The Darling River

The Darling River, Australia's most iconic river, is part of the Murray Darling Basin which covers an area of 1,061,469 square kilometres (14% of the total area of Australia) and provides visitors with a vast array of activities, destinations, attractions, and fantastic accommodation options.

An integral part of any Darling River experience is the relationship between the river, the landscape and the people of the land (indigenous and European).

The Darling River has always been an integral part of the indigenous culture, a culture that stretches over 45,000 years and today, the river remains the lifeblood of the living culture of our First Nation people.

For the explorers who ventured out to record the courses of our waterways and search for the fabled inland sea, the task of venturing into the harsh, and at times unimaginable, the interior is truly remarkable.

First Nations & The Explorers

Australia is known as being as one of the oldest lands in the world, and one can only imagine how long 'man' has lived in this environment.

Indigenous culture relates to the land (and all elements pertaining to it) through the Dreaming and Dreamtime stories; to visit the outback gives some empathetic understanding of the spirituality of the land.

This relationship has existed for tens of thousands of years and is the basis of the cultural continuum of Indigenous Australians. European Australians have only been here for a few hundred years. Through the efforts of early explorers, the land is also significant to the identity of modern Australians due to their efforts in such a hostile environment.

Bourke & Wills, Charles Sturt, and Major Mitchell are names that are synonymous with the explorative spirit and the character that we as a country exhibit. The explorers' exploits and the essence of the land have been immortalised by many poets such as Henry Lawson, as well as many modern poets and storytellers.

These stories of the land and its people enable European Australians to relate to the outback in a similar way to the Dreamtime stories of Indigenous Australians - but with less of a connection to the land and understanding of the spirituality, it exudes. In time, maybe this relevance of the spiritual connection to the land can be better appreciated and understood through cultural sharing.

Darling River - Information & Learning

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