The other is a river in northern New South Wales which forms part of the Queensland-New South Wales border north of the township of Mungindi. It is an extension of the Macintryre River which flows south and west through the towns of Collarenebri, Walgett and Brewarrina before meeting the Culgoa River, at which point they together become the Darling River to the north east of Bourke.
|Bunyip Pool at Buckley's Falls|
In New South Wales, the indigenous people of the Barwon belonged to the group of people who spoke the Ngiyampaa language. They constructed rock channels and weirs in the river at Brewarrina to trap fish, hunted animals, collected food along the riverbanks and told stories of how the river was formed. The Barwon at Brewarrina was a meeting place for many local clans.
Unlike the Barwon in the south, that in the north lies completely inland, having no outlet to the sea, except via the mouth of the Murray River, hundreds of miles away in South Australia. The northern Barwon runs through a wide, grassy flood plain with open forest and areas of rich soil. It is a slow-running river with a fall in elevation of only about 86m over its 890km length. The climate is considered arid to semi-arid. The annual rainfall along the river varies between 260mm in the west and 500mm per year in the east.
By contrast, the cool, temperate rainforest of the Otways where the headwaters of the Victorian Barwon rise before flowing down to the plains below, is very different. The altitude of the West Barwon Dam is about 260 metres above sea level, resulting in a significantly greater fall in elevation along the 160km length of the river to its estuary at Barwon Heads than that of the Barwon in the north. The average annual rainfall for parts of the Otways is around 1,400mm per year - the highest in the state and much wetter than further north. Even as far downstream as Geelong, the average annual rainfall still exceeds 500mm. This is over a catchment area of 8,590 square km which is in contrast to the 139,000 square km catchment of the Barwon in New South Wales.
Also a contrast, is the tidal influence and the flow of sea water upstream from the mouth of the southern river, influencing both the flora and fauna of the lower parts of the river. This is not a consideration for the land-locked northern river.
|Carp discarded at Breakwater|
In the south, the Barwon in Victoria is fished for the following species along different parts of its length: Southern Pygmy Perch, Mountain Galaxia, Spotted Galaxia, Common Galaxia, Congoli, Australian Smelt, Black Bream, Mulloway, Silver Trevally, Australian Salmon, Elephant Fish, King George Whiting, Sand Mullet, Yellow-eye Mullet, Tench, Short-finned Eels, Goldfish, Blackfish and Estuary Perch. Introduced Carp and Red Fin are common. Flathead Gudgeon, Pinkie Snapper, Barracouta and Brown Trout are also found, but less commonly. The Australian Grayling is a protected species.
One of these days, I will have to take my camera to visit that "other" Barwon and make some comparisons for myself.