Irwin River

The Irwin River is a river in the Mid West of Western Australia. It was named on 9 April 1839 by the explorer George Grey, while on his second disastrous exploration expedition along the Western Australian coast, after his friend Major Frederick Irwin, the Commandant of the Swan River settlement, and later acting Governor of Western Australia from 1847 to 1848.[4]

Irwin River
OIC irwin river wetlands near mouth 2.jpg
Irwin River wetlands near Dongara, Western Australia
Physical characteristics
 • locationNear Pindar
 • elevation326 metres (1,070 ft)[1]
 • location
Arurine Bay, between Port Denison and Dongara
 • elevation
Sea level
Length140 kilometres (87 mi)[2]
Basin size6,071 square kilometres (2,344 sq mi)[3]

The headwaters of the Irwin are located below Canna near Pindar. The river flows west until discharging into Arurine Bay near Dongara.

The river passes through the Coalseam Conservation Park to the north of Mingenew which has a mixed geology of siltstones, claystones and sandstones that form stripes in the cliff faces formed by the river.[5]

The river has four tributaries: Lockier River, Sand Plain Creek, Nangetty Creek and Mullewa Creek.

The river occasionally floods as it did in 1945 following a severe storm that swept over the area. The river broke its banks and caused extensive damage including the loss of 450 sheep that were swept away from a farm that straddled the river.[6]


  1. ^ "Bonzle Digital Atlas – Map of Irwin River, Western Australia". 2008. Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  2. ^ Western Australian Land Information Authority. "History of river names – I". Retrieved 7 September 2011.
  3. ^ "Where the River meets the Sea – Estuaries of the Northern Agricultural Region" (PDF). 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 July 2008. Retrieved 17 October 2008.
  4. ^ Grey, George (1841). Journals of two expeditions of discovery in North-West and Western Australia, during the years 1837, 38, and 39, describing many newly discovered, important, and fertile districts, with observations on the moral and physical condition of the aboriginal inhabitants, etc. etc. 2. London: T. and W. Boone. p. 39. Retrieved 17 March 2012.
  5. ^ "Coalseam Conservation Park". Explore Parks WA. Department of Parks and Wildlife. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  6. ^ "Loss of 450 sheep". The West Australian. Perth: National Library of Australia. 20 June 1945. p. 6. Retrieved 15 September 2013.

Coordinates: 29°15′35″S 114°55′7″E / 29.25972°S 114.91861°E / -29.25972; 114.91861