Bogan River

Bogan River, a perennial river that is part of the MacquarieBarwon catchment within the Murray–Darling basin, is located in the central west and Orana regions of New South Wales, Australia.

New Years Creek[1]
The Bogan River at Nyngan
Location of the Bogan River mouth in New South Wales
Etymology1. Aboriginal: the birthplace of a notable headman of the local tribe;[1][2][3]
2. Gaelic: bog[1]
StateNew South Wales
RegionCentral West, Orana
Physical characteristics
SourceLittle River (Parkes)
  locationCooks Myalls, near Parkes
  coordinates33°00′30″S 148°02′00″E
  elevation305 m (1,001 ft)
MouthDarling River
Dry Bogan Weir, near Bourke
29°58′30″S 146°20′56″E
111 m (364 ft)
Length617 km (383 mi)
Basin size18,000 km2 (6,900 sq mi)
Basin features
River systemMacquarieBarwon sub-catchment,
Darling River catchment,
Murray-Darling basin
  leftGenaren Creek, Sandy Creek, Bulbodney Creek
  rightCookopie Creek, Burrill Creek, Gundong Creek, Tomingley Creek, Mulla Mulla Cowal, Moonagee Cowal, Gunningbar Creek, Nyangi Bogan Cowal, Bywash Billabong, Kellys Cowal
Basin area is upstream of Nyngan only[4]:11

From its origin near Parkes, the Bogan River flows for about 617 kilometres (383 mi) in length and flows into the Little Bogan River[5] to form the Darling River, near Bourke.[6]

The name Bogan is an Australian Aboriginal term meaning 'the birthplace of a notable headman of the local tribe';[3] and is also a Gaelic term meaning bog.[1][2]


From the foothills of the Herveys Range, the Bogan River rises to the west of the headwaters of the Little River at Cooks Myalls,[7] near Goonumbla, 19 kilometres (12 mi) north-west of Parkes. The river flows in a generally north-north-westerly direction past Tottenham, Peak Hill and through Nyngan. East of Bourke, the Bogan River joins with the Little Bogan River to form the Darling River. The Bogan River has over twenty tributaries. The main tributaries to the west are Bullock, Bulbodney, Pangee and Whitbarrow Creeks. The eastern catchment between the Bogan and Macquarie Rivers is ill-defined and has only one major tributary, Mulla Cowal.[4]:11 Other sources have claimed that Bugwah Cowal, and Burrill, Duck and Gunningbar Creeks are important tributaries.[7]

Unlike the other main rivers of inland New South Wales, the Bogan does not rise in the well-watered highland areas, so its flow is low and erratic and not much use for irrigation.[8]

Major weirs along the watercourse are at Muddal Weir, located west of Peak Hill; the Nyngan Weir, located north of Nyngan; and Gongolgon Weir,[9] where the mean daily flow exceeds 700 megalitres (25×10^6 cu ft).[4]:16

The Kamilaroi Highway crosses the Bogan River 43 kilometres (27 mi) east of Bourke.[10]


Aboriginal history

A number of Aboriginal peoples lived in the lands surrounding the Bogan River for many thousands of years. In the area surrounding Peak Hill, the indigenous inhabitants of the area were the Wiradjuri clan.[11] In the area surrounding Nyngan, the Ngiyambaa Aboriginal people were the principal custodians of the land.[12]

European history

The river was crossed by John Oxley in 1817, but was named by Charles Sturt in his 1828-9 expedition as New Years Creek on 1 January 1829. It was also called the Bogan River prior to Major Sir Thomas Mitchell reaching here in 1835. On 17 April 1835 Richard Cunningham wandered away from the Mitchell party near the Bogan River and it is believed that he was killed here by Aborigines.[2]

In April 1990, major flooding occurred along the river and in Nyngan, and despite a massive effort by local people to build levee walls using sandbags, 2,500 people had to be evacuated from the town.[13] The floods caused A$50 million damage with the railway line so severely affected that rail services to Nyngan have since ceased, although freight services from Cobar are unaffected.[14] Other significant flooding of the Bogan River occurred in 1928.[15]

See also


  1. "Bogan River". Geographical Names Register (GNR) of NSW. Geographical Names Board of New South Wales. Retrieved 21 October 2012.
  2. Readers Digest Guide to Australian Places. Sydney: Reader’s Digest (Australia) Pty. Limited. 1993. ISBN 978-0-86438-399-0.
  3. Cobb, John (3 June 2009). "On the origins of the bogan as a species". The Punch. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
  4. Green, D.; Petrovic, J.; Moss, P.; Burrell, M. (March 2011). Water resources and management overview: Macquarie-Bogan catchment. NSW Office of Water (PDF). Sydney: Government of New South Wales. ISBN 978-1-74263-161-5.
  5. "Map of Little Bogan River, NSW". Bonzle Digital Maps of Australia. Retrieved 21 October 2012.
  6. Chisholm, Alec H., ed. (1963). "Bogan River". The Australian Encyclopaedia. 2. Sydney: Halstead Press. p. 46.
  7. "Map of Bogan River, NSW". Bonzle Digital Maps of Australia. Retrieved 5 May 2010.
  8. "Attractions: The Bogan River". Bogan Shire Council. 2012. Retrieved 21 October 2012.
  9. "Macquarie−Bogan River Catchment: Map". Office of Environment and Heritage. Government of New South Wales. Retrieved 21 October 2012.
  10. "Bogan River Bridge Replacement HW29". NSW eTendering. Government of New South Wales. 2011. Retrieved 21 October 2012.
  11. "Peak Hill". Historical Towns Directory. Heritage Australia Publishing. 2013. Archived from the original on 4 March 2014. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
  12. "Nyngan". Historical Towns Directory. Heritage Australia Publishing. 2013. Archived from the original on 8 March 2014. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
  13. "1990 Nyngan flood". News: Ministry for Police and Emergency Services. Government of New South Wales. Archived from the original on 3 October 2009. Retrieved 5 May 2010.
  14. "About Nyngan". About NSW. Government of New South Wales. Archived from the original on 13 March 2011. Retrieved 21 October 2012.
  15. "The Flood in Bogan River". The Sydney Morning Herald. Trove: National Library of Australia. 25 February 1928. Retrieved 21 October 2012.
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