Outback MagazineOutback Magazine


The Darling River Run

Story Sue Neales
Photos Colin Kerr, Sue neales and Storry Walton

Darling RiverEveryone knows of the mighty Darling, Australia's longest river. Songs have been written about it, ballads have been penned on its banks, history has been made on its waters and in its old paddle-steamer ports, and environmental debates rage about irrigation rights from its flows.

Yet few Australians visit the western reaches of outback NSW where the Darling River meanders south-west for 2740 kilometres before joining the Murray at Wentworth.

Even fewer enjoy the delights of fishing for yellowbelly from a tinnie at Kallara Station, camping among giant red gums in Kinchega National Park, enjoying a beer at the Menindee pub where Burke and Wills stayed while waiting for supplies from Melbourne, and relaxing on board the paddle steamer Jandra as she wends her way up river from Bourke.

Darling River house boatBut now all these adventures - and many more - have been linked together to form one of Australia's last great outback driving tours, the Darling River Run.

Starting where the Darling first gains its name, just upstream from Bourke, the Darling River Run comprises 736km of dirt, gravel and sealed roads along the banks of the slow-meandering river that was once a mighty waterway for the wool trade. Even today the Darling remains the lifeblood of outback NSW.

The Darling River Run links Bourke and Wentworth via Louth, Tilpa, Wilcannia, Menindee and Pooncarie. It takes at least two days to drive, but is much better enjoyed over 4-5 days, or even a week, with time for farm stays, historic tours, fishing and river camping along the way.

In between is some of the most romantic bush country in Australia, complete with the folklore of fearless explorers, hardy pioneers, striking shearers, paddle steamer power and ancient Aboriginal life. Story end

Full story: Issue 24, August/September 2002

Go to:

Subscribe today

Subscribe now and receive each bi-monthly issue for only $45 mailed to any address in Australia. Overseas rates at Subscription Centre. OUTBACK has been Australia's fastest-growing magazine for the past two years in a row.

R.M. Williams Summer 2004/5 Catalogue

Visit rmwilliams.com.au for R.M.Willams history, news and the on-line product catalogue