Photography obsessed writer and urban explorer. Lover of nature, art and long weekends. Adelaide, South Australia.
Published April 18th 2017
Where the 2 big rivers meet
A visit to Wentworth in far western New South Wales is worth the drive just to see the junction of Australia's two longest rivers, and the fourth largest river system in the world - the Murray and the Darling.
It's in this historic and very pretty town that these 2 giant rivers join in an astonishing natural display. The River Murray is wide and flows strong and steady from the Victorian high country while the Darling traverses through semi-arid plains, where most of the landscape has an elevation of less than 100 metres and an annual rainfall of less than 300mm.
By the time these two rivers meet, they've already travelled a combined distance of 4,428 river kilometres. From their confluence, they will continue on for another 832 kilometres to the Southern Ocean.
Where the two rivers meet there is a distinct colour difference. This can be easily seen from the viewing tower which overlooks the river bank. The tower is an easy climb to the top - just 50 or so stairs and the view is quite stunning.
The Darling is the third longest river in Australia. It originates from northern New South Wales and travels 1,472 kilometres to its convergence with the Murray in Wentworth. If you add in all of the fringing tributaries, it is a total of 2,844 kilometres long - making it the longest river system in Australia. Being a clay based river, the water that travels through the outback is a milky greenish colour.
The Murray River (or otherwise called the River Murray) is Australia's longest river at 2,508 kilometres long. The Murray begins at Mt Kosciusko in the Australian Alps. It heads west from the mountains to the inland plains and becomes the border of New South Wales and Victoria. Once merged with the Darling, it continues it's way into South Australia where it reaches the ocean at Lake Alexandrina near Goolwa, 100 kilometres south of Adelaide.
The Murray is a deep blue colour and makes the merging of the two rivers quite a rare sight. Considering the distance that Wentworth is from nearly every major Australian city and the fact that the Darling sometimes doesn't flow hard enough for the merging of the waters to be seen clearly made my visit to this location, even more, awe-inspiring.
This little spot on the side of the river is an iconic bucket-list tourist attraction and one that you really must see if you can.
Junction Park is such a pleasant place to stop a while. There are barbeques, toilets, a walking trail and a great playground for the young children. There are lots of interesting billboards with information on both of the River systems and the history of the area and its people. The information and the Park leaves you in complete admiration of the magnificent natural sight that you are lucky enough to be witnessing. And, the best part is (as are most good things in life) - it's free.
Wentworth is approximately 34 kilometres from Mildura, one of Victoria's largest regional centres. The outback mining city of Broken Hill is 260 kilometres to the north. Adelaide is just over 400 kilometres to the west, Melbourne is almost 600 kilometres south and Sydney is more than 1000 kilometres away to the east.
The town was originally called Moorna in 1855, but was re-named in 1860 after explorer, poet, barrister and politician William Charles Wentworth - the son of Catherine Crowley; a convict, transported to Norfolk Island for clothing theft.
Wentworth was part of the famous team of explorers who became the first white men to cross the Blue Mountains in 1813 with William Lawson and Gregory Blaxland.
In the late 1880's, during the paddle steamer era, Wentworth was Australia's busiest inland port until roads and railways became a faster and more efficient method of transportation.
The River Junction Park can be found on Cadell Street in Wentworth. Enquire at the Visitors Information Centre for directions or just follow the signs from the main street.