Sydney Knitting Nannas and Friends joined Waters for Rivers for an action outside NSW parliament for the Darling Baaka River Convoy on Friday 16 April.
Three handmade wooden boats from the Murray, Wanambe, Sneaky Snag and Smigglepot were trailered to Menindee and launched on the same day. Other vessels that float have joined them and are invited to join them along the way.
Menindee has 47 km of navigable river between the main lock and lock 32, so the plan is to cruise up and down for 5 days.
After trailering from Menindee the boats will go back in the river at Pooncarie on 21 April at 3 pm. The next 5 days will be spent travelling the 30kms available for navigation above the weir.
The boats will be trailered, then put in the water at Wentworth on 26 April at 3 pm for a cruise up and down the Murray waters as they push up towards the Darling Baarka.
The convoy aims to highlight the lack of water in the Darling-Baarka River.
Boats have been plying the waters of inland rivers of Australia for thousands of years. Bark canoes were the first to move people and trade goods from place to place.
The first paddle steamer from South Australia transported supplies up the Murray, Darling and Barwon Rivers to the pastoralists in western New South Wales and Queensland in 1854. It returned laden with wool bales, which were transported by bullock dray from the river to a port for export. River maritime history is rich and long in the outback. These days it’s rare to see a boat bigger than a tinny on the Darling Baarka River.
Environmental flows were supposed to change that. So where’s the water?
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