Jordan River (Victoria)

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Name origin: After the biblical River Jordan[2][3]
Country Australia
State Victoria
Regions Victorian Alps (IBRA), West Gippsland
Local government area Shire of Baw Baw
Part of West Gippsland catchment
Landmark Jordan River Diversion Tunnel;
Australian Alps Walking Track
Source Great Dividing Range
 - location near The Springs, south of Woods Point
 - elevation 1,170 m (3,839 ft)
 - coordinates 37°36′0″S 146°9′36″E / 37.60000°S 146.16000°E / -37.60000; 146.16000
Mouth confluence with the Thomson River
 - location Thomson Reservoir
 - elevation 441 m (1,447 ft)
 - coordinates 37°42′14″S 146°19′32″E / 37.70389°S 146.32556°E / -37.70389; 146.32556Coordinates: 37°42′14″S 146°19′32″E / 37.70389°S 146.32556°E / -37.70389; 146.32556
Length 22 km (13.7 mi)
Reservoir and lakes Thomson Reservoir
Jordan River (Victoria) is located in Victoria
Jordan River (Victoria)
Location of the Jordan River mouth in Victoria

The Jordan River, a perennial river of the West Gippsland catchment, is located in the Alpine region of the Australian state of Victoria.

Location and features[edit]

The Jordan River rises near The Springs, south of Woods Point, part of the Great Dividing Range. The headwaters drain a marginal area of the Big River State Forest near Jordan Gap, Jordan Cutting and McAdam Gap.[3] The river flows generally south by east, much of its course through the Thomson State Forest, before reaching its confluence with the Thomson River within the northern reaches of the Thomson Reservoir. The river descends 732 metres (2,402 ft) over its 22-kilometre (14 mi) course.[4]

The Victorian Department of Primary Industries describes the river as:[5]

A small (5-metre (16 ft) wide) clear, fast-flowing stream running through steep forested country, rock and gravel bottom. Access limited to road crossings and forestry tracks.

European history[edit]

The Jordan Valley was intensively mined for gold during the latter half of the 19th and early 20th centuries.[6] As supplies were erratic and high prices were being charged, a group of businessmen from Sale posted a reward in early 1862 to cut a reliable supply track into the Jordan goldfields. Claims were made by Thomas McEvoy, Fred Porter, Archie Campbell and William Anderson, with McEvoy's Track awarded the main prize money and being the one used by most carters and miners.[7]

Several sites from this era, including the Jordan River Diversion Tunnel, are listed in the Victorian Heritage Inventory.[8][9][10][11]

The Thomson Valley - Mount Shillinglaw section of the Australian Alps Walking Track follows the Jordan River for part of its length.[12]


The Jordan River was named after the biblical River Jordan (Hebrew: meaning "descending") by Owen Little in 1861 because access was "a hard road to travel".[2] Christie mentions a report in the Gippsland Times that miners thought the tree ferns further down the river reminded them of palm trees in bible illustrations, hence also the Jericho goldfield, as Jericho was "the city of palm trees" (Joshua 34:3).[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Jordan River: 18288". Vicnames. Government of Victoria. 2 May 1966. Retrieved 13 February 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Blake, Les (1977). Place names of Victoria. Adelaide: Rigby. p. 294. ISBN 0-7270-0250-3. , cited at Vicnames (2011)
  3. ^ a b c "Jordan River: 18288: Historical information". Vicnames. Government of Victoria. 12 August 2011. Retrieved 13 February 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "Map of Jordan River, VIC". Bonzle Digital Atlas of Australia. Retrieved 13 February 2014. 
  5. ^ "Thomson River Basin - Angling Waters", A Guide to Inland Angling Waters of Victoria, Department of Primary Industries (Victoria), 17 May 2010, retrieved 16 September 2010 
  6. ^ "Historic Gold Mining Sites in Gippsland Mining Division, Gazetteer: State & Regional Significant Sites", Victorian Goldfields Project, Department of Natural Resources and Environment, February 1998, retrieved 13 September 2010 
  7. ^ J.G. Rogers, Jericho on the Jordan: a Gippsland Goldfield History, Moe, 1998, p. 120; J. and J. McDonald, Three William McDonalds, Canberra, 2010, pp. 154-156.
  8. ^ "Jordan River Diversion Tunnel, Victorian Heritage Inventory Number H8122-0041". Victorian Heritage Database. Heritage Victoria. Retrieved 13 September 2010. 
  9. ^ "New Chum Mine, Dry Creek, Victorian Heritage Inventory Number H8122-0079". Victorian Heritage Database. Heritage Victoria. Retrieved 23 October 2011. 
  10. ^ "Red Jacket Post Office, Victorian Heritage Inventory Number H8122-0007". Victorian Heritage Database. Heritage Victoria. Retrieved 23 October 2011. 
  11. ^ "Red Jacket Township Site, Victorian Heritage Inventory Number H8122-0090". Victorian Heritage Database. Heritage Victoria. Retrieved 23 October 2011. 
  12. ^ The Australian Alps Walking Track — Walhalla to Canberra, Australian Alps national parks Co-operative Management Program, 3 June 2010, retrieved 16 September 2010 

External links[edit]