The Darling River at a glance

  • About 32 million years ago, the lower Darling between Menindee and Wentworth was inundated by rising sea levels.  The sea retreated about 12 million years ago.
  • Two million years ago, melting glaciers and heavy rain created Lake Bungunnia, which extended north of the present site of Menindee. It drained rapidly about 700,000 years ago and a drier climate began.
  • Over the last 500,000 years, the climate over the Murray-Darling Basin has been generally dry, resulting in reduced vegetation cover.
  • About 200,000 years ago, the Darling was populated with browsing and grazing mammals and birds, many of which were much larger than those found today.  Some remains of these mega fauna have been found in the Perry Sand Hills at Wentworth.
  • Some 55,000 years ago, drier summers and winds from the west, created sand dunes, particularly in the lower Darling area.  Good examples can be seen at Lake Mungo.