The Big Rivers

Ever since I was a child I’ve been fascinated by the Northern Rivers region of northern NSW. We once visited a distant uncle in Kempsey and he showed us the flood marks high up the wall, near the ceiling of his furniture store. It was hard for us to comprehend such a flood.

Big wide life-giving rivers carrying so much valuable water out to sea for the betterment of prawns.

At Taree, the Manning with its delta islands between Manning Point and Harrington. Vast tracts of sand, waterlogged forests of paperbark and oyster farms.

The Macleay River at Kempsey, wide and meandering out to sea near South West Rocks.

The Hastings a part of life at Port Macquarie.

At Yamba, McLean and tiny Ulmarra the Clarence is busy with ferries and laden prawn trawlers sneaking in from the sea at dawn.

The mighty Richmond River bordering the town of Ballina.

The recently damaging Wilson River at Lismore inundating the town centre.

The Tweed River a natural delineation between New South Wales and Queensland.

Rivers filled with beauty, bounty and awe as they flood too regularly taking all before them. People are swept to their doom, cars flung like matchboxes, houses and businesses inundated.

In the good times the Rivers bring life. On the flood plains rich with grazing land supporting contented cattle could there be anything more descriptively bucolic than a place called Jerseyville?

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Cows graze the rich river flats of the Macleay
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Mouth of the Manning at Harrington
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Joining of the Kalang and Bellinger Rivers at Urunga
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Bellinger mouth at Urunga
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Prawn trawler on the Clarence
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Evening on the Richmond at Ballina
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The stillness of sunset on the Clarence at Yamba

 

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8 thoughts on “The Big Rivers

  1. Poor South Australia could do with a few more rivers, preferably ones which get flows like those in your photos. I can remember the River Murray flooding in 1956 and I think it’s been in decline ever since!

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  2. Yes, I remember learning the names of those rivers off by heart in Primary School (in NSW)! My most recent memories though are the beautiful fields of sugar cane growing along the banks of the northern most rivers. Beautiful big rivers bringing so much life to the region.

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