Balonne River

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Balonne River
Balonne River, St George, Queensland, 2008
Country Australia
State Queensland
Region South West Queensland
Part of Darling River, Murray-Darling basin
City St George
Source Condamine River at Surat.
 - elevation 274 m (899 ft)
Mouth Western branch becomes Culgoa River north of Dirranbandi; The Eastern branch further splits into Bokhara River (west/right) and Narran River (left/east) just after flowing through Dirranbandi,
 - elevation 171 m (561 ft)
Length 479 km (298 mi)
Reservoir Lake Kajarabie
Wikimedia Commons: Balonne River

The Balonne River, part of the Murray-Darling Basin system, is a short but important part of the inland river group of South West Queensland. This river is a continuation of the Condamine River. After flowing through Surat the river flows south south-westerly down through the E.J. Beardmore Dam (Lake Kajarabie).[1]

Passing through St George it continues in the same south-west direction, until about 20 kilometres (12 mi) north of Dirranbandi, where it branches, with the western branch then being called the Culgoa River. The eastern branch continues on as the Balonne River through Dirranbandi.

Shortly after flowing through Dirranbandi the Balonne River again branches into the Bokhara River on the west (right) and the Narran River on the left (eastern) side.[2] The Bokhara river joins with the Barwon River west of Brewarrina, thus contributing to the Darling River. The Narran river flows into Narran Wetlands. The confluence of the Culgoa and Barwon Rivers forms the start of the Darling River.

The area of the Balonne-Condamine drainage basin is 136,014 square kilometres (52,515 sq mi) of which an area of 603 square kilometres (233 sq mi) is composed of riverine wetalnds and 559 square kilometres (216 sq mi) is estuarine wetlands..[3]

The five longest tributaries of the Balonne River are: the Condamine River, the Maranoa River, Dogwood Creek, Yuleba Creek and Tartulla Creek. The Andrew Nixon Bridge crosses the river at St George.

Water storage[edit]

E.J. Beardmore Dam was formed by the construction of a weir in 1972 at the junction of the Maranoa and Balonne Rivers.[4] When full the water backs up for 70 km along the Balonne. Downstream from Beardmore Dam is the Jack Taylor Weir, which was built in 1953.[4] On the Balonne tributary, Dogwood Creek there is another weir, the Gill Weir, which can hold 1050 ML.


Major Thomas Mitchell crossed the Balonne River on St George's Day, 23 April 1846. Mitchell named the river after the Aboriginal word for water or running stream, Balun or Balonn or Balonne. The word is thought to be from the Mandandanji language.[5]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Map of Balonne River, Qld". Retrieved 31 January 2009. 
  2. ^ "Chisholm, Alec H.". The Australian Encyclopaedia 1. Sydney: Halstead Press. 1963. p. 406. Balonne River. 
  3. ^ "Balonne-Condamine drainage basin drainage basin". WetlandInfo. Queensland Government. Retrieved 23 June 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Harrison, Rod; Ernie James; Chris Sully; Bill Classon; Joy Eckermann (2008). Queensland Dams. Bayswater, Victoria: Australian Fishing Network. p. 155. ISBN 978-1-86513-134-4. 
  5. ^ "Balonne River River (entry 1434)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 23 June 2015. 

Coordinates: 29°57′29″S 146°18′28″E / 29.9581°S 146.3078°E / -29.9581; 146.3078