Darling River

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Darling River
Darling River near Bourke with an above-average amount of water

Darling River near Bourke with an above-average amount of water

location New South Wales , Australia
River system Murray River
Drain over Murray River  → Indian Ocean
Confluence of Culgoa River and Barwon River between Brewarrina and Bourke
29 ° 57 ′ 29 ″  S , 146 ° 18 ′ 28 ″  E
Source height 119  m
muzzle Murray River near Wentworth Coordinates: 34 ° 6 ′ 42 "  S , 141 ° 54 ′ 28"  E 34 ° 6 ′ 42 "  S , 141 ° 54 ′ 28"  E
Mouth height 35.3  m
Height difference 83.7 m
Bottom slope 0.05 ‰
length 1570 km  , a total of 2844 km
Catchment area 609,283 km²
Outflow at the Menindee gauge MQ
102 m³ / s
Left tributaries Barwon River , Bogan River , Little Bogan River
Right tributaries Culgoa River , Warrego River , Paroo River
Flowing lakes Lake Wetherell , Pamamaroo Lake
Small towns Brewarrina , Bourke , Wilcannia , Menindee , Wentworth
Course of the river

Course of the river

Confluence with Murray (right) at Wentworth

Confluence with Murray (right) at Wentworth

Map with the expedition route of Charles Sturts 1828 (red)

Map with the expedition route of Charles Sturts 1828 (red)

The Darling River is the longest river on the continent of Australia at 2,844 kilometers (including headwaters) .

It flows into the Murray River . It has a very irregular water flow averaging 102 m³ / s at Menindee .

The river is referred to as the Darling River for only 1570 kilometers . The successive sections of the Culgoa River , Condamine River and Balonne River of the right - smaller but longer - source river are added to the total length of 2,844 kilometers . Together with the 828-kilometer stretch of river after it flows into the Murray River, this results in a river system of 3672 kilometers in length.

Since 2005 there have been long periods of drought, which lead to the river falling dry in places, especially in the lower reaches. The river's water is used for irrigation of agricultural areas and as drinking water for humans and cattle. Wild animals are also dependent on the river water. The Murray-Darling Basin Authority , which was created in 2007, aims to regulate the equitable use of water in the Murray-Darling Basin by the states of Queensland , New South Wales , Australian Capital Territory , Victoria and South Australia .


River course

Darling and Murray originate on the western slopes of the Great mountains vagina ( Great Dividing Range ) and flow into weak turns with very low gradient (6-14 centimeters per kilometer) by grasslands to the west and south. The Darling is created by the confluence of the Culgoa River (right) and Barwon River (left, more watery) near Bourke . The right, longer source river is called the Condamine River , later the Balonne River , in the upper reaches and then merges into the Culgoa.

Periodically recurring droughts can cause the darling to turn into a chain of pools. In the years between 1885 and 1960 alone, the river at Menindee fell dry 48 times; 1902/03 even for 364 days. If there is flooding, huge areas are flooded. The floods then leave their bed despite up to twelve meters high embankments and spread over flat terrain for up to 80 kilometers. Nowadays the salinization of the river is a major problem, for which dry periods and erosion caused by clearing are the main causes.

In the Menindee Lakes near Menindee , flood peaks can be temporarily stored and gradually given to agriculture to irrigate the fields. The lakes serve as a drinking water reservoir for the town of Broken Hill , 120 kilometers away . Treaties between the states of New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia regulate how much water is fed back into the river.

At Wentworth the Darling flows into the Murray , which flows to the Indian Ocean . The runoff here is much lower than at Menindee, mainly due to water drainage, and averages only around 47.56 m³ / s (at Burtundy).

South of Menindee, the Darling used to run further west in a river bed. Since the completion of the Menindee Lakes , water has been channeled into the former Great Darling Anabranch river to provide water for the area's ranchers. In the future, the farmers will be supplied with a pipeline, which will allow the Anabranch to be converted back into a natural dry valley ecosystem. The Great Darling Anabranch flows into the Murray around a dozen kilometers west of Wentworth.


In the following the tributaries of the Darling River with confluence.

  • Culgoa River - 119 m
  • Barwon River - 119 m
  • Bogan River - 111 m
  • Whiskey Creek - 109 m
  • Warraweena Lagoon - 108 m
  • Little Bogan River - 107 m
  • Dead Horse Creek - 106 m
  • Ross Billabong - 106 m
  • Stony Creek - 106 m
  • Deadmans Creek - 105 m
  • Ross Billabong - 104 m
  • Mulga Creek - 104 m
  • Yanda Creek - 104 m
  • Ross Billabong - 103 m
  • The Big Billabong - 103 m
  • Humes Creek -101 m
  • Warrego River - 101 m
  • Talowla Billabong - 100 m
  • Paddys Creek - 100 m
  • Kerrigundi Creek - 95 m
  • Five Mile Creek - 95 m
  • Talyawalka Creek - 93 m
  • Nine Mile Creek - 93 m
  • Compodere Creek - 89 m
  • Papepapinbilla Creek - 89 m
  • Cultowa Billabong - 88 m
  • Marra Billabong - 88 m
  • Goonery Creek - 86 m
  • Paroo River - 85 m
  • Twenty Seven Mile Creek - 85 meters
  • Acres Billabong - 84 m
  • Lignum Creek - 83 m
  • Jamieson Creek - 81 m
  • Ten Mile Creek - 80 m
  • Woytchugga Creek - 80 m
  • Deep Creek - 74 m
  • Five Mile Creek - 71 meters
  • Charlie Stones Creek - 66 m
  • Three Mile Creek - 64 meters
  • Talyawalka Creek - 64 m
  • Bijijie Creek - 63 m
  • Cuthero Creek - 57 m
  • Frenchmans Creek - 54 m

Reservoirs and lakes

In the following the reservoirs and lakes along the course of the Darling River with altitude information.


From 1815 the areas on the headwaters of the Darling were gradually settled. In 1828, Ralph Darling , Governor of New South Wales, commissioned the explorer Charles Sturt , accompanied by his old companion, Hamilton Hume , to explore the Macquarie River . During this expedition they discovered the Darling River, which was named after the client. In 1835 Thomas Mitchell embarked on an expedition on which he was the first to explore the entire course of the Darling, thus proving its confluence with the Murray, which Sturt had previously suspected.

Darling and Murray were important transportation routes from the second half of the 19th century. Up to 240 paddle steamers were on the two rivers and their tributaries. The ships with shallow drafts mainly transport wool and wheat to the coast and supply the settlers with goods. From the turn of the century, the importance of rivers as transport routes decreased rapidly after major droughts made transport difficult and the railroad became more and more popular.

In the 2010s, the river on the lower reaches of the river dried up completely, and millions of fish died . The population on the lower reaches around Menindee accuses the Murray-Darling Basin Authority, which should regulate a compatible use of water in the various states, of failure. It is complained that in the headwaters in Queensland too much water would be withdrawn for cotton cultivation and that not enough water would reach the lower reaches. The government justifies the water shortage primarily through long periods of drought.

See also

Web links

Commons : Darling River  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d Map of Darling River, NSW . Bonzle.com
  2. a b c Australian Government: Geoscience Australia, data from Sept. 2008 , length with the name Darling : 1472 km
  3. a b The Darling River. (No longer available online.) In: Central Darling Shire Council. Formerly in the original ; accessed on August 31, 2012 .  ( Page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link / www.centraldarling.nsw.gov.au  
  4. a b Esther Blank: Australia fights over the last drops . In: Neue Zürcher Zeitung . March 9, 2019, p. 7 ( nzz.ch [accessed on March 10, 2019]).
  5. ^ NSW Department of Primary Industries: NSW Office of Water (Ed.): Water Sharing Plan: Lower Murray-Darling Basin Unregulated and Alluvial Water Sources . Background document. Sydney 2012, ISBN 978-0-7313-3981-5 , pp. 10 ( gov.au [PDF; accessed on February 9, 2019]).
  6. Water savings in the Darling River including the Menindee Lakes. In: New South Wales Office of Water. Retrieved August 31, 2012 .
  7. ^ Surface Water Resources. (No longer available online.) In: Murray-Darling Basin Commission. Archived from the original on February 19, 2011 ; accessed on February 13, 2011 .
  8. Anthony Dosseto, SP Turner, GB Douglas: Uranium-series isotopes in colloids and suspended sediments: Timescale for sediment production and transport in the Murray – Darling River system . In: Earth and Planetary Science Letters . No. 70 , 2006, p. 71-89 ( PDF ).
  9. Darling Anabranch. (No longer available online.) In: New South Wales Office of Water. Archived from the original on October 16, 2009 ; accessed on February 13, 2011 .
  10. ^ Tributaries of Darling River, NSW . Bonzle.com
  11. Murray River Paddlesteamers and Paddleboats. In: Discover Murray. Retrieved February 13, 2011 .