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Taking it to the edge: Rivers : Sturt and the Murray

'We had, at length, arrived at the termination of the Murray. Immediately below me was a beautiful lake, which appeared to be a fitting reservoir for the noble stream that had led us to it; and which was now ruffled by the breeze that swept over it.'
Charles Sturt Two expeditions into the interior of southern Australia…London: Smith, Elder, 1833 vol. 2, p. 157

Following the discovery of the South Australian coastline the next major portion of the state to be discovered by Europeans was the River Murray.  Charles Sturt voyaged down this in 1829-30.  This was the culmination of the search for the answer to the riddle of the westward flowing rivers of New South Wales - the Macquarie, the Lachlan and the Murrumbidgee to name a few.  Along with a number of others Sturt had believed that the rivers drained into an inland sea and that a river route to the northern coasts would be found.

Sturt still held this opinion despite finding that the Murray drained into Encounter Bay.  The story of Sturt's voyage down the river can be followed on the Downstream website.   It was Sturt's comments on the fertility of the land adjacent to the river in its lower courses that gave momentum to the push for a colony in that part of the continent.  Added to these were the findings of Collet Barker and his men who carried out some work on the Fleurieu Peninsula in their investigations for an alternative outlet for the River Murray in 1831.

Junction of the supposed Darling with the Murray
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Sea mouth of the Murray
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The River Murray above Moorundi
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The River Murray, near Lake Alexandrina
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