The headwaters of the river rise on the sanplains below Mount Madden and flow in a southerly direction, crossing the South Coast Highway approximately 20 kilometres (12 mi) West of Ravensthorpe then entering the Fitzgerald River National Park then veering eastward to follow a fault-line in the Quartzite rocks around the Eastern end of the Barren Range. The river finally discharges into Culham Inlet and, when the inlet is open to the ocean, into the Southern Ocean.
The river has six tributaries including; West River, Jackilup Creek, Yarracarrup Creek and Kybalup Creek.
The rivers catchment is 35% cleared, with the southern half lying within the boundaries of the Fitzgerald River National Park. The entire catchment lies within the Fitzgerald River Biosphere. The river only flows for a short time during the year, mostly during the winter months. The river water is naturally saline but varies from almost fresh to more saline then seawater.