Western Australia’s Most Important River
The Avon River is termed the Swan River from the confluence of the Avon and the Woorooloo Brook. The Avon/Swan is arguably Western Australia’s most important watercourse. Historically, economically and politically.
The Source of the Avon River
The hydrological source of the Avon River is the Waleellemining Brook near the East Yornaning Nature Reserve, 29 kilometres north-east of Narrogin and 29 kilometres south-west of Yealering.
Reference to maps indicates that Waleellemining Brook starts in the East Yornaning Nature Reserve, and that is the watershed, but the lie of land suggests that it starts in a farmer’s paddock off Commodine Road, Wickepin, slightly to the north-west of the Reserve. The source is at 32°44’9.66″S 117°22’35.86″E.
The watercourse is first termed the Avon at the Waleellemining Brook’s confluence with Cuneenying Brook, eight kilometres south west of Yealering.
From here the waters flow NW, then northwards through the towns of Beverley, York, Northam and Toodyay, then westwards, to a confluence with Wooroloo Brook at which point the river is termed the Swan.
Naming of the Avon River
Ensign Robert Dale of the 63rd Regiment first sighted the Avon River on 7 August 1830 during one of his preliminary explorations eastwards of the Swan River settlement, however, the first use of this name by Dale was in his journal of 28 October 1830 during a subsequent visit to the region when he was accompanied by Governor Stirling. He then explored further after Stirling’s return to Perth. It is probable that Stirling chose the name, although the choice may have been made prior to the Governor’s visit as it was used by James Henty who carried out his own examination of the region in October 1830.
Determining the Course of the Avon River
During further explorations in September and October 1831, in the company of G.F. Moore, Dale concluded that a connection between the Avon and Lennard Brook was probable.
This assumption was shown to be suspect when Moore followed the Swan River upstream for some distance in January 1834 and suggested a connection between the Avon and Swan rivers. This connection was finally confirmed when R.H. Bland and others traced the river’s course from York to Upper Swan in May 1834. More information about this here.
Length of the Avon River
|Confluence||Yealering||8.7||8.7||Outfall of Lake Yealering|
|Yealering||Nonaling||8.0||16.7||Outfall of Lake Nonaling|
|Boyermucking||Aldersyde||39.6||69.9||Aldersyde North Road|
|Aldersyde||Yenyenning||24.9||94.8||Outfall of Yenyenning Lakes|
|Yenyenning||Avon River South||18.1||112.9||Confluence|
|Avon River South||Beverley||21.8||134.7||Bridge|
|Dale River||York||24.0||170.4||Glebe Street Bridge|
|Extract Weir||Toodyay||4.1||239.5||Duidgee Park|
|West Toodyay||Cobbler Pool||15.7||261.2||Bottom of Cobbler Pool|
|Cobbler Pool||Emu Falls||8.2||269.4||Washing Machine|
|Emu Falls||Walyunga||26.9||296.3||Woorooloo Brook|
Text by Kim Epton
Contents of this page may be used with attribution.