The Lower Darling River and Great Darling Anabranch are located in southͲwest New South Wales. Muddy waters meander over the grey soil floodplains past red dunes, spiky saltbush and gnarled red gums. These are the traditional lands of the Paakintji people. But the land and the river are no longer what the Paakintji once knew and fished.
11 000 years ago, the Darling River changed its course just south of Menindee Lakes, leaving the Great Anabranch’s 460km channel to dry and flow into the Murray only during big floods. Since its discovery by Europeans, the Great Anabranch has been the focus of dreams to use the ancient river channel to deliver water for irrigation. The Darling itself was once a busy transportation route, with paddlesteamers carrying wool and other goods between Bourke and the rest of the colony.
(Source: Frawley, J., Nichols, S., Goodall, H. and Baker, E. 2011. Darling and the Great Anabranch: Talking fish, making connections with the rivers of the Murray-Darling Basin. Murray-Darling Basin Authority, Canberra.)
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