The river was named by the explorer Ludwig Leichhardt in 1845 during his expedition from the Darling Downs to Darwin. A stone causeway built across the Suttor River in 1876 remains mostly intact today. It provides a rare example of the road construction techniques and materials employed in the state at the time.
A DIWA wetlands can be found along the course of the river. The 332 hectares (820 acres) wetland known as the Scartwater Aggregation is a floodplain upstream from Lake Dalrymple where the river is split into two major channels by Scartwater Hill, a sandstone outcrop, the channels contain two large permanent waterholes.