Gairdner River (Great Southern, Western Australia)

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Gairdner River
Gairdner River near West Mount Barren
Country Australia
Physical characteristics
Main source Needilup-Jacup
320 metres (1,050 ft)[1]
River mouth Gordon Inlet
Length 130 kilometres (81 mi)
  • Average rate:
    940,000 ML/a (30 m3/s; 1,050 cu ft/s)[2]
Basin features
Basin size 1,770 square kilometres (683 sq mi)

Gairdner River is a river located in the Great Southern region of Western Australia.

The river was first recorded by Surveyor General John Septimus Roe in 1848, when carrying out exploration of the area, noting that natives referred to it and its numerous branches as "Jeer-A-Mung-Up". Roe later named the same river near its mouth the Gairdner River, not realising they were the same, after Gordon Gairdner, Senior Clerk of the Australian and Eastern Departments in the Colonial Office, later Chief Clerk of the Colonial Office and Secretary and Registrar of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George.[3] Roe also named Gordon Inlet and Mount Gordon after Gairdner.[4]

The river originates in farm land north of the South Coastal Highway between Needilup and Jacup on the Yilgarn plateau at about 320 metres (1,050 ft) above sea level. It flows in a south-easterly direction crossing the South Coast Highway east of Jerramungup then through the Fitzgerald River National Park until it terminates in Gordon Inlet, where it discharges an average of 9,400,000 cubic metres per annum.

The tributaries that flow into the river are Cobomup Creek, Needilup River, Pingamup River, Spring Creek, Wilgerup Creek, Scott Creek and Duleep Creek.

About 60% of the catchment has been cleared for sheep and grains farming and as a result the water quality has become saline. Salinity levels vary from 3 (3,000 ppm) after rains when the river is flowing to 50‰ (50,000 ppm) during the summer time.


  1. ^ "Bonzle Digital Atlas - Map of Gairdner River, WA". 2008. Retrieved 24 November 2008. 
  2. ^ "South Coast Rivercare - Gairdner River". 2007. Retrieved 25 May 2010. 
  3. ^ "Colonial Office, Downing Street, May 28, 1874." (pdf). The London Gazette (24099): 2820. 29 May 1874. Retrieved 2012-03-28. 
  4. ^ Western Australian Land Information Authority. "History of river names". Archived from the original on 16 February 2015. Retrieved 5 September 2011. 

Coordinates: 34°15′51.45″S 119°24′12.74″E / 34.2642917°S 119.4035389°E / -34.2642917; 119.4035389