Gilbert River (South Australia)
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The Gilbert River is a river in the
Mid North The Mid North is a region of South Australia South Australia (abbreviated as SA) is a States and territories of Australia, state in the southern central part of Australia. It covers some of the most arid parts of the country. With a total la ...
region of
South Australia South Australia (abbreviated as SA) is a States and territories of Australia, state in the southern central part of Australia. It covers some of the most arid parts of the country. With a total land area of , it is the fourth-largest of Austral ...

South Australia
.


Course and features

The Gilbert River rises near Manoora, on the
Barrier Highway The Barrier Highway is a highway A highway is any public or private road A road is a wide way leading from one place to another, typically one with a specially prepared surface which vehicles and bikes can use. Roads consist of o ...
and flows generally south, as a broad and shallow valley through mainly undulating country, flowing through
Saddleworth Saddleworth is a civil parishes in England, civil parish of the Metropolitan Borough of Oldham in Greater Manchester, England. It comprises several villages and Hamlet (place), hamlets as well as suburbs of Oldham on the Saddleworth Moor, west s ...
, Riverton,
Tarlee Tarlee is a town in South Australia South Australia (abbreviated as SA) is a in the southern central part of . It covers some of the most parts of the country. With a total land area of , it is the fourth-largest of Australia's states and ...
then southwest through
Stockport Stockport is a large town in Greater Manchester, England, south-east of Manchester city centre, where the rivers River Goyt, Goyt and River Tame, Greater Manchester, Tame merge to create the River Mersey. It is the largest town in the Metropo ...
and
Hamley Bridge Hamley Bridge is a community in South Australia South Australia (abbreviated as SA) is a States and territories of Australia, state in the southern central part of Australia. It covers some of the most arid parts of the country. With a total ...
. The Gilbert reaches its
confluence In geography Geography (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is ...

confluence
with the Light River just downstream from Hamley Bridge. The Light River continues west to
Gulf St Vincent Gulf St Vincent, sometimes referred to as St Vincent Gulf, St Vincent's Gulf or Gulf of St Vincent, is the eastern of two large inlets of water on the southern coast of Australia, in the state of South Australia, the other being the larger Spe ...
. The Gilbert descends over its
course Course may refer to: Directions or navigation * Course (navigation), the path of travel * Course (orienteering), a series of control points visited by orienteers during a competition, marked with red/white flags in the terrain, and corresponding ...

course
. Characteristic with many Mid North streams, the Gilbert can entirely cease flowing in summer, yet be a swirling and dangerous torrent after flooding rains. Grain cropping and grazing are carried out along its banks, which are mainly low and open.


History

The river lies within the traditional lands of the indigenous
Ngadjuri The Ngadjuri people are a group of Aboriginal Australian people whose traditional lands lie in the Mid North, mid north of South Australia with a territory extending from Gawler, South Australia, Gawler in the south to Orroroo, South Australia, Or ...
people, but their name for the river is unknown. The explorer John Hill came to it in early April 1839, and named it after
Colonial Colonial or The Colonial may refer to: * Colonial, of, relating to, or characteristic of a colony or colony (biology) Architecture * American colonial architecture * French Colonial * Spanish Colonial architecture Automobiles * Colonial (1920 auto ...
storekeeper, Thomas Gilbert, who was responsible for all government stores. The first written mention of the river is by explorer
Edward John Eyre Edward John Eyre (5 August 181530 November 1901) was an English land explorer of the Australian continent, colonial administrator, and a controversial Governor of Jamaica Jamaica (; ) is an island country An island country or an islan ...

Edward John Eyre
. When he crossed the river in May 1839 on his northern expedition he acknowledged it was already named the Gilbert. The river was a source of fresh water for the settlements that soon followed, scattered along its banks.


Bridges

The earliest pioneers were obliged to ford the river, but following the founding of the Burra mines in 1846 the Great North Road (later named the
Main North Road Main North Road is the major north-south arterial route through the suburbs north of the Adelaide City Centre Adelaide city centre is the inner city locality of Adelaide, Greater Adelaide, the capital city of South Australia. It is known ...
) between
Adelaide Adelaide ( ) is the capital city A capital or capital city is the municipality holding primary status in a Department (country subdivision), department, country, Constituent state, state, province, or other administrative region, usually ...

Adelaide
and Gawler, South Australia, Gawler was extended to Burra. This took over a decade to construct and included the first bridges over the Gilbert, most being built in the early to mid 1850s.For example, see ''Register'', 5 January 1855. p.3, re the new bridge at
Tarlee Tarlee is a town in South Australia South Australia (abbreviated as SA) is a in the southern central part of . It covers some of the most parts of the country. With a total land area of , it is the fourth-largest of Australia's states and ...
.


See also

*List of rivers of Australia#South Australia, List of rivers of South Australia


References

Rivers of South Australia Mid North (South Australia) {{SouthAustralia-river-stub