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Leichhardt River Waterfall. (14 November 2010)
contributed by DerrickJessop
(contact DerrickJessop about this story | see more stories from DerrickJessop)
About 75 Kms South-east of Burketown the Normanton/Burketown Road crosses the Leichhardt River at some magnificent falls. The river rises South-east of Mt Isa, about 420 Kms South and has a catchment area of 33,000 square kilometres. In the wet season an incredible amount of water flows across at this point and spreads out at least 5 Kms. In March 2006, 5 months before this photo, the river here was measured at nearly 10m.
On the flat rock below the crossing, water has gouged many channels until it reaches the 400m wide rock shelf over which it drops in many waterfalls into deep pools, before winding off on its 85 Km journey to the Gulf of Carpentaria.
Attempts have been made to tame or harness the water, evidenced by the old water pump frame high on the bank below the falls that was clearly wrecked by the power of the flood waters.
A statue to Frederick Walker stands among bush on Floraville Station West of the River. Walker, born in England in 1820, was a bushman and founderof the Queensland Native Police. He was involved in the search for Burke and Wills and was returning from surveying the Burketown to Cardwell telegraph line when he was taken ill with Gulf Fever. He died on 19th November 1866 and his grave was lost for many years.
This story was uploaded into the Bonzle Digital Atlas of Australia entry for the River or Creek 'Leichhardt River'.
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