The Glenelg River rises at an elevation of 760 metres (2,490 ft) above sea level below The Chimney Pots within the Grampians National Park, on the eastern slopes of the Victoria Range, and west of the Serra Range, within the Grampian Range. The river flows north through swampland before heading west, transversed by the Henty Highway, and then south where the river is impounded by the Rocklands Reservoir, formed by a concrete–walled gravitydam with embankment sections constructed in 1953.
The reservoir has a maximum capacity of 348,300 megalitres (7.66×1010 imp gal; 9.20×1010 US gal) but is operated at a maximum operating level (MOL) of 296,000 ML (85%) to allow air space to avoid spilling into the river allowing unwanted fish leaving the dam. Leaving the dam wall, the river flows west through state forestry areas towards Balmoral, where the river is joined by the Salt, Mather, Yarramyljup, and Schofield Creeks, flowing to the east, north, then west of Balmoral, through the settlement of Harrow, where the river is met by another creek, also called Salt Creek.
The Chetwynd River, draining the region north of Casterton and Coleraine, joins the Glenelg east of Burke Bridge. The Glenelg flows generally southwest, to the west of Dergholm State Park towards Dergholm, joined by a number of minor tributaries. From here the river flows south by east being intercepted by minor tributaries namely, Steep Bank Rivulet and Wando River, above the town of Casterton, then south and is joined by the 220-kilometre (140 mi) Wannon River where it forms its confluence with the Glenelg. Flowing south by west, the Glenelg flows through the Wilkin Flora and Fauna Reserve before heading due south, met by the Stokes River prior to flowing through the town of Dartmoor where the Crawford River forms its confluence with the Glenelg.
Flowing south, then sharply west and crossing the state border into South Australia, the Glenelg flows through Donovans before heading east back into Victoria. The river reaches its mouth at Nelson and much of the latter course is through the Lower Glenelg National Park. From its highest point, the Glenelg River descends 760 metres (2,490 ft), joined by thirty–two named tributaries over its approx 500-kilometre (310 mile) course
Friends of the Glenelg River were a very active group. We conducted activities that were fun, educational and have a positive impact on river health. While we are a lot quieter these days, our goal is still to provide activities that every person in the community has a good reason to get involved in the Glenelg River in some way.
Our main goal is to involve the whole community in environmental projects. Some are just for fun like the free canoe days, the annual art competition and the annual tug of war across the river. Other activities are aimed at providing information about the river, like the calendar and the walking trail with it’s interpretive signage. And then there are the projects that will directly benefit the environment; they include our seed collection and tree planting days, and removing litter from the river.
Friends of the Glenelg River Inc members believe that the best way to protect our environment is for the whole community to get involved. If you would like to get more involved feel free to contact our office on 55542323 or by talking to Tim Burnard (President) on 55 812205.