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Russell River (Queensland) facts for kids

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Russell
Russell River, boundary between Woopen Creek (foreground) and Bartle Frere (background), 2018 01.jpg
Russell River, between Woopen Creek (foreground) and Bartle Frere (background), 2018
Country Australia
State Queensland
Region Far North Queensland
Physical characteristics
Main source Bellenden Ker Range
east of Topaz
206 m (676 ft)
River mouth confluence with the Mulgrave River
west of Russell Heads
0 m (0 ft)
Length 59 km (37 mi)
Basin features
River system Mulgrave River catchment
Basin size 669 km2 (258 sq mi)
Tributaries
  • Left:
    Josephine Creek, Pugh Creek, Harvey Creek
  • Right:
    Coffee Mill Creek (Queensland), Welsh's Creek
National parks Wooroonooran National Park; Russell River National Park

The Russell River is a river in Far North Queensland, Australia. The 59-kilometre (37 mi)-long river flows towards the Coral Sea and is located approximately 60 kilometres (37 mi) south of Cairns.

Location and features

StateLibQld 1 239902 Small steam train crossing the Russell River with Mount Bartle Frere looming in the background, Cairns District, ca. 1924
Small steam train crossing the Russell River with Mount Bartle Frere looming in the background, circa 1924
Single lane bridge for road vehicles and cane trains across the Russell River between Babinda (foreground) and East Russell (background), 2018
Single-land road/rail bridge over the Russell River from Babinda to East Russell, 2018

The Russell River rises in the Wooroonooran National Park sourced from drainage of the Bellenden Ker Range, below Mount Bartle Frere and Mount Bellenden Ker. In its upper reaches, the course of the river meanders highly as it flows south by east and exits the Wooroonooran National Park. The river flows north by east, joined by the Josephine Creek and it has descended over the Josephine Falls. The river flows east of Babinda and then due north, bounded on both its east and western flanks by the Russell River National Park. The river reaches its confluence with the Mulgrave River in an estuarine state, with the Mulgrave flowing east for a short distance to empty into Coral Sea via the Mutchero Inlet. Water from the river is used to grow sugar cane on the coastal plains surrounding the Russell River's lower reaches.

The Russell River catchment area is estimated to be 669 square kilometres (258 sq mi) of which 68.8 square kilometres (26.6 sq mi) is wetlands. The river descends 206 metres (676 ft) over its 59-kilometre (37 mi) course.

The river is a popular location for whitewater rafting.

With the Mulgrave River, the Russell River has a well recorded flood history with documented evidence of flooding beginning in the late 1930s.

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