About the river

The River Murray is central to communities along the river, and has been for many thousands of years.

Aboriginal people, such as the Ngarrindjeri and First Peoples of the River Murray and Mallee region, have a strong spiritual and cultural connection to the land and waters of the river and are the Traditional Owners.

The river played a significant role in the settlement of South Australia and has a rich history as an important trade route and supporting the development of irrigation communities.

There are three distinct areas along the river with their own communities, industries and special attractions to visit, including world class environments with rare plants and animals, which are popular locations for birdwatching, hiking and canoeing:

  • Riverland: from the border to Blanchetown, the region is known for its quality food and wine, internationally important wetlands and national parks
  • SA Mid-Murray: includes a number of large towns including Murray Bridge and Mannum, with easy access to Adelaide it is popular with shack owners and for boating and fishing
  • Coorong, Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth: these internationally important wetlands are home to rare native plants and wildlife and an important site for migratory birds coming from as far as Siberia to breed.

The River Murray, Coorong, Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth are located at the end of the Murray-Darling river system which flows through Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and ACT. As a result, communities, industries and the environment suffered greatly during the Millennium Drought.

Many projects are underway along the length of the river to maintain and improve the health of the river, wetlands and floodplains as well as support the communities and industries that rely on its water.

South Australia works with other Basin states, as well as the Australian Government and Murray-Darling Basin Authority, to share the water and manage the river through a series of locks, weirs, barrages and storages to deliver water when and where it is needed.

We are also working together to deliver the Basin Plan, which will guide the sustainable management of water across the entire Murray-Darling Basin.