Herbert River

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Blencoe falls.jpg
Blencoe Falls, 2006
Country Australia
State Queensland
Region Far North Queensland
Primary source Millstream
 - elevation 1,070 m (3,510 ft)
Secondary source Wild River (Queensland)
 - location Hinchinbrook Channel
 - elevation 0 m (0 ft)
 - coordinates 18°32′16″S 146°17′21″E / 18.53778°S 146.28917°E / -18.53778; 146.28917Coordinates: 18°32′16″S 146°17′21″E / 18.53778°S 146.28917°E / -18.53778; 146.28917
Length 340 km (211 mi)
Basin 10,130 km2 (3,911 sq mi)
Location of Herbert River river mouth in Queensland
Crocodile bagged on the Herbert River
Flood water runoff from a canefield in the Herbert River catchment

The Herbert River is a river located in Far North Queensland, Australia. The southernmost of Queensland's wet tropics river systems, it was named in 1864 by George Elphinstone Dalrymple explorer, after Robert George Wyndham Herbert, the first Premier of Queensland.[2]


It rises at an elevation of 1070 metres on the Atherton Tableland, part of the Great Dividing Range, west of Herberton and north of Ravenshoe. Its two head streams are the Millstream and Wild River. Flowing for 340 kilometres in a generally southeastern direction, it passes the town of Ingham before entering the Coral Sea near Lucinda, at the southern end of the Hinchinbrook Channel, 130 km north of Townsville. Heavy rainfall causes the river level and speed of flow to rise very quickly, especially in the lower flood plain areas around Ingham.

Its tributaries include Blunder, Sunday and Cameron Creeks, which all rise in the Cardwell Range and drain the northern portion of the river's catchment area, upstream of the Herbert River Falls. Further south the catchment is drained by Nanyeta (Return) and Rudd Creeks, which flow out of the Great Dividing Range west of Mount Garnet and from the Forty Mile Scrub area. In total, the river has a catchment of 10130 km².[3]

Wallaman Falls on Stony Creek, another tributary of the Herbert, are Australia's highest permanent waterfall. Other waterfalls on the river include Herbert River Falls, Blencoe Falls and Millstream Falls.

People and land use[edit]

The catchment area holds a population of about 18,000, 75% of whom dwell in the lower flood plain area.

The river's upper region is used mainly for cattle grazing, while the lower Herbert River floodplain is given over to sugar cane production.[4] The middle reaches of the catchment include National Parks, State Forests and sections of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.

Parts of the river, especially the Herbert River Gorge stretch, are used for kayaking and white water rafting.

Recent history[edit]

The second season of the U.S. reality television series, Survivor, was filmed on the "Goshen" cattle station in the upper Herbert River region, near the Blencoe Falls and Herbert River Gorge.

2010–2011 Queensland floods[edit]

The river was one of many in Queensland which experienced flooding during the 2010–2011 Queensland floods.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Map of Herbert River". Bonzle Digital Atlas of Australia. Retrieved 25 July 2015. 
  2. ^ "Herbert River Place name details (entry 15762)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 13 September 2015. 
  3. ^ "Water resources - Overview - Queensland - Basin & Surface Water Management Area: Herbert River". Australian Natural Resources Atlas. Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Retrieved 2009-05-02. 
  4. ^ Cane Trains in the Herbert River Valley Stocks, I.L. Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin, December, 1972 pp242-264

External links[edit]