Yabba Creek Anabranch in flood & George Kerridge's Old Barn, Imbil Island, Queensland

Selected for Google Maps and Google Earth

This moderate flood of 26 Feb 2013 came a month after a major flood on 27 Jan 2013. This photograph was taken at the flood peak when the river was at 7.7M on the Imbil Gauge.

A glance at the accompanying Google Earth image will reveal that this is an anabranch course of Yabba Creek, which circumscribes Imbil Island. Yabba Creek now flows directly through the neck cutting off this old large meander. The cut was made when timbergetters, c1871, blasted through the Imbil Homestead Ridge, so that the logs they cut would be carried downstream to Gympie and Maryborough without becoming stranded on the Imbil Pocket (now Imbil Island).

A letter published in the Maryborough Chronicle described the men who proposed to make such shortenings as "far-sighted men".

This alluvial land was once the site of a permanent aboriginal camp (pre 1890) then it was used for sheep at first (1850s) but soon changed to cattle grazing and the cultivation of maize and lucerne for stock feed, then dairying and agriculture (from 1920s), plus vegetable growing (from 1930s), reverting to beef cattle grazing in the 1960s.

Prior to 1914, this island was part of Imbil Station. Then when this area was subdivided into "agricultural and Dairy Farms in areas from 80 acres to 700 acres", Tom Rodwell purchased this agricultural farm of 82 acres. Stan Kerridge was a later owner.

Show more
Show less
Save Cancel Want to use bold, italic, links?

Comments (8)

Nick Weall on February 26, 2013

Up the creek without a paddle ~ it is the stock I feel most sorry for ~ at least the grass is green ~ thanks for the record Ian ~~~ bad times

Ian Stehbens on February 26, 2013

Greetings Nick,

Green grass is all around me, and the cattle are lowing, all safely on higher ground.

This section of the flood doesn't flow very fast because it is a cut-off meander that fills with flood water mostly from the main river, Yabba Creek. But in the main Yabba near here the police have timed the speed of the flood with a radar gun at 80KPH, so one wouldn't want to have a paddle if you were "up this creek" in flood time. No one would even attempt a swift water rescue in such conditions.

At other times it is a wonderful stream to explore in a kayak with a paddle!


bdeh on February 27, 2013

Wow, the second time that the owners of that farm are hit by a flood in one month Ian. I feel sorry for them. Greetings Berend

Ian Stehbens on February 28, 2013

Hi Berend,

Most of this land here on Imbil Island that was flooded in the two floods is grazing land nowadays, and as the water in this cut-off meander moves quite slowly even the fences aren't too badly damaged, well not like on our section of the river where the flood has been recorded at 80kph!

The flood therefore mostly waters, recharges the watertable and deposits a small layer of fertile silt on the inundated areas.

So it is mostly good, here.



Fritz77 on March 1, 2013

Hi Ian, an interesting series of the most recent floods. Interesting piece of history, too. In Europe the cutting of meanders (some as recent as the 1970s) is now being reserved again, not just for the obvious environmental benefit (biodiversity) but also to lessen the effects of floods as the water has more room to move so when it does hit towns it is not as severe. They seem to be best absorbed by forested floodplains. It seems like this latest summer of floods in QLD has started some rethinking on all levels of government on how to deal with floods and where&how to develop, build and rebuild. I really do feel for the people of this beautiful part of QLD some of whom, like Gympie, have been hit twice in such a short time.

Ian Stehbens on March 2, 2013

Hi Fritz,

I understand the reasons for the reversal, but I sure hope they never reverse this one! Settlement happened here long after the cut was made, and this one provides the best of both worlds. The flood is able to spread out around the meander and on the pocket gently, and flow through the cut allowing the flood to move flow out onto the alluvial plains beyond.

There is a low weir, about 1M high in the cut which ensures a flow around the cut-off meander in all seasons, including dry times.

Upstream the river discharge in major floods has been timed at 80kph by use of police radar gun. This is the meander at the point where the river leaves its confined valley and moves out onto its wide flood plain.

Thanks for your interest and dialogue.


Fritz77 on March 3, 2013

Hi Ian, from what you're writing I can see how the cutting of the meander and the lower weir does provide the best of both world. Looking at the map it makes sense that the water swiftly bypasses Imbil before it has room to move onto the floodplain, hopefully taking off pressure from the communities below (I believe it is a tributary of the Mary River passing through Gympie?). 80kph sounds like a massive speed for the water, so I am glad damage wasn't too bad around there. I am very interested in your posts and history about this part of the world I very often visit as my in-laws live there, and where I experienced the 2011 floods myself. Thanks for posting them.

Ian Stehbens on August 10, 2013

It is refreshing to be able to have some great discussion on geomorphologic events and processes on Panoramio, Fritz. The local policeman and one of the State Emergency Services men claim the 80kph recording to be fact, but I do not believe that is accurate. There has been something wrong with the radar, perhaps the water has something to do with it. Nevertheless it is a powerful flow of water.

Yes the Yabba is the major tributary of the Mary bringing water from the Conondale and Jimna Range into the Mary Valley.

Next time you are up this way, you must come out to Imbil for a visit. I'd love to show you around.

Kind regards,


Sign up to comment. Sign in if you already did it.

Photo details

  • Uploaded on February 26, 2013
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Ian Stehbens