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The Darling River
The Darling River, Australia's most iconic river, is part of the Murray Darling Basin which covers an area of 1,061,469 square kilometres (14% of the total area of Australia), and provides visitors with a vast array of activities, destinations, attractions, and wonderful accommodation options.
When combined with its tributaries across southern Queensland and New South Wales' northern rivers region, it forms Australia's longest waterway.
The Warrego and Culgoa Rivers bring water from south-east Queensland while the Barwon, Gwydir, Namoi, Castlereagh and Bogan Rivers of northern NSW flow north-west joining the flows from the Darling Downs to form the Darling River.
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.
People of the Darling River
First Nations & The Explorers
Australia is known as being as one of the oldest lands in the world and one can only imagine how long 'man' has lived in this environment.
Indigenous culture relates to the land (and all elements pertaining to it) through the Dreaming and Dreamtime stories; to visit the outback gives some empathetic understanding of the spirituality of the land.
This relationship has existed for tens of thousands of years and is the basis of the cultural continuum of Indigenous Australians. European Australians have only been here for a few hundred years and through the efforts of early explorers, the land is also very important to the identity of modern Australians due to their efforts in such a hostile environment.
Bourke & Wills, Charles Sturt, and Major Mitchell are names that are synonymous with the explorative spirit and the character that we as a country exhibit. The exploits of these people and the essence of the land have been immortalised by many of our early poets such as Henry Lawson, as well as many modern poets and story tellers.
These stories of the land and its people enable European Australians to relate to the Outback in a similar way to the Dreamtime stories of Indigenous Australians but with less of a connection to the land and understanding of the spirituality it exudes. In time, maybe this relevance of the spiritual connection to the land can be better appreciated and understood through cultural sharing.