Australia is a island nation and one of the largest countries on Earth in terms of total area. It is also considered to be a continent, although sometimes it is combined with the surrounding islands and called Australasia or Oceania. Most of Australia is considered to be semi arid or desert and parts of the country are virtually devoid of water. Despite this, there are many rivers that run through the country. Let’s find out which of these is the longest.
What is the longest river in Australia?
The longest river in Australia is the Murray River, also called River Murray in South Australia. The river is approximately 2,375 km (1,476 mi) long and begins in the Australian Alps, which is the highest mountain range in the country. The river drains to the west and forms the border between the Australian states of Victoria and New South Wales before passing into South Australia where it eventually flows into Lake Alexandrina and the Indian Ocean. The largest settlement on the river is the twin cities of Albury and Wodonga with a combined population of approximately 90,000.
Did you know?
The Murray River is very important to Australia as a source of drinking water and irrigation (much of Australia’s food is grown in the Murray basin). Unfortunately, this has caused a reduction in the water levels of the river and threatens the environment. At the beginning of the decade it was estimated that the river now receives only 58% of the natural flow.
The introduction of carp, a non-native fish species, into the river has caused environmental damage and led to a reduction of native fish in the river. The Murray cod, a much loved native species, is just one of the species that is now considered to be critically endangered.