Roe River (Western Australia)

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Roe River
Country Australia
Physical characteristics
Main source Princess May Ranges
274 metres (899 ft)[1]
River mouth York Sound
sea level
Length 66 kilometres (41 mi)
Basin features
Basin size 3,278 square kilometres (1,266 sq mi)[2]

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

The headwaters of the river lie in the Princess May Ranges within the Prince Regent National Park flowing in a north westerly direction, discharging into Prince Frederick Harbour in York Sound, and then to the Indian Ocean. The river contains several permanent pools, including Paradise Pool where many examples of ancient indigenous art known as Bradshaw paintings are found along the cliff faces. Bradshaw paintings are dated at a minimum of 17,000 years before present.[3]

Tributaries include the Moran River, Garimbu Creek, Wyulda Creek, Rufous Creek and Gandjal Creek.[1]

The river was named in 1820 by Philip Parker King after the father of master's mate John Septimus Roe[4] during his voyage in Mermaid; he also named Prince Frederick Harbour, Prince Regent River and the nearby Mount Trafalgar during the same visit.[5]

The first European to trace the Roe from its source to its outflow in Prince Frederick Harbour was government surveyor Frederick Slade Drake-Brockman in 1901.[6]


  1. ^ a b "Bonzle Digital Atlas – Map of Roe River". 2009. Retrieved 12 March 2009. 
  2. ^ "The Kimberley River Environment" (PDF). 2008. Retrieved 12 March 2009. 
  3. ^ "The Kimberley Region of North West Australia". Bradshaw Foundation. 2010. Retrieved 2 July 2011. 
  4. ^ Dun, Loftus (1995). "The Third and Fourth Journeys". They Came as Strangers (pdf). Australian Rockart Archive. East Oatley, NSW: Loftus Dun. p. 38. ISBN 064625135X. Retrieved 6 October 2015. 
  5. ^ "The Kimberley Society - Joseph Bradshaw getting lost in the Kimberley" (pdf). 2008. Retrieved 15 October 2010. 
  6. ^ Favenc, Ernest (1908). "Later Western Expeditions". The explorers of Australia and their life-work. Melbourne: Whitcombe and Tombs. Retrieved 9 February 2017. 

Coordinates: 15°08′16″S 125°23′11″E / 15.13778°S 125.38639°E / -15.13778; 125.38639