Merging if the Barwon and Darling rivers

Darling River

ETA Unknown

Wallaby sitting beside a river

Onto this Australian iconic river that is formed by the merging of the Barwon and Culgoa Rivers.

While there are reports that a tiny flow will be enough to traverse the river at 20 ML/day, a minimal flow of 1 Cumecs is more realistic and likely only enjoyable above 10 Cumecs. Carefully assess the flow and speed of the water through the system before any trip. See the planning page for more details.

Key Waypoints

  • 1,515 km

    Darling River Head

    Date 21 March 2020
    Distance between locations 165 km Elevation 114 m Slope 0.07‰
    Coordinates 29° 57' 29.5" S, 146° 18' 28.4" E

    The Darling is most commonly started from Brewarrina (Bre for short) that is 122.7 km above the head of the river, a 205.2 km trip to Bourke.

    Walgett is the next major town on the Barwon, accessible from the Namoi River. It is 406.2 km above the head of the Darling, and 488.7 km from Bourke.

    Mob of 6 emus

    First time around, almost all of the flow was being generated from the flow out of the Culgoa floodplains. River height of 5.2 m with a flow of 108 Cumecs at Bourke.

    On my return trip, the river was in minor flood from the Barwon River. River height of 9.4 m with a flow of 30,000 ML/day at Bourke.

    Paddling both flows was pleasant, the main difference was one didn't have to climb the banks much to camp!

  • 1,597 km

    Bourke

    Wide slow flowing river lined by gum trees
    Date 22 March 2020
    Distance between locations 82.5 km Elevation 108 m Slope 0.07‰
    Coordinates 29° 55' 31.8" S, 146° 41' 60.0" E
    Population 1,824 Supermarket(s) Climate
    Gauge: Bourke, BoM; WaterNSW
    Flood: minor: 9.5 m, moderate: 11.4 m, major: 12.7 m
    Flow: no flow: 3.92 m
    kayak packed on road ready for transport

    IGA in town

    Avoid leaving your gear unattended here (RK).

  • 1,802 km

    Louth

    Date eta unknown
    Distance between locations 205 km Elevation 91 m Slope 0.08‰
    Coordinates 30° 32' 5.7" S, 145° 6' 50.8" E
    Population 43
    Gauge: Louth, BoM; WaterNSW
    Catchment: 489,300 sq km
    Flood: minor: 8.6 m, moderate: 10 m, major: 12 m
    Flow: no flow: 1.21 m

    Shindy's Inn (02 6874 7422) is a pub that serves as a cafe and store. They stock basic supplies and you could possibly be able to organise a food run beforehand.

  • 1,970 km

    Tilpa

    Date eta unknown
    Distance between locations 168 km Elevation 80 m Slope 0.07‰
    Coordinates 30° 56' 13.7" S, 144° 25' 3.2" E
    Population 44 General Store
    Gauge: Tilpa, BoM; WaterNSW
    Catchment: 502,500 sq km
    Flood: minor: 9 m, moderate: 10.5 m, major: 11.5 m
    Flow: no flow: 0.18 m

    Tiny town with pub and petrol station, no supplies unless organised beforehand with the owners of the Tilpa Hotel (02 6837 3928). They do a food run about once per week.

  • 2,241 km

    Wilcannia

    Date eta unknown
    Distance between locations 271 km Elevation 66 m Slope 0.05‰
    Coordinates 31° 33' 35.6" S, 143° 22' 46.3" E
    Population 549 General Store Climate
    Gauge: Wilcannia Main Channel, BoM; WaterNSW
    Catchment: 569,800 sq km
    Flood: minor: 9 m, moderate: 9.7 m, major: 10.4 m
    Flow: no flow: -0.19 m

    An IGA in town (the Friendly Grocer 08 8091 5989). There are apparently petty crime issues so keep a watch on your gear. (RK).

  • 2,559 km

    Menindee

    Date eta unknown
    Distance between locations 318 km Elevation 58 m Slope 0.03‰
    Coordinates 32° 23' 52.0" S, 142° 24' 48.0" E
    Population 551 General Store Climate
    Gauge: Menindee Town, BoM; WaterNSW
    Gauge: Menindee U/S Weir 32, BoM; WaterNSW
    Catchment: 569,600 sq km
    Flood: minor: 8.5 m, moderate: 9.1 m, major: 9.7 m
    Flow: no flow: 2.18 m
    Maps and aerial images

    Darling River Friendly Grocer (08 8091 4288) in town for supplies.

  • 2,854 km

    Pooncarie

    Date eta unknown
    Distance between locations 295 km Elevation 48 m Slope 0.03‰
    Coordinates 33° 23' 7.9" S, 142° 34' 1.8" E
    Population 166 General Store Climate
    Gauge: Pooncarie, BoM; WaterNSW
    Catchment: 611,000 sq km
    Flood: minor: 6.8 m, moderate: 7.6 m, major: 8.7 m
    Flow: no flow: 0.63 m

    Port Pitstop Pooncarie Fuel Stop (03 5029 5267) is the only general store and fuel.

  • 3,012 km

    Ellerslie / Palinyewah

    Date eta unknown
    Distance between locations 158 km Elevation 40 m Slope 0.05‰
    Coordinates 33° 50' 36.5" S, 142° 0' 45.7" E

    Ellerslie is a small citrus-growing community. Likely no shops etc.

  • 3,092 km

    Wentworth

    Two large slow moving rivers joining together
    Date eta unknown
    Distance between locations 80 km Elevation 34 m Slope 0.08‰
    Coordinates 34° 6' 38.4" S, 141° 54' 12.8" E
    Population 1,248 Supermarket(s) Climate
    Gauge: Murray River at Lock 10, BoM; WaterNSW
    Catchment: 906,000 sq km
    Flood: minor: 32.08 m, moderate: 32.68 m, major: 33.88 m
    Flow: no flow: 22.97 m

    Final stop before joining the waters of the Murray.