Thomson River (Queensland)

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Queensland State Archives 2133 The Thomson River at Longreach March 1938.png
Longreach, 1938
Country Australia
State Queensland
Part of Cooper Creek
Mouth confluence with the Barcoo River
Map of the Lake Eyre Basin showing Thomson River

The Thomson River is situated in western Queensland, Australia, and forms part of the Lake Eyre Basin. The river was named by the explorer, Edmund Kennedy, in the 1840s.

The northernmost headwaters of the river begin as Torrens Creek, inland from Charters Towers. The watercourse becomes the Thomson just north of the town of Muttaburra, where the channels of Landsborough Creek, Towerhill Creek and Cornish Creek meet. Aramac Creek joins the river from the east, south of Muttaburra and Maneroo Creek flows from the west, joining the Thomson south of Longreach. Just to the west of Longreach the river is crossed by the Landsborough Highway.

The river continues in a south westerly direction, passing the towns of Longreach, Stonehenge and Jundah, before joining with the Barcoo River north of Windorah to form Cooper Creek.[1] This is the only place in the world where the confluence of two rivers form a creek.[citation needed]

As with all of the rivers in the Lake Eyre Basin, the waters of the Thomson never reach the sea, and instead either evaporate, or, in exceptional flood, empty into Lake Eyre. Floods are relatively common within the catchment because of the summer monsoon rains.[2] Due to the flat nature of the country traversed, the river can then become many kilometres wide, causing major difficulties. For much of the time, however, the river does not flow, and becomes a line of billabongs.[1]

The area through which the river flows is semi-arid blacksoil plains. The main industries of the area are sheep and beef cattle.

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Coordinates: 25°10′00″S 142°53′30″E / 25.16667°S 142.89167°E / -25.16667; 142.89167