Caboolture River

The Caboolture River is a small river in South East Queensland, Australia.

Railway Bridge over the Caboolture River, 1907
Location of the Caboolture River mouth in Queensland
EtymologyKabi Yugarabul dialect: Derived Kabultur to Caboolture, meaning "place of the carpet snake".[1]
RegionSouth East Queensland
Local government areaMoreton Bay Region
Physical characteristics
SourceD'Aguilar Range
  locationbelow Campbells Pocket
  coordinates27°7′32″S 152°48′20″E
  elevation262 m (860 ft)
MouthDeception Bay, Moreton Bay
south of Beachmere
27°09′09″S 153°02′48″E
0 m (0 ft)
Length46 km (29 mi)
Basin size468 km2 (181 sq mi)
Basin features
  leftWararba Creek, Lagoon Creek
National parkD'Aguilar National Park

Location and features

View from train crossing, 2014

Formed by runoff from the D'Aguilar Range, the Caboolture River rises below Campbells Pocket near Ocean View and flows generally east, joined by two minor tributaries and flowing through Rocksberg, Caboolture and Morayfield before entering Deception Bay, part of Moreton Bay, south of Beachmere. The river descends 262 metres (860 ft) over its 46-kilometre (29 mi) course.[2][3]

The catchment area covers 468 square kilometres (181 sq mi).[4] There are no dams on the waterway, except for a weir and the only major crossing is the Bruce Highway bridge. The Caboolture River is tidal for 19 kilometres (12 mi) upstream to the Caboolture Weir.[5] At the river mouth a sand bar reduces the impact of tidal energy.[6]

Increased urbanisation in the catchment is posing a significant environmental threat to the river, particularly land clearing which is fragmenting pockets of forest.[5] In the upper reaches this has led to stormwater and sewerage runoff that has created significant nutrient and sediment loads.[6] Except for mangrove forests near the river's mouth most of the riparian vegetation has been cleared. An upgrade at the Caboolture Sewerage Treatment plant has reduced some pollution impacts.[6]

Upper parts of the catchment are protected with the D'Aguilar National Park.[4] Lower parts of the river are within the Moreton Bay Marine Park.[7]

Together with the Pine River and its tributaries, the Caboolture River is subject to episodes of flash flooding which can cause significant damage to public and private property throughout the catchment. Significant flood events with major flooding were reported in 1967, 1972, 1974, 1989, 1991, 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2015.[8]


The Kabi indigenous people are the traditional custodians of the Caboolture River catchment area. The name Kabultur is derived from the Yugarabul dialect meaning "place of the carpet snake".[1] The Kabi people harvested bush food, fresh water mussels, oysters, fish, and some game animals, moving around the land to take best advantage of seasonally-available produce.

Because of the numerous shoals at its mouth the explorer John Oxley originally named the waterway the Deception River in 1823.[9] The Caboolture River has been used to transport red cedar timber via raft from Mount Mee to Deception Bay.[5]

See also


  1. South East Queensland - Place Names Archived 2006-08-21 at the Wayback Machine 2 January 2006
  2. "Map of Caboolture River, QLD". Bonzle Digital Atlas of Australia. Retrieved 7 October 2015.
  3. "Caboolture River" (PDF). Care for our catchment series. Caboolture Shire Council. February 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 February 2012. Retrieved 7 October 2015.
  4. "Caboolture River Catchment and Estuary". Healthy Waterways. Moreton Bay Waterways and Catchment Partnership. 2008. Archived from the original on 6 October 2010. Retrieved 8 September 2010.
  5. "Caboolture River Brochure" (PDF). Care For Our Catchments Series. Caboolture Shire Council. Archived from the original (pdf) on 30 June 2009. Retrieved 22 June 2009.
  6. Dennison, William C.; Eva G. Abal (1999). Moreton Bay Study: A Scientific Basis for the Healthy Waterways Campaign. Brisbane: South East Queensland Regional Water Quality Management Strategy Team. pp. 182–183. ISBN 0-9586368-1-8.
  7. Clark, Dea (4 March 2021). "Concerns Burpengary housing and marina development north of Brisbane will harm endangered wildlife". ABC News. Retrieved 25 October 2021.
  8. "Flood System for the Pine and Caboolture Rivers". Rainfall & River Conditions. Bureau of Meteorology, Australian Government. June 2015. Retrieved 7 October 2015.
  9. "Deception Bay". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved 23 June 2009.
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