The Murray is the longest river in Australia. It stretches a total distance of 2,508km i.e. from the popular Australian Alps to the Southern Ocean. Thee are many rivers in Australia that have served various indigenous communities for a very long time. The Murray River plays a cultural, ecological, social and economic role in modern-day Australia. The major towns inside the Murray River valley include Murray Bridge, Renmark, Mildura, Swan Hill, Echuca, Wodonga, and Albury.
It has a very rich history because the aboriginal groups relied on it to sustain them for many centuries. It has cultural importance for all the aboriginal tribes that inhabit the basin of the river. The typical folk tale is that there existed a hunter who was chasing a Murray cod and, in the process, carved out the river.
It was discovered by some European explorers in the year 1824, afterward, it was utilized for water supply, irrigation, and navigation. Today, Murray is home to weirs, locks, and dams that control the quantities of water especially during floods, drought, and hydroelectric projects. The annual canoe race is a very popular activity that takes place in the river.
The river has aquafauna such as trout cod, western carp gudgeon, catfish, perch and Murray cod. The river basin also has other types of fauna such as lizards, Gray kangaroos, pelicans, koalas, and turtles. However, there are certain things that have negatively impacted the river like over-extraction of water, climate change, and increased sanity levels.
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The total catchment area for the Murray-Darling Basin is 1,061,469 square km but the annual discharge for River Murray is 0.89 cubic meters per second. It rises on a mountain (The Pilot) that is situated next to Mount Kosciuszko i.e. southeastern New South Wales
. The river flows both west as well as northwest and passes via Hume Reservoir (above Albury). It forms a significant part of the boundary that exists between Victoria
and New South Wales.
There is a narrow floodplain that borders it for a major part of its course via South Australia i.e. 400km as it flows between 30-meter high cliffs. The river’s upper portion of 320km cuts through some mountainous terrain. However, its central section lies upon a mature and broad floodplain. To the north are Riverina plains (New South Wales) while to the south are plain of northern Victoria.
The main tributaries of the Murray are Loddon, Campaspe, Goulburn, Ovens, Mitta Mitta, Murrumbidgee, and Darling.
The following are some interesting facts about River Murray:
• The Murray River forms a major portion of the Murray-Darling Basin, which is the driest major water system on the globe.
• The most iconic trees in Australia referred to as river red gum grows upon its banks.
• There exists a Murray River Act 2003 that expects all its users to protect it.
• The River hosts the Murray cod i.e. this is the largest fish species that live in freshwater.
The interesting facts about the Murray River listed above are not e3xhaustive as there are more. Insightful information above clearly answers the question about what is the longest river in Australia. In addition, it gives information about its physical features and some interesting facts.