Map of the Flinders and Gilbert catchments

Graphic map of the Flinders and Gilbert Reiver Catchments in Far North Queensland

Map of a new irrigated agriculture region in Queensland, Australia.

Irrigated agriculture is expanding into an untapped area of north Queensland with the release of 95,000 Ml of new irrigation water from both the Flinders and Gilbert Rivers.


This new irrigation development is in Australia, in the state of Queensland. It is located 1400 km north, north-west of the state's capital city of Brisbane and lies west of the coastal cities of Cairns and Townsville. The agricultural development area lies directly below the Gulf of Carpentaria and extends eastward to the Great Dividing Range and west towards the Northern Territory border.

The rivers

Irrigation water is being released from two major river systems, the Flinders and Gilbert Rivers:

  • The Flinders River, at 1004km, is the longest river in Queensland with a catchment covering 109,000 km2. Map of Flinders River.
  • The Gilbert River is 610 km long, has a catchment covering 46,810 km2 and has the sixth-highest discharge of any river in Australia. Map of Gilbert River.

The head waters for both rivers begin in the uplands of the Great Dividing Range and drain to the sea near the port town of Karumba in the Gulf of Carpentaria.

The region

With a catchment footprint larger than the state of Tasmania, this area is serviced by 10 local council areas all eager to pursue this large development opportunity.

Townsville, situated on the coast, is the largest centre in the region with 190,000 residents followed by Mount Isa (22,100) and Charters Towers (13,000).

Freight distance to port

The strategic location of this development allows produce to be delivered to national and international markets with easy access to ports and international airports via Townsville, Darwin, Cairns and Brisbane.

For example, the freight distances to the port of Townsville are:

  • 384 km to Hughenden
  • 498 km to Richmond
  • 647 km to Julia Creek
  • 784 km to Cloncurry

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