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New South Wales – 122km

Wentworth – Where the Darling meets the Murray

The outback town of Wentworth lies at the junction of the Murray and Darling rivers. Wentworth retains many historic buildings, including the Old Gaol, the Courthouse, the Convent and the Customs House (now a private residence). Junction Island is the name given to the sandy shoal between the two rivers and has a short walk to the point. A canoe tree is located nearby and the area is a nature reserve, rich in flora, wildlife and birdlife.

On the way, you can stop at Buronga which has the Australian Inland Botanic Gardens featuring arid land plantings. The gardens are open every day but once a month can be toured by tractor train.

The Darling has its headwaters and tributaries fed by monsoonal downpours and mountain rains in north-eastern New South Wales and southern Queensland. It meanders over the imperceptibly sloping plain, but when in flood becomes an inland sea. From the junction it extends some 1900km, in a good season, to Walgett.

In the 1890s there were 92 paddle steamers working the Darling, and between 1890 and 1900 Wentworth became the largest river port in Australia with over 400 craft using it in a year. Captain Charles Sturt named the Murray River on 23 January 1830 from the vantage point of the junction of the rivers. Earlier in 1829, Sturt explored the Darling River headwaters. Sturt also previously passed the junction of the Darling with the Murray when he was on his epic journey down the unexplored Murrumbidgee-Murray River system.

Wentworth was declared a town in 1860, and on New Years’ Day in 1861 the first race meeting was held. The course was the town’s main street, the finishing post a hotel flagpole and the balcony of the same hotel became the grandstand. After just two years, in 1862, Wentworth became the centre of the mail network for western New South Wales. The runs were Wentworth- Melbourne, Adelaide-Wentworth via the Murray, Wentworth-Balranald (via Hay) to Sydney and Wentworth-up the Darling via Bourke.

Today Wentworth is thriving small community with great experiences and very pleasant village style atmosphere.

How to get there:

From Euston head west along the Sturt Highway towards Mildura. Turn right at the Buronga roundabout and continue towards Dareton to Wentworth.

Source: Discover Murray River

Towns and parks north of Robinvale-Euston

Heading north of Robinvale-Euston you can explore our wonderful Murray Mallee region and National Parks. Some of these include: