Australia’s Wettest Rain Gauge

Australia’s Wettest Rain Gauge

'It can be freaky': Meet the man who checks Australia's wettest rain gauge

Posted on 22.03.2018

Spiro Buhagiar takes enormous pride in being the man who checks Australia’s hardest-working rain gauge.

Every day for 36 years the far north Queenslander has been travelling to the top of Mount Bellenden Ker, operating the bright red cable car that takes technicians to its peak to check the radio and television broadcast towers.

The top of mountain is officially the wettest place in Australia, receiving more than 8 metres of rain a year on average.

“Our job is to do maintenance on the cableway to make sure it’s all safe, and to provide transport to get the ABC and SBS to the top of the mountain, but we’ve made [checking the gauge] part of our job,” he said.

“When you know you’ve had a bit of rain overnight it’s a thrill to get up here and just pour it into the counter and see that we’ve had twice as much as anywhere else has gotten.”

Mount Bellenden Ker facts

  • Mount Bellenden Ker is the second-highest mountain in Queensland
  • The rain gauge at the top sits at an elevation of 1,545m
  • It holds the record for the highest monthly total in Australia, with 5,370mm in January 1979
  • The station also has the highest annual average rainfall in Australia at 8,053.6mm
  • It still holds the record for the highest annual total nationwide, with 12,461mm falling in 2000
  • In January 1979 the station received 1,947mm in two days

ABC News




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