Bowes River

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Bowes River
Physical characteristics
 - elevation254 metres (833 ft)[1]
 - location
Indian Ocean
 - elevation
sea level
Length46 kilometres (29 mi)
Basin size714 square kilometres (276 sq mi)[2]

The Bowes River is a river in the Mid West of Western Australia. It was named on 6 April 1839 by the explorer George Grey while on his second exploration expedition along the Western Australian coast.[3] It was named for Mary Bowes, Dowager Countess of Strathmore, the wife of Sir William Hutt. Hutt was a British Liberal politician who was heavily involved in the colonization of New Zealand and South Australia, and the brother of John Hutt, the second governor of Western Australia. Sir William Hutt was a member of the 1836 select committee on Disposal of Lands in the British Colonies.[4] Grey named the nearby Hutt River after Hutt.[3]

The headwaters of the river rise approximately 10 kilometres (6 mi) north-east of Northampton and flow in a south-westerly direction, crossing the North West Coastal Highway just north of Isseka. The river then continues in a westerly direction before discharging into the Indian Ocean south of Horrocks. The river drains into a small deadwater with a depth of less than 3 metres (10 ft), which is only open to the ocean for a few days a year, generally following rains between June and August.

The river has two tributaries: Sandy Gully and Nokanena Brook.

Contamination of Nokanena Brook from the nearby Uga mine group and Northampton State Battery tailings dam, 1.2 kilometres (1 mi) west of Northampton, has led to elevated lead and cadmium levels in stream water.[5][6][7] Lead contamination from Nokanena Brook has also been recorded in Bowes River.[8]


  1. ^ "Bonzle Digital Atlas – Map of Bowes River". 2009. Retrieved 12 March 2009.
  2. ^ "Ribbons of Blue - Mid West Region". 2008. Archived from the original on 31 May 2009. Retrieved 12 March 2009.
  3. ^ a b Grey, George (1841). Journals of two expeditions of discovery in North-West and Western Australia, during the years 1837, 38, and 39, describing many newly discovered, important, and fertile districts, with observations on the moral and physical condition of the aboriginal inhabitants, etc. etc. 2. London: T. and W. Boone. p. 26. Retrieved 17 March 2012.
  4. ^ Temple, Philip (2002). A Sort of Conscience: The Wakefields. Auckland: Auckland University Press. p. 584. ISBN 978-1869403072. Retrieved 11 April 2012.
  5. ^ "Northampton State Battery" (pdf). Register of Heritage Places - Permanent Entry. Heritage Council of Western Australia. 2 June 1998. Retrieved 11 April 2012.
  6. ^ "Northampton State Battery" (pdf). Register of Heritage Places - Assessment Documentation. Heritage Council of Western Australia. 2 June 1998. Retrieved 11 April 2012.
  7. ^ Mann, A.W.; Lintern, M. (1983). "Heavy metal dispersion patterns from tailings dumps, Northampton District, Western Australia". Environmental Pollution Series B, Chemical and Physical. 6 (1): 33–49. doi:10.1016/0143-148X(83)90028-9. Retrieved 11 April 2012.
  8. ^ Stuart-Street, Angela; Clarke, Mike (Dec 2005). "Resource Management Technical Report 268 - Greenough Region Catchment Appraisal" (pdf). Department of Agriculture, Government of Western Australia. Retrieved 11 April 2012.

Coordinates: 28°24′38″S 114°27′16″E / 28.41056°S 114.45444°E / -28.41056; 114.45444