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The Goodwill on the Roper river
|Mouth||Limmen Bight, Gulf of Carpentaria|
The Roper River is one of the largest rivers in the Northern Territory, Australia, extending east for over 500 km to meet the sea in Limmen Bight on the Gulf of Carpentaria. It is navigable for about 145 km, until the tidal limit at Roper Bar, and forms the southern boundary of the region known as Arnhem Land. Mataranka Hot Springs and the township of Mataranka lie close to the river at its western end. Port Roper lies near its mouth on Limmen Bight.
The first European to explore the Roper River was Ludwig Leichhardt in 1845 as he made his way from Moreton Bay to Port Essington. Leichhardt crossed the river at Roper Bar, a rocky shelf which conveniently lies at the high tide limit on the river. He named the river after John Roper, a member of the expedition.
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