Archer River

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Archer River
Archer River, Cape York, Australia
Origin McIlwraith Range
Mouth Gulf of Carpentaria
Basin countries Australia
Length 258 kilometres (160 mi)[1]
Source elevation 139 metres (456 ft)
Mouth elevation sea level
Avg. discharge 7,010 gigalitres (9.169×109 cu yd) per annum
Basin area 13,820 square kilometres (5,336 sq mi)

The Archer River is a major river of the Cape York Peninsula, Far North Queensland, Australia. It rises in the McIlwraith Range, traverses tropical savanna plains and wetlands, flowing through Piccaninny Plains Sanctuary and Mungkan Kandju National Park, and enters the Gulf of Carpentaria on the western side of the peninsula near the town of Aurukun.

The catchment area for the Archer River is 13,820 square kilometres (5,336 sq mi).[2] During the wet season between November and April, the river floods, replenishing over a million hectares of wetlands.[3] The Coen River is a tributary of the Archer River.

The river remains in a natural state with very little development and just one small dam that supplies water for the town of Coen.[2] On April 3 2009, Queensland Premier Anna Bligh announced the Archer River would be included under the Wild Rivers Act (2005).[4] The declaration means the river's fragile ecosystems will be protected by allowing only sustainable activities within its catchment.

The river has an annual average discharge of 7,010 gigalitres (9.169×109 cu yd) per annum.[5]

Flora and fauna[edit]

Much of the river is bordered by fig-dominated gallery rainforests which provide habitat for animals such as the White-tailed Rat, Spotted Cuscus and Palm Cockatoo. Toothless catfish are found in the river.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Map of Archer River, QLD". Bonzle Digital Atlas. Retrieved 9 May 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Water resources - Overview - Queensland - Archer River". Australian Natural Resources Atlas. Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Archived from the original on 22 June 2009. Retrieved 17 May 2009. 
  3. ^ Wild Rivers: Archer River
  4. ^ "Divisions run deep in Qld Wild Rivers debate". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 20 April 2009. Archived from the original on 21 April 2009. Retrieved 17 Mey 2009.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  5. ^ Murray Smith; Dr Mohsin Hafeez. "Optimising Australia's contribution to Asia's food bowl" (PDF). Retrieved 9 May 2015. 

Coordinates: 13°25′S 141°41′E / 13.417°S 141.683°E / -13.417; 141.683