37 Murray River Facts: Learn About The Longest River In Australia! | Kidadl


37 Murray River Facts: Learn About The Longest River In Australia!

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The River Murray flows through Australia and is the world’s third-longest navigable river right after the Amazon and Nile. It begins in the snowy mountains and runs across three states: New South Wales, South Australia, and Victoria, and has a length of 1,567 mi (2,508 km).

It creates a natural border between New South Wales and Victoria. It sits in the Murray-Darling basin which is very important, and then drains most of the inland waterways of Victoria, New South Wales, and southern Queensland from the western side of the Great Australian Divide.

Nowadays, the river is becoming extremely affected by various sources that drain pollutants into the river posing a threat to it. It is therefore impacting its consumers as the river now contains high salt content. But still compared to other polluted rivers in different countries, the Murray River is in great condition but that does not change the fact that it needs to be conserved since it is a major source of revenue, water, soil, and land.

Interested in finding out more fascinating facts about the Murray River? Read on to know more about the important Murray settlements along the Murray Darling Basin in South Eastern Australia.

Fun Facts About The Murray River

The Murray River is one of the most important rivers in Australia as it caters to the needs of three important states of the country. Moreover, it is also home to some of the most important aquatic species found in the country. Though sadly, since European settlement started along the Murray River, a large number of such marine species have also gone extinct.

Here are some extremely fascinating facts about the Murray River which will certainly intrigue you:

The Murray-Darling Basin is the largest and most famous river system of Australia. It is where both rivers, the River Murray and River Darling meet. More than two million people have settled in this basin that includes a wide range of complex ecosystems: aquatic life that consists of native fish such as Murray cod, trout, silver perch, many species of birds, including kingfisher, neon, and hardhead, and animals, such as kangaroos, koalas, and quolls. The soil here is very fertile and perfect for agriculture. In fact, the basin covers a large part of the food supply in the country.

The point at which the River Murray meets the sea and empties into it is called the Murray River Mouth. To keep the Coorong’s lagoon system alive, dredging machines operate 24 hours at the Murray Mouth to avoid silting up and the fresh seawater keeps moving into Coorong.

There is a lack of estuary in the River Murray which is why sea transport cannot enter the river. But still, the river supports a good transport system for recreational purposes. The transport mainly consists of small private boats required for fishing and water skiing, and houseboats for commercial purposes.

For successful transportation of goods, trade, and land-based travel, bridges have been built, and Edwards Crossing is the first bridge that was built to cross the River Murray. Ferries are also used for crossing the river.

The Port of Echuca is the name of the working port for trade and transportation in Victoria, located on the River Murray.

Small towns located in the south-east region of South Australia, like Purnong, receive most of the water from the River Murray.

Along with its tributaries, the River Murray is part of the third-largest catchment on Earth.

A large amount of water is supplied by the River Murray throughout the continent through pipelines. The Morgan-Whyalla Pipeline is one of the major pipelines out of the five pipelines in Australia that link the River Murray with the communities of South Australia.

Freshwater and salt waters present in the lower lakes are separated by the Tauwitchere Barrage.

To remove salt from extremely useful groundwater, salt-interception schemes are used. The salt descends via soil mixing into the underground water that is a problem for agriculture, regional communities, and infrastructure. This salinity problem has become of great significance to Australia.

The two rivers, the River Murray and the River Darling, meet at Wentworth, NSW.

Rice is the main irrigated cereal crop that grows in the Murray-Darling basin and feeds millions of Australians. The problem was highlighted when the large city of Adelaide, that is dependent on the River Murray for nearly half its water supply, received water that by World Health Organisation (WHO) standards has been declared unfit for drinking.

The Murray River is one of the few rivers in the world to have its own flag! Yes, this river has had its own flag in place since the 1850s. There are three different variants of the flag that are employed by various commercial ventures present near the banks of the river. Have you ever seen the Murray River flag?

While the river is the lifeline of South Australia it is also responsible for one of the worst catastrophes of the state in the form of a severe flood that happened in the year 1956.

The River Murray was discovered in 1824 by Hamilton Hume and William Hovel, European explorers who originally called it the Hume River.

Five years later, it was renamed by Charles Sturt after Sir George Murray who was a British politician whose exploration party encountered the connection with the Darling River.

Darling River, Lachlan River, Murrumbidgee River, Ovens, Mitta Mitta, and Goulburn River, are principal tributaries of the River Murray. The river basin is a great tourist attraction that helps Australia earn a huge amount of revenue. The river has many deep pools or holes with an average depth of 20 ft -26.4 ft (6m - 8 m). Water depth from Yarrawonga to Torrumbarry averages 10 ft (3 m) and the channel width can be up to 330 ft (100 m).

According to research analysis, more than 40 million years ago, a valley in Australia began to take shape due to geographical uplifting. It is this valley that cradles the River Murray, Australia’s longest navigable river.

The River Murray flows through scenic beauty, which is one of the main reasons why it is a tourist attraction. The river has a deep and rich cultural history and heritage, rich flora, and fauna, services busy townships and regional centers, and most importantly is one of the most important sources of water, and vegetation as it has very fertile soil.

The river basin is home to many species that include emus, koalas, Western grey kangaroos, dragon lizards, red-rumped parrots, black swans, dolphin, and many species of fish. Aboriginal people for millennia have relied on it for their needs, and South Australia’s largest Aboriginal community lives on and along the lands of the River Murray and Coorong.

The settlement on the river basin began very late, and later a railroad system was built. The introduction of the railroad had a huge impact on the paddle steamers as they had to carry wool, wheat, and other goods up and down the river system. In 1887, George Chaffey, who was a Canadian, introduced the mechanism of irrigation around Victoria and South Australia. It has been of huge help since the soil here is so fertile, it is perfect for growing crops, and irrigation accelerated the use of the water supply from the Murray River.

The Murray River plays a significant part in Australia’s economy, not just by attracting revenue from tourists but also by being an important source of water for industrial and domestic use. To manage the river’s water flow and prevent conditions of drought and floods, a commission was introduced to manage storage, locks, and weirs, which were constructed that still fulfill the purpose.

Facts About The Murray River's Ecosystem

Are you enjoying reading these intriguing facts about the River Murray and its surrounding area? The Murray River's ecosystem is interesting to learn about. Discover facts about the animals living in and around the river as well as the species that pose a threat to the river.

The Murray River was named after the British Secretary of State for War and the Colonies, Sir George Murray. Ever since the European settlers started arriving here, the Murray River ecosystem has played an important role in helping them thrive.

Here are some extremely important facts about the Murray River ecosystem that you will certainly enjoy:

The Murray River supports complex ecosystems that include rich river life. This is because of the subtropical rainforest located to the north of it, and alpine meadows and snowfields in the south, and semi-arid desert in the west.

It supports a rich aquatic life. Some examples of these native fish species are silver perch, Murray cod, eel-tailed catfish, Australian smelt, and many more. Not only the fish, but a lot more species have a home in Murray waters, like water rats, platypus, the Murray short-necked turtle, Murray crayfish, broad-clawed yabbies, and the large-clawed macrobrachium. Forests of river red gum are also supported by the waters of the River Murray and, most importantly, its climate and location.

But there are some intruder species that pose a considerable threat to the ecology of the river by creating problems for the species which are native to the Murray River. Some of the most notorious intruder species that create a problem for the native fish species are loach, redfin perch, and common carp. These species consume the resources meant for native species and also degrade the habitat conditions.

The fortunes of the Murray forests have declined in the early part of this century, when extreme droughts hit between 2000 and 2007 and even the river flooding swept away much of its aquatic life, making many of the species endangered.

The fortunes of the Murray forests have declined

Lakes In The Murray River

Have you enjoyed reading the fascinating facts abut the Murray River ecosystem? Then find out more about its lakes below.

The Murray River forms the lifeline for three distinct states in Australia and is also essential for native fish species found in the various lakes along its course.

Here are some interesting facts about the different lakes in the Murray River:

Lake Victoria: Lake Victoria is located in New South Wales and is the main water reserve for South Australia and the Murray-Darling River System.

Lake Hume: There is a major dam located across the River Murray, Hume Dam in the Riverina region of New South Wales, Australia. The reservoir of the lake is called Lake Hume.

Lower-Lake Barrages: In between Lake Alexandrina and the Coorong lies lower-lake barrages, which water from the upper Murray and River Darling basin flows into. The water level of these lower lakes fluctuates on an annual basis. There are five of these lower-lake barrages: Goolwa Barrage, Mundoo Barrage, Boundary Creek Barrage, Ewe Island, and Tauwitchere Barrage.

Where does the Murray River flow?

Do you know the different regions that the Murray River flows through? Find out all about the location of the Murray River here.

We have already discussed that the Murray River flows through three states of South-Eastern Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, and South Australia. From the origin from the source in the Australian Alps to the river's mouth at Lake Alexandrina, the Murray River flows through a wide range of cities. Here are some interesting aspects of the route taken by this important Australian river:

The River Murray originates from the Australian Alps, making its way through the western side of Australia’s highest mountains, then meanders north-west across Australia’s inland plains.

The river flows through three major states: New South Wales, South Australia, and Victoria. Then the river turns south at Morgan and the river basin flows into the lower-lake barrages lying in between Lake Alexandrina and the Coorong. Then the water flows through several channels around Hindmarsh Island and Mundoo Island. The primary towns through which the Murray Rivers flows are Albury, Wodonga, Mildura, Renmark, Echuca, Swan Hill, and Murray Bridge.

The flowing river water is joined by lagoon water from the Coorong to the south-east before emptying via the Murray mouth into the Great Australian Bight, often referred to as the Southern Ocean.

The Murray mouth is the name given to the point where the Murray River empties into the sea. It is at this point where the interaction between the shallow and variable currents of the river interact with the more violent currents of the sea. As a result, the resultant currents can be highly unpredictable and extremely complex.

The Murray mouth was originally extensively explored by Captain Collet Barker. He explored the mouth of the river, which opened into Lake Alexandrina. At present, due to various dams and weirs, only around 36% of the water of the river presently reaches the Murray mouth. The river caters to the water needs of millions of residents of Australia.

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

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