Condamine River

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Condamine R.JPG
Condamine River, Warwick, Queensland, 2009
Country Australia
State Queensland
Region Darling Downs
Part of Balonne River, Murray-Darling basin
Source Mount Superbus
 - elevation 772 m (2,533 ft)
Secondary source
 - elevation 1,375 m (4,511 ft)
Mouth Balonne River
 - location Surat
 - elevation 256 m (840 ft)
Length 657 km (408 mi)
Basin 13,292 km2 (5,132 sq mi)

The Condamine River, part of the Murray-Darling Basin, drains the northern portion of the Darling Downs, an area of sub-coastal southern Queensland, Australia. It rises on Mount Superbus, South East Queensland's highest peak, on the inland side of the Great Dividing Range and although only about 100 km from the Queensland coast, the Condamine flows north west across the Darling Downs, then west.[2]


The catchment covers 13,292 km².[3] The headwaters of the river rise on the slopes of Mount Superbus, part of the Main Range, before passing through Cambanoora Gorge. The river flows through the towns of Killarney and Warwick, while the tributary Gowrie Creek drains the slopes around Toowoomba.

At Surat it turns to the south-west and becomes known as the Balonne River.[4] Towns the river passes through include St George, Dirranbandi and Surat. In this area Bungil Creek joins the Balonne.[2]

The Balonne River forks near Dirranbandi with a western branch being called the Culgoa River which, in turn, flows into the Darling. The eastern branch of the Balonne River in turn branches again - into the Bokhara River on the right and the Narran River on the left (eastern) side. These rivers join with the Barwon River west of Brewarrina which also flows into the Darling River.

The Condamine River near Chinchilla, Queensland in March 2012

Water storage[edit]

Water from the Condamine River is used for town water supply and for irrigation. Leslie Dam on Sandy Creek, a tributary of the Condamine, is the main water reservoir for Warwick. Talgai Weir is a small weir that can hold 640 ML near Clifton.[4] Other water storage facilities on the Condamine River include the Yarramalong Weir, Lemon Tree Weir, Loudoun Weir, Tipton Weir and the Cecil Plains Weir. The Condamine River is reduced to a series of drying ponds during droughts in Australia.


The Condamine was named by Allan Cunningham in 1827 for Thomas de la Condamine, a former aide-de-camp to Governor Ralph Darling who became the colony's first Collector of Internal Revenue. Patrick Leslie was the first white settler in the area. He established Canning Downs in 1840, near Warwick.

Major Thomas Mitchell crossed the Balonne River on St George's Day, 23 April 1846. The next year 1847 Ludwig Leichhardt went to examine the course of the Condamine River.

2010–2011 Queensland floods[edit]

The Condamine and its catchment area were involved in the 2010–2011 Queensland floods. During the floods the river reached a record peak at Condamine of 15.25 metres and another peak of 14.67 m.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Map of Condamine River, QLD". Retrieved 10 February 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Shaw, John H., Collins Australian Encyclopedia, Collins, Sydney, 1984, ISBN 0-00-217315-8
  3. ^ "State of the Rivers report: Condamine River". Department of Environment and Resource Management. 28 September 2009. Retrieved 1 June 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Harrison, Rod; Ernie James; Chris Sully; Bill Classon; Joy Eckermann (2008). Queensland Dams. Bayswater, Victoria: Australian Fishing Network. p. 154. ISBN 978-1-86513-134-4. 
  5. ^ "Flood Warning System for the Condamine River to Cotswold". Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 6 March 2012. 

Coordinates: 27°07′S 149°48′E / 27.117°S 149.800°E / -27.117; 149.800