Stanley River (Queensland)

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Stanley River
Stanley River.jpg
Stanley River downstream from the Somerset Dam
Origin Conondale Range
Mouth confluence with the Brisbane River
Basin countries Australia
Length 35 km
Basin area 1330 km² [1]

The Stanley River in Queensland is the main tributary of the Brisbane River. The Stanley River valley extends roughly 35 kilometres (22 mi) westwards from the area south of Maleny, through Woodford to Kilcoy before veering southwards.

It is dammed by the Somerset Dam built seven km upstream from its confluence with the Brisbane River. The dam was the principal water supply for Brisbane for some fifty years until the construction of the Wivenhoe Dam was completed, forming Lake Wivenhoe.

The river courses through one of the heaviest rainfall areas in Australia.[2] The average annual rainfall in the area is 925 mm.[3]


Before either dam was built the Stanley and Brisbane Rivers were both prone to flooding. Despite warnings instigated by Henry Somerset who saw flash flooding in the upper reaches of the Stanley River valley, the 1893 Black February floods caused severe flooding downstream in Brisbane and other towns such as Fernvale. The 1893 floods occurred after heavy rains near Peachester.[2]

The river once marked the north-west boundary of the defunct County of Stanley.

Flora and fauna[edit]

Riparian vegetation around the Lake Somerset area have been almost completely cleared for grazing. In the upper reaches bushland remains mostly intact although wildlife corridors have been fragmented and fish stocks reduced.

The Gastric-brooding frog is a recently extinct frog that was discovered in only three catchments, the Mary River, Mooloolah and Stanley Rivers. The Endangered Giant Barred Frog Mixophyes iteratu has also been recorded on the Stanley river.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ South East Queensland Regional Strategy Group (2000). Strategic Guide to Resource Management in South East Queensland. p. 100. ISBN 0-7345-1740-8. 
  2. ^ a b "Flood Warning System For The Brisbane River Above Wivenhoe Dam". Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 19 July 2012. 
  3. ^ "Water resources: Groundwater Management Unit: Stanley River". Australian Natural Resources Atlas. Department of Sustainabililty, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. Retrieved 19 July 2012. 
  4. ^ Nottidge, B. (2008). Reserve for Environmental Purposes Stanmore - Fauna Survey. Cove Road, Stanmore: Wildlife Warriors - Ecological Services Unit.

Coordinates: 26°57′54.65″S 152°37′08″E / 26.9651806°S 152.61889°E / -26.9651806; 152.61889