Geography and Climate


The Shire of Murchison consists of 26 pastoral leases, an Aboriginal and a Local Government reserve, areas of vacant crown land and various other reserves. The Shire of Murchison is also known as the Shire without a town, there being no gazetted townsite within the Shire and only the Murchison Settlement being the major source of population and services.

The major industry of the Shire is the operation of the pastoral stations which produce wool and meat (from sheep, cows, goats and kangaroos). The land is largely uncleared, however, years of grazing have damaged some areas. The most common species of plants are varieties of acacia with eucalyptus trees inhabiting areas close to the various rivers and their channels.

The Shire is traversed by the Murchison River system including its two tributaries the Sanford and Roderick Rivers. These rivers only flow following significant rainfall events, however, there are many permanent pools within the river system.

Rainfall averages around 250mm per year, however, this amount varies significantly from year to year. Most rain is experienced in the winter months. The area is subject to rainfall at the tail end of summer cyclones and summer thunderstorms. Large amounts of wildflowers bloom following good winter rainfall.

Summers in the Shire of Murchison are mostly hot, with summer temperatures generally being over 30 degrees Celsius, and there are frequently long periods where the temperature exceeds 37.5 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit). Winters are generally cool and sunny. Travellers to the area should be aware of these extremes and equip themselves sufficiently well to ensure their own wellbeing.

When travelling in the Shire it is a good idea to carry sufficient water to make use of in emergencies and extra tools and spares in the vehicle. There are no mechanical repair services available, other users of the road may not be around to assist you, distances between stations are long and many types of communications (ie: mobile phones) may not be functional in most areas. All roads (with the exception of grid approaches and some floodways on the Carnarvon Mullewa Road) are unsealed. It is advised that drivers take extra care on these roads if unused to them and look out for animals that cross the roads.

Bureau of Meteorology.

Map of Murchison Shire