River Murray Channel

The river channel is the main artery and extends over 2,150 kilometres from the Hume Dam to Wellington in South Australia. The channel forms the link between the forests, floodplains, wetlands and estuaries along the Murray and provides habitat for many native plants, fish and animals. Its banks and floodplains support river red gum forests of high natural and cultural value.

Murray River Channel

Why is the Murray River special and worth visiting

The Murray River is Australia’s greatest river and is one of the world’s significant catchments. With the Darling River and 22 other rivers, the Murray River makes up the Murray-Darling Basin. This is Australia’s food bowl that contributes billions of dollars to the nation’s economy. It also contains environmental sites of great local, national and international significance.

The Murray River played a key role in sustaining the traditional Aboriginal people, provided a highway for explorers, water for settlers and inspiration for artists. The Murray’s water contributes to the nation’s wealth and is crucial to the environmental health of Australia.


Murray River Channel Map


There are numerous national parks, forests, regional parks, small and large towns along the Murray River in three states that offer safe access and good facilities for one-day or extended school visits.

The Murray River is serviced by various rail, bus and airline services. Roads are excellent and access to the river is easy and safe for students.

Excursion organisers must take full OH&S responsibility for all acticities. MDBA will not be held responsible for any visits to icon sites as they are National Parks.

Key contacts

For information about the Murray River and The Living Murray program, please contact:


  • Murray Catchment Management Authority – 02 5880 1416
  • Lower Murray Darling Catchment Management Authority – 03 5021 9460

In Victoria

  • Parks Victoria – 131 963
  • Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority – 03 5822 2288
  • North East Catchment Management Authority – 02 6055 6133
  • North Central Catchment Management Authority – 03 5448 7124
  • Mallee Catchment Management Authority – 03 5022 3401

In South Australia

  • Department for Water (SA) – 08 8436 6800
  • SA Murray-Darling Basin Natural Resources Management Board – 08 8532 1432

The Living Murray

The Living Murray program has:

  • begun the construction of fishways to allow migration of native fish species between the sea and Hume Dam
  • maintained current levels of channel stability
  • maintained the levels of channel erosion.

What to do when you are there?

Schools from cities, regional and country area have been visiting the Murray River for many years, studying and engaging with its Aboriginal history, settlers, pioneers, irrigation, industry, recreation, tourism and community opportunities.   The Murray River channel offers a range of environments that include:

  • alpine areas,
  • catchments,
  • wetlands (including Wetlands of International Significance),
  • riverine forests,
  • arid zones,
  • coastal areas,
  • floodplains,
  • irrigation,
  • dryland farming,
  • catchment management,
  • regional communities.
  • banks,
  • in-stream habitat,
  • anabranches,

Activities can include walking, canoeing, boat trips, camping, bird watching, visiting World Heritage areas, Indigenous and cultural heritage centres, museums, etc.

The Living Murray program offers yet another dimension of studying environmental watering and restoration of degraded areas:

  • Most sites are easily accessible on good signposted roads and are close to major towns.
  • The Murray River has been well researched and offers a great deal of scientific and technical information.
  • Access to the Murray River is on publicly-managed land and offers relatively safe and risk-free environments for students. From time to time, river heights, flooding, fire and weather may create risks and access is restricted.
  • There is a great deal of existing material the Murray River and icon sites.
  • There are resource people available who can assist you with arranging excursions and provide information at each site.
  • The following provides additional information as well as practical activities when visiting the icon sites.

Excursion Activities

Click here to go to our Excursion section to download some activities that you can print out and use on excursions around the Murray Catchment

The Living River DVD

Click here to watch the DVD sections online and access various teacher resources


  • The Living Murray program can also be contacted at the Murray-Darling Basin Authority on 02 6279 0100 or via the enquiries form at www.mdba.gov.au/contact