Murray River

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Murray River / River Murray
Lower course of the Murray River at Murray Bridge
Murray river (Australia) map-Eng.svg
Map of the course of the Murray River
State New South Wales, South Australia
Cities Albury, Wodonga, Echuca, Swan Hill, Mildura, Renmark, Murray Bridge
Physical characteristics
Source Cowombat Flat
  location Australian Alps, NSW
  coordinates 36°47′46″S148°11′40″E / 36.79611°S 148.19444°E / -36.79611; 148.19444
  elevation1,430 m (4,690 ft)
Mouth Murray Mouth
near Goolwa, South Australia
35°33′32″S138°52′48″E / 35.55889°S 138.88000°E / -35.55889; 138.88000 Coordinates: 35°33′32″S138°52′48″E / 35.55889°S 138.88000°E / -35.55889; 138.88000
0 m (0 ft)
Length2,508 km (1,558 mi)
Basin size1,061,469 km2 (409,835 sq mi)
  average767 m3/s (27,100 cu ft/s)
Basin features
  left Mitta Mitta River, Kiewa River, Ovens River, Goulburn River, Campaspe River, Loddon River
  right Swampy Plains River, Murrumbidgee River, Darling River

The Murray River (or River Murray [n 1] ) (Ngarrindjeri: Millewa, Yorta Yorta: Tongala) [1] is Australia's longest river, at 2,508 kilometres (1,558 mi) in length. [2] The Murray rises in the Australian Alps, draining the western side of Australia's highest mountains, and then meanders across Australia's inland plains, forming the border between the states of New South Wales and Victoria as it flows to the northwest into South Australia. It turns south at Morgan for its final 315 kilometres (196 mi), reaching the ocean at Lake Alexandrina.

Ngarrindjeri or Narrinyeri was the language of the Ngarrindjeri and related peoples of southern South Australia.

Yorta Yorta (Yotayota) is a dialect cluster, or perhaps a group of closely related languages, spoken by the Yorta Yorta people, Indigenous Australians from the junction of the Goulburn and Murray Rivers in present-day northeast Victoria. Dixon considers it an isolate.

River Natural flowing watercourse

A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the end of its course without reaching another body of water. Small rivers can be referred to using names such as stream, creek, brook, rivulet, and rill. There are no official definitions for the generic term river as applied to geographic features, although in some countries or communities a stream is defined by its size. Many names for small rivers are specific to geographic location; examples are "run" in some parts of the United States, "burn" in Scotland and northeast England, and "beck" in northern England. Sometimes a river is defined as being larger than a creek, but not always: the language is vague.


The water of the Murray flows through several terminal lakes that fluctuate in salinity (and were often fresh until recent decades) including Lake Alexandrina and The Coorong before emptying through the Murray Mouth into the southeastern portion of the Indian Ocean, often referenced on Australian maps as the Southern Ocean, near Goolwa. [3] Despite discharging considerable volumes of water at times, particularly before the advent of large-scale river regulation, the mouth has always been comparatively small and shallow.

Lake A body of relatively still water, in a basin surrounded by land

A lake is an area filled with water, localized in a basin, that is surrounded by land, apart from any river or other outlet that serves to feed or drain the lake. Lakes lie on land and are not part of the ocean, and therefore are distinct from lagoons, and are also larger and deeper than ponds, though there are no official or scientific definitions. Lakes can be contrasted with rivers or streams, which are usually flowing. Most lakes are fed and drained by rivers and streams.

Salinity The proportion of salt dissolved in a body of water

Salinity is the saltiness or amount of salt dissolved in a body of water, called saline water. This is usually measured in . Salinity is an important factor in determining many aspects of the chemistry of natural waters and of biological processes within it, and is a thermodynamic state variable that, along with temperature and pressure, governs physical characteristics like the density and heat capacity of the water.

Lake Alexandrina (South Australia) lake in South Australia, and the mouth of the Murray River

Lake Alexandrina is a freshwater lake located in the Fleurieu and Kangaroo Island and Murray Mallee regions of South Australia, adjacent to the coast of the Southern Ocean, about 100 kilometres (62 mi) south-east of Adelaide. The lake adjoins the smaller Lake Albert; together they are known as the Lower Lakes.

As of 2010, the Murray River system receives 58 percent of its natural flow. [4] It is perhaps Australia's most important irrigated region, and it is widely known as the food bowl of the nation.


The Murray River forms part of the 3,750 km (2,330 mi) long combined Murray–Darling river system which drains most of inland Victoria, New South Wales, and southern Queensland. Overall the catchment area is one-seventh of Australia's total land mass. The Murray carries only a small fraction of the water of comparably-sized rivers in other parts of the world, and with a great annual variability of its flow. In its natural state it has even been known to dry up completely during extreme droughts, although that is extremely rare, with only two or three instances of this occurring since official record keeping began.

Murray–Darling basin largest drainage basin of Australia

The Murray–Darling basin is a large geographical area in the interior of southeastern Australia. Its name is derived from its two major rivers, the Murray River and the Darling River. The basin, which drains around one-seventh of the Australian land mass, is one of the most significant agricultural areas in Australia. It spans most of the states of New South Wales and Victoria, the Australian Capital Territory, and parts of the states of Queensland and South Australia. The basin is 3,375 kilometres (2,097 mi) in length, with the Murray River being 2,508 km (1,558 mi) long.

Victoria (Australia) State in Australia

Victoria is a state in south-eastern Australia. Victoria is Australia's smallest mainland state and its second-most populous state overall, making it the most densely populated state overall. Most of its population lives concentrated in the area surrounding Port Phillip Bay, which includes the metropolitan area of its state capital and largest city, Melbourne, Australia's second-largest city. Victoria is bordered by Bass Strait and Tasmania to the south, New South Wales to the north, the Tasman Sea to the east, and South Australia to the west.

New South Wales State of Australia

New South Wales is a state on the east coast of Australia. It borders Queensland to the north, Victoria to the south, and South Australia to the west. Its coast borders the Tasman Sea to the east. The Australian Capital Territory is an enclave within the state. New South Wales' state capital is Sydney, which is also Australia's most populous city. In September 2018, the population of New South Wales was over 8 million, making it Australia's most populous state. Just under two-thirds of the state's population, 5.1 million, live in the Greater Sydney area. Inhabitants of New South Wales are referred to as New South Welshmen.

The Murray River makes up most of the border between the Australian states of Victoria and New South Wales. Where it does, the border is the top of the bank of the Victorian side of the river (i.e., none of the river itself is actually in Victoria). [5] This was determined in a 1980 ruling by the High Court of Australia, which settled the question as to which state had jurisdiction in the unlawful death of a man who was fishing by the river's edge on the Victorian side of the river. [6] This boundary definition can be ambiguous, since the river changes its course over time, and some of the river banks have been modified.

High Court of Australia supreme court

The High Court of Australia is the supreme court in the Australian court hierarchy and the final court of appeal in Australia. It has both original and appellate jurisdiction, the power of judicial review over laws passed by the Parliament of Australia and the parliaments of the states, and the ability to interpret the Constitution of Australia and thereby shape the development of federalism in Australia.

Death permanent cessation of vital functions

Death is the permanent cessation of all biological functions that sustain a living organism. Phenomena which commonly bring about death include aging, predation, malnutrition, disease, suicide, homicide, starvation, dehydration, and accidents or major trauma resulting in terminal injury. In most cases, bodies of living organisms begin to decompose shortly after death.

Bank (geography) in geography, area between high and low tide marks

In geography, the word bank generally refers to the land alongside a body of water. Different structures are referred to as banks in different fields of geography, as follows.

West of the line of longitude 141°E, the river continues as the border between Victoria and South Australia for approximately 11 km (6.8 mi), where this is the only stretch where a state border runs down the middle of the river. [7] This was due to a miscalculation during the 1840s, when the border was originally surveyed. Past this point, the Murray River is entirely within the state of South Australia.

Longitude A geographic coordinate that specifies the east-west position of a point on the Earths surface

Longitude, is a geographic coordinate that specifies the east–west position of a point on the Earth's surface, or the surface of a celestial body. It is an angular measurement, usually expressed in degrees and denoted by the Greek letter lambda (λ). Meridians connect points with the same longitude. By convention, one of these, the Prime Meridian, which passes through the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, England, was allocated the position of 0° longitude. The longitude of other places is measured as the angle east or west from the Prime Meridian, ranging from 0° at the Prime Meridian to +180° eastward and −180° westward. Specifically, it is the angle between a plane through the Prime Meridian and a plane through both poles and the location in question.

Borders are geographic boundaries of political entities or legal jurisdictions, such as governments, sovereign states, federated states, and other subnational entities. Borders are established through agreements between political or social entities that control those areas; the creation of these agreements is called boundary delimitation.

South Australia State of Australia

South Australia is a state in the southern central part of Australia. It covers some of the most arid parts of the country. With a total land area of 983,482 square kilometres (379,725 sq mi), it is the fourth-largest of Australia's states and territories by area, and fifth largest by population. It has a total of 1.7 million people, and its population is the second most highly centralised in Australia, after Western Australia, with more than 77 percent of South Australians living in the capital, Adelaide, or its environs. Other population centres in the state are relatively small; Mount Gambier, the second largest centre, has a population of 28,684.

Major settlements along

The following major settlements are located along the course of the river, with population figures from the 2011 Census: [8]

Albury/Wodonga 82,083
Mulwala/Yarrawonga 9,000
Moama/Echuca 16,000
Swan Hill 9,700
Mildura 31,361
Renmark 8,000
Murray Bridge 20,500

River life

The Murray River (and associated tributaries) support a variety of river life adapted to its vagaries. This includes a variety of native fish such as the famous Murray cod, trout cod, golden perch, Macquarie perch, silver perch, eel-tailed catfish, Australian smelt, and western carp gudgeon, and other aquatic species like the Murray short-necked turtle, Murray River crayfish, broad-clawed yabbies, and the large clawed Macrobrachium shrimp, as well as aquatic species more widely distributed through southeastern Australia such as common longnecked turtles, common yabbies, the small claw-less paratya shrimp, water rats, and platypus. The Murray River also supports fringing corridors and forests of the river red gum.

The health of the Murray River has declined significantly since European settlement, particularly due to river regulation, and much of its aquatic life including native fish are now declining, rare or endangered. Recent extreme droughts (2000–07) have put significant stress on river red gum forests, with mounting concern over their long-term survival. The Murray has also flooded on occasion, the most significant of which was the flood of 1956, which inundated many towns on the lower Murray and which lasted for up to six months.

Introduced fish species such as carp, gambusia , weather loach, redfin perch, brown trout, and rainbow trout have also had serious negative effects on native fish, while carp have contributed to environmental degradation of the Murray River and tributaries by destroying aquatic plants and permanently raising turbidity. In some segments of the Murray River, carp have become the only species found.

Ancient history

Lake Bungunnia

Between 2.5 and 0.5 million years ago the Murray River terminated in a vast freshwater lake called Lake Bungunnia. Lake Bungunnia was formed by earth movements that blocked the Murray River near Swan Reach during this period. At its maximum extent Lake Bungunnia covered 33,000 km2 (12,741 sq mi), extending to near the Menindee Lakes in the north and to near Boundary Bend on the Murray in the south. [9] The draining of Lake Bungunnia occurred approximately 600,000 years ago. [10]

Deep clays deposited by the lake are evident in cliffs around Chowilla in South Australia. Considerably higher rainfall would have been required to keep such a lake full; the draining of Lake Bungunnia appears to mark the end of a wet phase in the history of the Murray-Darling Basin and the onset of widespread arid conditions similar to today. A species of Neoceratodus lungfish existed in Lake Bungunnia (McKay & Eastburn, 1990); today Neoceratodus lungfish are only found in several Queensland rivers.

Cadell Fault and formation of the Barmah Red Gum Forests

The noted Barmah River Red Gum Forests owe their existence to the Cadell Fault. About 25,000 years ago, displacement occurred along the Cadell fault, raising the eastern edge of the fault, which runs north-south, 8 to 12 m (26 to 39 ft) above the floodplain. This created a complex series of events. A section of the original Murray River channel immediately behind the fault was abandoned, and it exists today as an empty channel known as Green Gully. The Goulburn River was dammed by the southern end of the fault to create a natural lake.

The Murray River flowed to the north around the Cadell Fault, creating the channel of the Edward River which exists today and through which much of the Murray River's waters still flow. Then the natural dam on the Goulburn River failed, the lake drained, and the Murray River avulsed to the south and started to flow through the smaller Goulburn River channel, creating "The Barmah Choke" and "The Narrows" (where the river channel is unusually narrow), before entering into the proper Murray River channel again.

This complex series of events, however, diverts attention from the primary result of the Cadell Fault — that the west-flowing water of the Murray River strikes the north-south fault and diverts both north and south around the fault in the two main channels (Edward and ancestral Goulburn) as well as a fan of small streams, and regularly floods a large amount of low-lying country in the area. These conditions are perfect for River Red Gums, which rapidly formed forests in the area. Thus the displacement of the Cadell Fault 25,000 BP led directly to the formation of the famous Barmah River Red Gum Forests.

The Barmah Choke and The Narrows mean the amount of water that can travel down this part of the Murray River is restricted. In times of flood and high irrigation flows the majority of the water, in addition to flooding the Red Gum forests, actually travels through the Edward River channel. The Murray River has not had enough flow power to naturally enlarge The Barmah Choke and The Narrows to increase the amount of water they can carry.

The Cadell Fault is quite noticeable as a continuous, low, earthen embankment as one drives into Barmah from the west, although to the untrained eye it may appear man-made.

The confluence of the Darling and Murray Rivers at Wentworth, New South Wales Confluence of Murray & Darling Rivers, Wentworth, NSW, 9.7.2007.jpg
The confluence of the Darling and Murray Rivers at Wentworth, New South Wales

Murray mouth

The Murray Mouth is the point at which the Murray River empties into the sea, [3] and the interaction between its shallow, shifting and variable currents and the open sea can be complex and unpredictable. During the peak period of Murray River commerce (roughly 1855 to 1920), it presented a major impediment to the passage of goods and produce between Adelaide and the Murray settlements, and many vessels foundered or were wrecked there.

Since the early 2000s, dredging machines have operated at the Murray Mouth, moving sand from the channel to maintain a minimal flow from the sea and into the Coorong's lagoon system. Without the 24-hour dredging, the mouth would silt up and close, cutting the supply of fresh sea-water into the Coorong, which would then warm up, stagnate and die.

Murray Mouth viewed from Hindmarsh Island Murray River mouth.JPG
Murray Mouth viewed from Hindmarsh Island


Being one of the major river systems on one of the driest continents on Earth, the Murray has significant cultural relevance to Aboriginal Australians. According to the peoples of Lake Alexandrina, the Murray was created by the tracks of the Great Ancestor, Ngurunderi, as he pursued Pondi, the Murray Cod. The chase originated in the interior of New South Wales. Ngurunderi pursued the fish (who, like many totem animals in Aboriginal myths, is often portrayed as a man) on rafts (or lala) made from red gums and continually launched spears at his target. But Pondi was a wily prey and carved a weaving path, carving out the river's various tributaries. Ngurunderi was forced to beach his rafts, and often create new ones as he changed from reach to reach of the river.

At Kobathatang, Ngurunderi finally got lucky and struck Pondi in the tail with a spear. However, the shock to the fish was so great it launched him forward in a straight line to a place called Peindjalang, near Tailem Bend. Eager to rectify his failure to catch his prey, the hunter and his two wives (sometimes the escaped sibling wives of Waku and Kanu) hurried on, and took positions high on the cliff on which Tailem Bend now stands. They sprung an ambush on Pondi only to fail again. Ngurunderi set off in pursuit again but lost his prey as Pondi dived into Lake Alexandrina. Ngurunderi and his women settled on the shore, only to suffer bad luck with fishing, being plagued by a water fiend known as Muldjewangk. They later moved to a more suitable spot at the site of present-day Ashville. The twin summits of Mount Misery are supposed to be the remnants of his rafts, they are known as Lalangengall or the two watercraft.

Remarkably, this story of a hunter pursuing a Murray cod that carved out the Murray persists in numerous forms in various language groups that inhabit the enormous area spanned by the Murray system. The Wotojobaluk people of Victoria tell of Totyerguil from the area now known as Swan Hill who ran out of spears while chasing Otchtout the cod.


European exploration

The first Europeans to encounter the river were Hamilton Hume and William Hovell, who crossed the river where Albury now stands in 1824: Hume named it the Hume River after his father. In 1830, Captain Charles Sturt reached the river after travelling down its tributary the Murrumbidgee River and named it the Murray River in honour of the then British Secretary of State for War and the Colonies, Sir George Murray, not realising it was the same river that Hume and Hovell had encountered further upstream.

Sturt continued down the remaining length of the Murray to finally reach Lake Alexandrina and the river's mouth. The area of the Murray Mouth was explored more thoroughly by Captain Collet Barker in 1831.

The first three settlers on the Murray River are known to have been James Collins Hawker (explorer and surveyor) along with E. J. Eyre (explorer and later Governor of Jamaica) plus E. B. Scott (onetime superintendent of Yatala Labour Prison). Hawker is known to have sold his share in the Bungaree Station which he founded with his brothers, and relocated alongside the Murray at a site near Moorundie [11]

In 1852, Francis Cadell, in preparation for the launch of his steamer service, explored the river in a canvas boat, travelling 1,300 miles (2,100 km) downstream from Swan Hill. [12]

In 1858, while acting as Minister of Land and Works for New South Wales, Irish nationalist and founder of Young Ireland, Charles Gavan Duffy, founded Carlyle Township on the Murray River, a township named after his close friend, Scottish historian and essayist Thomas Carlyle. Included in the township were "Jane Street," named in honor of Carlyle's wife Jane Carlyle and "Stuart-Mill Street" in honor of political philosopher John Stuart Mill (Duffy, 1892, Conversations with Carlyle , pp. 202-203).

In 1858, the Government Zoologist, William Blandowski, along with Gerard Krefft, explored the lower reaches of the Murray and Darling rivers, compiling a list of birds and mammals.

George "Chinese" Morrison, then aged 18, navigated the river by canoe from Wodonga to its mouth, in 65 days, completing the 1,555 mile (2,503 km) journey in January 1881. [13]

River transport

The PS Murray Princess is the largest paddlewheeler operating on the Murray River PS Murray Princess 2.JPG
The PS Murray Princess is the largest paddlewheeler operating on the Murray River
The P.S. Melbourne passing through Lock 11 at Mildura PSMelbourneLock11.jpg
The P.S. Melbourne passing through Lock 11 at Mildura

The lack of an estuary means that shipping cannot enter the Murray from the sea. However, in the 19th century the river supported a substantial commercial trade using shallow-draft paddle steamers, the first trips being made by two boats from South Australia on the spring flood of 1853. The Lady Augusta, captained by Francis Cadell, reached Swan Hill while another, Mary Ann, captained by William Randell, made it as far as Moama (near Echuca). [14] In 1855 a steamer carrying gold-mining supplies reached Albury but Echuca was the usual turn-around point, though small boats continued to link with up-river ports such as Tocumwal, Wahgunya and Albury. [15]

The arrival of steamboat transport was welcomed by pastoralists who had been suffering from a shortage of transport due to the demands of the gold fields. By 1860 a dozen steamers were operating in the high water season along the Murray and its tributaries. Once the railway reached Echuca in 1864, the bulk of the woolclip from the Riverina was transported via river to Echuca and then south to Melbourne.

The Murray was plagued by "snags", fallen trees submerged in the water, and considerable efforts were made to clear the river of these threats to shipping by using barges equipped with steam-driven winches. In recent times, efforts have been made to restore many of these snags by placing dead gum trees back into the river. The primary purpose of this is to provide habitat for fish species whose breeding grounds and shelter were eradicated by the removal of the snags.[ citation needed ]

Drawing of a paddle steamer travelling the Murray at night, c. 1880 Night travel on the Murray c1880.jpg
Drawing of a paddle steamer travelling the Murray at night, c. 1880

The volume and value of river trade made Echuca Victoria's second port and in the decade from 1874 it underwent considerable expansion. By this time up to thirty steamers and a similar number of barges were working the river in season. River transport began to decline once the railways touched the Murray at numerous points. The unreliable levels made it impossible for boats to compete with the rail and later road transport. However, the river still carries pleasure boats along its entire length.

Today, most traffic on the river is recreational. Small private boats are used for water skiing and fishing. Houseboats are common, both commercial for hire and privately owned. There are a number of both historic paddle steamers and newer boats offering cruises ranging from half an hour to 5 days.

River crossings

The Murray River has been a significant barrier to land-based travel and trade. Many of the ports for transport of goods along the Murray have also developed as places to cross the river, either by bridge or ferry. The first bridge to cross the Murray, which was built in 1869, is in the town of Murray Bridge, formerly called Edwards Crossing.

Water storage and irrigation

A branch of the Murray in its middle reaches, near Howlong, New South Wales Murray howlong.jpg
A branch of the Murray in its middle reaches, near Howlong, New South Wales

Small-scale pumping plants began drawing water from the Murray in the 1850s and the first high-volume plant was constructed at Mildura in 1887. The introduction of pumping stations along the river promoted an expansion of farming and led ultimately to the development of irrigation areas (including the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area). [16]

In 1915, the three Murray states – New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia – signed the River Murray Agreement which proposed the construction of storage reservoirs in the river's headwaters as well as at Lake Victoria near the South Australian border. Along the intervening stretch of the river a series of locks and weirs were built. These were originally proposed to support navigation even in times of low water, but riverborne transport was already declining due to improved highway and railway systems.

Four large reservoirs were built along the Murray. In addition to Lake Victoria (completed late 1920s), these are Lake Hume near Albury–Wodonga (completed 1936), Lake Mulwala at Yarrawonga (completed 1939), and Lake Dartmouth, which is actually on the Mitta Mitta River upstream of Lake Hume (completed 1979). The Murray also receives water from the complex dam and pipeline system of the Snowy Mountains Scheme. An additional reservoir was proposed in the 1960s at Chowilla Dam which was to have been built in South Australia and would have flooded land mostly in Victoria and New South Wales. This reservoir was cancelled in favour of building Dartmouth Dam due to costs and concerns relating to increased salinity.

From 1935 to 1940 a series of barrages was built near the Murray Mouth to stop seawater egress into the lower part of the river during low flow periods. They are the Goolwa Barrage, located at 632 metres (2,073 ft), Mundoo Channel Barrage at 800 metres (2,600 ft), Boundary Creek Barrage at 243 metres (797 ft), Ewe Island Barrage at 853 metres (2,799 ft), and Tauwitchere Barrage at 3.6 kilometres (2.2 mi).

Dead and dying River Red Gums on the lower Murray near Berri, South Australia. Murray berri.jpg
Dead and dying River Red Gums on the lower Murray near Berri, South Australia.

These dams inverted the patterns of the river's natural flow from the original winter-spring flood and summer-autumn dry to the present low level through winter and higher during summer. These changes ensured the availability of water for irrigation and made the Murray Valley Australia's most productive agricultural region, but have seriously disrupted the life cycles of many ecosystems both inside and outside the river, and the irrigation has led to dryland salinity that now threatens the agricultural industries.

The disruption of the river's natural flow, runoff from agriculture, and the introduction of pest species like the European carp has led to serious environmental damage along the river's length and to concerns that the river will be unusably salty in the medium to long term – a serious problem given that the Murray supplies 40 percent of the water supply for Adelaide. Efforts to alleviate the problems proceed but disagreement between various groups stalls progress.[ when? ]

Goolwa Barrage viewed from the freshwater side Goolwa Barrage.JPG
Goolwa Barrage viewed from the freshwater side

In 2006, the state government of South Australia revealed its plan to investigate the construction of the controversial Wellington Weir.


Lock 1 and weir at Blanchetown Lock 1 and weir at Blanchetown.JPG
Lock 1 and weir at Blanchetown
Lock 11, Mildura. Lock11Mildura.jpg
Lock 11, Mildura.

Lock 1 was completed near Blanchetown in 1922. Torrumbarry weir downstream of Echuca began operating in December 1923. Of the numerous locks that were proposed, only thirteen were completed; Locks 1 to 11 on the stretch downstream of Mildura, Lock 15 at Euston and Lock 26 at Torrumbarry. Construction of the remaining weirs purely for navigation purposes was abandoned in 1934. The last lock to be completed was Lock 15, in 1937. [17] Lock 11, just downstream of Mildura, creates a 100-kilometre (62 mi) long lock pool which aided irrigation pumping from Mildura and Red Cliffs.

Each lock has a navigable passage next to it through the weir, which is opened during periods of high river flow, when there is too much water for the lock. The weirs can be completely removed, and the locks completely covered by water during flood conditions. Lock 11 is unique in that the lock was built inside a bend of the river, with the weir in the bend itself. A channel was dug to the lock, creating an island between it and the weir. The weir is also of a different design, being dragged out of the river during high flow, rather than lifted out.

Lock distances and elevations [17]
NameLock numberRiver distance from Murray Mouth (km)Elevation at full supply level (m)Year completed
Overland Corner34319.81925
Rufus River769722.11934
Yarrawonga Weirn/a1992124.91939

See also

Major tributaries

Population centres


  1. In South Australia, the rendition "River Murray" is the more common, as is "River Darling" and "River Torrens".

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Goolwa Barrages

The Goolwa Barrages comprise five barrage structures in the channels separating Lake Alexandrina from the sea at the mouth of the River Murray and the Coorong in Australia. They were constructed in order to firstly reduce salinity levels in the lower reaches of the River Murray, Lake Alexandrina and Lake Albert and secondly to stabilise the river level, for both upstream irrigation and pumping.

Barmah National Park Protected area in Victoria, Australia

The Barmah National Park is a national park located in the Hume region of the Australian state of Victoria. The 31,160-hectare (77,000-acre) park is located adjacent to the Murray River near the town of Barmah, approximately 220 kilometres (140 mi) north of Melbourne. The park consists of river red gum floodplain forest, interspersed with treeless freshwater marshes. The area is subject to seasonal flooding from natural and irrigation water flows.

Menindee Lakes

The Menindee Lakes is a chain of shallow ephemeral freshwater lakes connected to the Darling River to form a storage system. The lakes lie in the far west region of New South Wales, Australia, near the town of Menindee.

PS <i>Hero</i>

The Hero is a paddle steamer that was built at Echuca in 1874 by George Linklater. The working life of Hero first ended in 1957, but it was later restored c2000 as a first class luxury paddle steamer finely fitted-out for private charters.

Cadell Fault geological fault in the Austalian states of New South Wales and Victoria

The Cadell Fault is a north-south trending intra-plate geological fault in the Riverina area of New South Wales and Victoria within Australia. It straddles the Murray River and in quite recent prehistoric times has impacted its course, as well as the courses of the Edward River, Wakool River, Goulburn River and Campaspe River. The Cadell Fault is notable due to this impact and has been described as one of the most significant examples of seismic activity changing the course of rivers. The fault is visible as a continuous earthen ridge along the Cobb Highway between Deniliquin and Echuca, and extending further south into Victoria. The fault is likely named after Francis Cadell, an early pioneer of the Murray River and river trader.

Finniss River (South Australia) river in South Australia

The Finniss River drains part of the east side of Fleurieu Peninsula into Lake Alexandrina in South Australia. It is part of the Murray–Darling basin.

<i>Pseudoraphis spinescens</i>

Pseudoraphis spinescens, called spiny mudgrass or Moira grass is a rhizomatous and stoloniferous aquatic or semi-aquatic perennial grass, with ascending stems forming loose, floating mats in water to 1 m deep or more, or with stems to 50 cm high when not submerged. Moira grass was first described in 1810 by Robert Brown as Panicum spinescens, and subsequently transferred to Pseudoraphis by Joyce W. Vickery in 1950.


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  2. "(Australia's) Longest Rivers". Geoscience Australia. 10 December 2013. Retrieved 10 December 2013.
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  4. Guide to the Proposed Basin Plan, Murray Darling Basin Authority 2010 Archived 13 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine
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  11. "The LateMr. J. C. Hawker. An Interesting Career". Adelaide: The Register. 16 May 1901.
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  13. Pearl, Cyril (1967). Morrison of Peking. Sydney,Australia: Angus & Robertson. p. 11-12.
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  15. Railways and Riverboats Rowland, E.C. Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin, January 1976 pp1-16
  16. "Irrigation". Retrieved 15 August 2017.
  17. 1 2 "Weirs and locks". Murray-Darling Basin Authority . Retrieved 17 June 2017.

Further reading

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