Adelaide River

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Adelaide River.JPG
The Adelaide River
Name origin: Queen Adelaide
Country Australia
Territory Northern Territory
LGA Coomalie, Litchfield
Townships Adelaide River
 - elevation 149 m (489 ft)
Mouth Adam Bay
 - location Clarence Strait
 - elevation 0 m (0 ft)
 - coordinates 12°13′S 131°14′E / 12.217°S 131.233°E / -12.217; 131.233Coordinates: 12°13′S 131°14′E / 12.217°S 131.233°E / -12.217; 131.233
Length 238 km (148 mi)
Basin 7,640 km2 (2,950 sq mi)
 - average 1,980 m3/s (69,923 cu ft/s)
National park Litchfield National Park
Adelaide River is located in Northern Territory
Adelaide River
Location of the Adelaide River mouth
in the Northern Territory

The Adelaide River is a river in the Northern Territory of Australia.

Course and features[edit]

The river rises in the Litchfield National Park and flows generally northwards to Clarence Strait, joined by eight tributaries including the west branch of the Adelaide River, Coomalie Creek, Margaret River and Marrakai Creek, before discharging into its mouth in Adam Bay in the Timor Sea. The river descends 151 metres (495 ft) over its 238-kilometre (148 mi) course.[1] The catchment area of the river is 7,640 square kilometres (2,950 sq mi).[2]

The Adelaide River is crossed by both the Stuart Highway adjacent to the township of Adelaide River and the Arnhem Highway near Humpty Doo.

The Adelaide River is well known for its high concentration of saltwater crocodiles, along with other wildlife including white-bellied sea eagles, whistling kites, freshwater crocodiles, bull sharks and Black Flying-fox. Its lower reaches form part of the Adelaide and Mary River Floodplains Important Bird Area. Waters of this river are also home to endangered speartooth shark and critically endangered largetooth sawfish.

A man named Fitzmaurice, under the command of John Lort Stokes, was the first European to discover the river when he sighted it when on a boating expedition. The expedition was part of the Admiralty surveying ship, 'The Beagle voyage in 1839 and it was named in memory of Queen Adelaide.[3]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Map of Adelaide River, NT". Bonzle Digital Atlas of Australia. Retrieved 27 April 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Bach, Christine; Hosking, Jane (1 September 2002). "Wetland monitoring for the Mary River Catchment, Northern Territory" (PDF). Natural Heritage Trust. Retrieved 27 April 2015. [permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "Place Names Register Extract - Adelaide River". NT Place Names Register. Northern Territory Government. Retrieved 27 April 2015.