Dam

Weirs

Fast flowing river over weir

One of the least concerning looking hazards is actually one of the most lethal dangers that you are likely to encounter on the Darling. Unlike most of the weirs in populated centres, the weirs are usually unmarked, especially in the more remote rivers. In the right conditions some weirs can be hard to see from a distance, stay alert.

The dangers posed by a weir is very dependent on the flow. With no flow it is just a hassle to portage over it. With very high flows it may be fully submerged and may not even create a ripple. However, with the right flow many of the weirs can create a perfect hydraulic across the structure that even the most experienced paddler may not be able to escape.

Nasty looking weir

There is only one way to safely navigate a flowing weir, to portage around it. The current can be deceptively strong near the weir, so stay close to the river bank and exit well before the weir. Below the weir wall there will likely be a strong upstream current going back towards the weir as the eddy flow is recirculating back. Finish your portage below well below these currents.

Key Weirs along the Darling System

Warning float with faded writing

All weirs have been pieced together from misc sources. Many have not been confirmed as I either paddled in high flow or haven't been to any of these areas yet.

Above Warwick there are a dozen or more weirs and crossings. One road crossing had a particularly nasty drop onto shallow rocks.

Over the entire lengths of the Condamine, Balonne and Culgoa Rivers, none of the weirs had any warning signs other than an old warning buoy seen at Talgai Weir and a buoy line at the Chinchilla Weir.

The following is a work in progress collecting up information about the main non-natural hazards on the system. This only includes features that cause a drop of at least 10 cm that I noticed and remembered to record the location as I passed by.

Name Hazard River Leg§
Type Drop Portage Distance Drop Slope
Image of feature East St Weir Weir
Image of feature Queens Park Weir Weir
Image of feature Farm Track Crossing
Placeholder image Loose Stone Weir Weir
Image of feature Unnamed Weir Weir
Image of feature Farn Track Crossing
Image of feature Farm Track Crossing
Image of feature Talgai Weir Weir
Image of feature Farm Track Crossing
Image of feature Unnamed Weir Weir
Image of feature Yarramalong Weir Weir
Image of feature Farm Track Crossing
Image of feature Lemon Tree Weir Weir
Placeholder image Control or Small Weir Control
Image of feature Farm Track Crossing
Image of feature Small Weir Weir
Image of feature Cecil Plains Weir Weir
Image of feature Tipton Weir Weir
Image of feature Farm Track Crossing
Image of feature Loudoun Br Weir Weir
Image of feature Farm Track Crossing
Image of feature Farm Track Crossing
Image of feature Warra Weir Weir
Image of feature Farm Track Crossing
Image of feature Chinchilla Weir Weir
Image of feature Stone Weir Weir
Image of feature Crossing with control Crossing
Image of feature Condamine Weir Weir
Image of feature Reillys Weir Weir
Image of feature Cotsworld Weir Weir
Image of feature Surat Weir Weir
Image of feature Control Control
Image of feature E.J. Beardmore Dam Dam
Image of feature Jack Taylor Weir Weir
Image of feature Control Control

Many of the major weirs in the upper Darling basin are show in the map below:

  • Dam or reservoir
  • Weir or Low head dam