The Gulf of Carpentaria, situated in the north, is enclosed on the east by the projection of Cape York, and on the west by Arnheim Land, and forms the principal bay on the whole coast, measuring about 6° of long.
In the Gulf of Carpentaria are numerous islands, the largest bearing the Dutch name of Groote Eylandt.
Besides those mentioned, there are a number of smaller rivers discharging on the north coast, and on the west shore of the Gulf of Carpentaria the Roper river discharges itself into Limmen Bight.
Along the portion of the south shore of the Gulf of Carpentaria which belongs to Queensland and the east coast, many large rivers discharge their waters, amongst them the Norman, Flinders, Leichhardt, Albert and Gregory on the southern shore, and the Batavia, Archer, Coleman, Mitchell, Staaten and Gilbert on the eastern shore.
The rivers flowing into the Gulf of Carpentaria, as well as those in the Northern Territory, drain country which is subject to regular monsoonal rains, and have the general characteristics of sub-tropical rivers.