The Riverland region

in brief



copied from an Australian Bureau of Statistics sheet

Australian Bureau of Statistics

Australian Bureau of Statistics Education Services

The Riverland Statistical subdivision comprises the District Councils of Bamera,Berri,Browns Well,Loxton,Morgan,Paringa,Waikerie, The Municipality of Renmark and an Unicorparated area which consist of the remainder of the Counties of Burra,Young and Russel not covered by the Local Government


In recent times there has been mergers between Councils- Berri and Bamera,Renmark and Paringa and Loxton and Waikerie,within the Statistical subdivision and Morgan with councils outside the subdivision


The main topographical feature is the River Murraay which enters the region from Victoria flowing west to Morgan,then south to the Southern Ocean. Between the Victorian border and Overland Corner the river has created a valley 30 to 40 metres in depth and averaging 10 kilometers in width.From Overland Corner there is a low gorge averaging one and a half kilometers in width where the river has cut through marine limestone desposits.

The entire area is generally flat and lies north of Goyders Line that is, it has less than 250 millimeters of rainfall a year,the land description ranging from arid ,north of the River Murray to what can be classified as semi arid in the south. Most of the region has a wintered rainfall maximum.The arid has a uniform distribution of rainfall throughout the year. The growing season extends from May to August for agriculture,but is generally extremely limited north of the River Murray.


The first overland route between New South Wales and South Australia was established in 1838 by Joseph Hawdon and Charles Bonney who drove cattle from Hawdon's station near Albury along the northern bank of the River Murray through vitually unknown country.

During this trip Hawdon discovered a large freshwater lake and named it Lake Bonney.Only a few squatters were granted occupation licences in the vicinity of Lake Bonney.

From the 1880's several irrigation schemes were attempted in the upper reaches of the River Murray with various measures of success. The most notable of these was that initiated by the two Chaffey brothers at a location which was to become the town of Renmark. Other irrigation localities such as Berri,Barmera,and Waikerie also become important townships on the river.

The establishment of the Riverland Fruit Products Co-operative cannery at Berri led to a rapid increase in the planting of stone fruits for canning during the 1950's. The region contributes about 45% of the States grapes crushed for winemaking while vegetables are grown to a lesser extent,but this on the increase as a ressult of diversification by primary producers.

Many recreational activities such as pleasure boating ,canoeing,waterskiing and fishing are pursued on the River Murray. Relatively flat terrain and the usually fine clear weather make the region suitable for gliding

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