The Paroo River is considered a major tributary of the Darling River in eastern Australia, yet in most years the flow dissipates before it reaches the Darling. It is the last remaining free-flowing river in the northern part of the Murray-Darling Basin.
The river has its origin in the gorge country of western Queensland, meanders south and spreads into the vast floodplains of New South Wales, eventually reaching the Paroo overflow lakes. Its overall length is about 600 km.
On 20 September 2007 the Australian Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Malcolm Turnbull, announced that the Australian government was adding the Paroo River Wetlands to those listed under the Ramsar Convention as wetlands of international importance, making them Australia's 65th Ramsar site.