gauge at its summit records an annual average rainfall of 8,053.6 mm (317.07 in), making it the wettest meteorological station in Australia. It also holds the record for the highest rainfall in a calendar year of 12,461 mm (490.6 in) in 2000 and the highest rainfall in Australia for a calendar month of 5,387 mm (212.1 in) in January 1979.

In 2006, the mountain received more rainfall – 9,800 mm (390 in) – than any other part of Australia. This was primarily due to two severe tropical cyclones passing close to the mountain. In 2010, Queensland's wettest year on record, the top station on the mountain recorded 12,438.4 mm (489.70 in), just under the 2000 record.

Climate data for Mount Bellenden Ker (top station); elevation: 1,545 metres (5,069 ft)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Rainfall mm (inches) 996.9
(39.248)
1201.7
(47.311)
1304.4
(51.354)
1082.5
(42.618)
784.1
(30.87)
457.2
(18)
402.0
(15.827)
309.8
(12.197)
279.1
(10.988)
340.1
(13.39)
367.4
(14.465)
564.7
(22.232)
8,053.6
(317.071)
Source: Bureau of Meteorology
Climate data for Mount Bellenden Ker (bottom station); elevation: 97 metres (318 ft)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Rainfall mm (inches) 675.8
(26.606)
830.7
(32.705)
813.9
(32.043)
582.0
(22.913)
339.0
(13.346)
177.5
(6.988)
137.4
(5.409)
121.6
(4.787)
136.1
(5.358)
167.4
(6.591)
276.9
(10.902)
380.3
(14.972)
4,546.3
(178.988)
Source: Bureau of Meteorology
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