The Darling River

The Murray Darling Basin

The Darling River is undoubtedly Australia's most iconic waterway; the Darling River (as named) is a section of a much larger waterway which together forms longest waterway in Australia, dissecting the extensive Murray Darling Basin.

The Murray Darling Basin covers around 14% of the land area of Australia and reaches inland to near Broken Hill, north to central Queensland, east and south to the Great Dividing Range.

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The Darling River has always been an integral part of the Indigenous culture, a culture that can be traced back at least 45,000 years and today the river remains the lifeblood for their living culture. To the indigenous, the river had various names according to the local communities along the river but the European name was assigned it was 'discovered' by explorer Charles Sturt in 1829 who named it in honour of Sir Ralph Darling, the then Governor of New South Wales.

The Darling River originates between Brewarrina and Bourke where the Culgoa and Barwon rivers meet. The tributaries of these two rivers originate from the from the ranges of southern Queensland (The Darling Downs) and northern New South Wales to the west of the Great Dividing Range. These tributaries include the Balonne River, the Macintyre River. the Gwydir River; the Namoi River; the Castlereagh River; and the Macquarie River.

The Darling River is primarily fed from the subtropical summer rains of South East Queensland, as opposed to the Murray River which is sourced from the New South Wales/Victorian High Country's snow melt, and as such is more of a 'boom/bust' with regards to its flow. Many think it is a river of extremes, either in flood or in drought; that is a nature and majesty of this great river.


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