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- Last Updated: 02 July 2020 02 July 2020
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The Darling River
The Darling River is Australia's most iconic river and when combined with its longest tributaries creates Australia's longest waterway stretching from Queensland's Darling Downs across Outback NSW to its meeting with the Murray River at Wentworth in the southwest corner of New South Wales.
Part of the Murray Darling Basin, which covers an area of 1,061,469 square kilometres (14% of the total area of Australia), the Darling River rises from Queensland's Darling Downs and New South Wales's northern rivers region.
The Darling River catcment borders the Lake Eyre Basin (Lake Frome division) just north of Broken Hill and south of Cameron Corner. A great way to understand the geology/hydrography of the region is through the Watershed Loop touring route. The touring route also connects the Darling River Run to other Corner Country Touring Routes.
The Darling River system is sourced primarily from the subtropical summer rains of South East Queensland (the Darling Downs), as opposed to the Murray River which receives its flow from the New South Wales/Victorian alpine region's snowmelt, and as such is more of a 'boom/bust' with regards to its flow.
The river has always been one of extreme, either in flood or in drought. That is the nature of the Darling River and provides the ethereal majesty of our most iconic river. After flowing southwest across outback New South Wales, the Darling River joins the Murray River at Wentworth on the New South Wales/Victoria border and, as one, flows through South Australia's Riverland region onto Lake Alexandrina and into the Southern Ocean.
Early European exploration, of the land and river, created the need for towns and ports along the water and today the towns of the Darling River have become synonymous with the outback. From the source to the mouth of the Darling River, they include