Brewarrina, Outback NSW
For an insight into the Darling River's significance to indigenous history and living culture, the upper Darling town of Brewarrina is a must. Beside the centre of town are the Fish Traps, an ancient arrangement of rocks used to corral fish for catching.
It is truly a marvel and a moving experience standing on the bank imagining the history and culture surrounding them and how important Brewarrina was for the local indigenous community.
The traps are estimated been used for over 40,000 years and are believed to be the oldest man-made structure on earth. The system that exists today is a restoration as much of what existed at the time of European settlement was unfortunately removed to allow the early river-boats to travel further upstream.
It is said that the fish were so plentiful that there were times when as many as 5000 Aborigines gathered beside the river to enjoy this rich harvest. This fascinating history is recorded at the Brewarrina Aboriginal Cultural Museum. The fish traps provide the visitor with an insight to how the waterways were managed by the Indigenous Australians.
This connectivity to the river and the land is continued down the Darling River in different ways, in different 'countries', by different groups. Brewarrina, known to the locals simply as 'Bre' is 810 km from Sydney.
Today Brewarrina is quiet and peaceful with some particularly attractive and historic buildings including Christ Church and the excellent suspension bridge.
Brewarrina was settled by Europeans in the 1840s who, by the 1860s, realised that it was primarily the furthest point that river boats could reliably travel up the Darling River. As such, Brewarrina became an important port for settlers wishing to transport their produce via the Darling and Murray rivers to the major shipping ports of Adelaide and Melbourne.
At Brewarrina, the Darling River Run; continues upstream to Brewarrina and downstream to Bourke.
Brewarrina Weather Outlook
Brewarrina Visitor Information
Brewarrina See & Do
- Brewarrina Aboriginal Fish Traps
- Culgoa National Park
- Visitor Information Centre
- Aboriginal Cultural Museum
Visitor Information Centre:
- Bathurst Street Brewarrina, NSW 2715
- Telephone 02 6830 5152
Driving to Brewarrina
There are many different routes that can be taken when driving from any of the capital cities to Brewarrina. The following is an overview of the routes from Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide that may help you in planning your outback experience.
As a general overview:
Warrego Highway <> Newell Highway <> Gwydir Highway <> Kamilaroi Highway: Distance = 820km approx
Castlereagh Highway <> Kamilaroi Highway: Distance = 784km approx
Hume Highway <> Newell Highway <>Kidman Way: Distance = 1,080km aprox
Barrier Highway <> Darling River Run <> Kamilaroi Highway: Distance = 1,140km approx