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Table of Contents
The Darling River is the third-longest river in Australia which spans 1,702 miles. It flows southwest from northern New South Wales to its convergence with the Murray River at Wentworth, New South Wales. It is the longest member of the Murray-Darling river system.
See the fact file below for more information on Darling River or alternatively, you can download our 28-page Darling River worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- Along the Darling River, Aboriginal peoples have settled and lived for tens of thousands of years.
- The Barkindji people called the river Baaka’ or ‘Barka.’
- People with livestock began to settle near the headwaters of the Darling River from 1815.
- From then on, pastoralists began to colonize the headwaters.
- In 1828, Charles Sturt together with Hamilton Hume was sent by Sir Ralph Darling, governor of New South Wales to investigate the lower course of the Macquarie River.
- Charles Sturt reached the Darling River and named it after Ralph Darling.
- In 1835, Major Thomas Mitchell traversed a portion of the Darling River spanning 300 miles.
- Major Thomas Mitchell correctly concluded that the Darling River joined with the Murray River, albeit never reaching that confluence.
- In 1856, the Blandowski Expedition led by William Blandowski embarked on a journey towards the junction of the Darling and Murray Rivers to acquire fish specimens for the National Museum.
- Blandowski and his party were able to collect 17,400 specimens.
- In the late 19th century, pastoralists in western New South Wales transported wool on shallow-draft paddle steamers via the Darling River.
- In 1992, the Darling River was affected by a severe cyanobacterial bloom, which damaged the river’s ecosystems and visibly discolored the water.
- Toxic algae grew because of the presence of phosphorus.
- In 2019, approximately one million fish died on the lower course of the river mainly due to water releases authorized by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority as instructed by the New South Wales government.
- The Darling River rises in the Great Dividing Range close to the border of New South Wales and Queensland.
- From there, it largely flows to the southwest across New South Wales.
- The river flows up to the confluence at the town of Wentworth on the New South Wales border with Victoria.
- Its course is three times longer than the total distance it travels across.
- The Murray-Darling river system is one of the largest in the world, being the drainage basin of the tributaries of the Murray River (Australia’s longest river) and the Darling River (Australia’s third-longest river).
- The Darling mostly flows through plains.
- The main source of the Darling is considered to be the Severn River, located in the Darling Downs region of Queensland, Australia.
FLORA AND FAUNA
- The Darling River is home to a variety of mammals, fish, birds, amphibians, and plants.
- Twenty one species of fish are native to the Darling River.
- There are also hundreds of invertebrate species in the river.
- While the Murray-Darling river system is home to a wide variety of plants such as shrublands, grasslands, herblands, and more, the Darling River, in particular, is home to acacia, bluebush, and saltbush plants.
- Because of land clearing, the construction of dams, invasive carp, and overall human activity, many plants and animals in the Darling River have become extinct or endangered.
- Carp, for instance, compete with other fish for the river’s resources.
- Major towns along the river include Brewarrina, Bourke, Louth, Menindee, Pooncarie, Tilpa, Wentworth, and Wilcannia.
- In 1859, it became possible to travel to Brewarrina via steamboat.
- The Brewarrina Aboriginal Fish Traps are heritage-listed Australian Aboriginal fish traps used to provide food.
- At 40,000 years old, the fish traps are considered the oldest man-made construction in the world.
- The town of Wentworth, where Darling joins Murray, became the busiest inland port in Australia in the late-1880s.
AGRICULTURE AND DEVELOPMENT
- Few irrigated regions along the Darling River are suitable for agriculture.
- Some areas are conducive for grazing animals.
- In the Mallee region, grapes and citrus are grown.
- Fodder crops are farmed in the towns of Wilcannia, Bourke, and Brewarrina.
- As for the development of the river’s drainage area, the Darling River Weirs Act of 1945 sanctioned and provided construction of a series of dams to enclose water in reservoirs that serve as sources of town water and irrigation purposes.
- In 1960, the Menindee Lakes Storage Scheme was completed, which allowed the construction of reservoirs with 1,454,000 acre-feet of water for irrigation and domestic use.
- The scheme helped reduce the frequency of flooding in the Menindee Lakes, a series of lakes that used to link to the Darling River.
Darling River Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle that includes everything you need to know about Darling River across 28 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about Darling River which is the third-longest river in Australia which spans 1,702 miles.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Darling River Facts
- Fast Facts
- River Glossary
- Make It True
- Course Map
- Historical Timeline
- River Explorers
- Ecosystem Sketch
- Poem In Response
- Let’s Discuss!
- Protection Proposal
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Link will appear as Darling River Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, February 18, 2022
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.