Cooper Creek Ferry - SA

  River Crossing


DEG: -28.582081 138.813522
DMS: 28º 34' 55.49" S 138º 48' 48.68" E
UTM: 54 J 6836362mN 286158mE
Altitude: 9.34m


Place Type

Infrastructure - River Crossing


704.02kms North of Adelaide

Address & Contact

Birdsville Track
SA 5710
Phone: N/A
Email: N/A
Web: N/A


Only operates when the Cooper Creek floods and cuts the Birdsville Track. In 1990 the ferry moved both cars and cattle for 7 months. Birdsville track covered in water in 2010 from June 1st onwards and thus the ferry needed. It could be a treat for travellers or a long hold-up. 2010 flood is 85% volume of 1990 and as of March 26 has between 100 and 150km to flow till it arrives at ferry crossing. Flow rate is thought to be 2-3km/day in the dunes but 6 to 10km /day where there is more of a channel. Ferry will only run once water depth exceeds 3m. Load limit of 10 tonnes and 7.8m length which rules out most 4WD towing vans but maybe not trailers.

As of April 11th 2010 the water is 40 km from the ferry so its average flow rate in the last 16 days is 4 to 6 km/day. Transport SA are making no comments re ferry. April 20th water is 16km from ferry. May 2nd Lake Hope starting to fill. May 6th LEYC still hoping for a regatta on the lake downstream of ferry crossing. So far predicting the Cooper has been an hydrologists nightmare! Locals going for a date near June 20th for the track to be cut. See post 78955 for latest pix. Everybody's wrong as the river finally arrives at the Track June 1/2 and the ferry begins to run on June 8th. Level at ferry reaches almost 4m on 30th then slowly falls. Depth at Track is 1.2m max but 3.7km wide same date and has peaked. Only one vehicle on ferry at a time and it's a 10 minute trip across.

LEYC stage regatta in July bringing a whole new meaning to desert sailing. But the flow ebbs as evaporation and seepage lower water levels. Last ferry is Jan 21st 2011. But more Qld rain means the Cooper floods again and the ferry runs from mid 2011 until Jan 2012. Large flood in late March 2019 above Windorah. Ferry stays on blocks.
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Closest Weather Station

Marree Airport at 22/06:30pm CST
Distance from Cooper Creek Ferry 139.8km SW
TemperatureFeels LikeRel. HumidityDew PointPressureRainfallWind DirectionWind SpeedGusts

Closest Climatic Station

Marree Comparison
Distance from Cooper Creek Ferry 139.03km SW
Mean Max. °C37.936.833.928.523.119.619.121.425.729.533.336.1
Mean Min. °C21.421.
Mean Rain mm17.221.214.410.713.313.710.09.110.613.212.016.5

Update History

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