Glenelg River (Western Australia)

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Glenelg River
Country Australia
Basin features
Main source Elizabeth and Catherine Range
227 metres (745 ft)[1]
River mouth Maitland Bay, Timor Sea
sea level
Physical characteristics
Length 89 kilometres (55 mi)

The Glenelg River is a river in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.

The headwaters of the river rise in the Elizabeth and Catherine Range. The river flows in a north-westerly direction past the Whately Range and discharges into Maitland Bay then through George Water, into Doubtful Bay and finally the Timor Sea.

The McRae River is a tributary of the Glenelg River.

It was first explored in 1838 by a party led by George Grey, but they were poorly prepared and ill-equipped. Grey named the river on 2 March 1838 after Lord Glenelg who was Secretary of State for the Colonies from 1835 to 1839 and under whose auspices Grey undertook his explorations.[2][3]

On 31 March 1929, en route from Sydney to England, the Southern Cross with Charles Kingsford Smith at the helm made an emergency landing on a mudflat near the mouth of the river. The Southern Cross was found and rescued after a fortnight's searching, with George Innes Beard, Albert Barunga and Wally from Kunmunya Mission the first overland party to reach the downed aircraft.[4]


  1. ^ "Bonzle Digital Atlas – Map of Glenelg River". 2009. Retrieved 9 March 2009. 
  2. ^ Western Australian Land Information Authority. "History of river names". Archived from the original on 16 February 2015. Retrieved 5 September 2011. 
  3. ^ 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. 1. London: T. and W. Boone. Retrieved 17 March 2012. 
  4. ^ McKenzie, Maisie (1969). The Road to Mowanjum. Angus & Robertson. 

Coordinates: 15°49′15″S 124°44′15″E / 15.82083°S 124.73750°E / -15.82083; 124.73750