Namoi River

The Namoi River is a major tributary of the Darling River in inland New South Wales, Australia.


The headwaters of the Namoi, including the Macdonald River, the Peel River, the Cockburn River and the Manilla River, rise on the western slopes of the Great Dividing Range on the Northern Tablelands, New South Wales. Other smaller tributaries include Cobrabald River, Coxs Creek, Maules Creek, Mooki River and Bundock Creek.

The Namoi flows past Manilla and joins the Manilla River near the town. After passing into Keepit Dam it joins the Peel River below before passing by Carroll, then joining the Mooki River near Gunnedah on the Liverpool Plains. From here it flows north-westwards past Boggabri, Narrabri, Wee Waa and Burren Junction and eventually joins the Barwon River, near the town of Walgett.


Allan Cunningham a botanist-explorer, in 1827 became the first white man to explore the Namoi. Cunningham, named this river 'Mitchell' after a surgeon in Sydney who was dismissed from Government Service because he refused to attend the flogging of a convict at Hyde Park barracks. Various meanings of the name have included: the Kamilaroi 'ngamu' for 'breast'; Aboriginal for ‘forked stick’; ‘meeting of the waters’ or Namoi (Nammoy) the native name for a species of acacia.

Keepit Dam near Gunnedah is an important dam for flood control and irrigation. The floodplains of the lower Namoi around Wee Waa are an important area for growing cotton which is irrigated using water from the dam.

The Namoi River Road Bridge, which was built at Manilla in 1886, has been placed on the Register of the National Estate. This bridge has eleven metal lattice truss spans and is one of the longest six or seven metal truss bridges completed in Australia by that time.


The Namoi supports a wide range of fish and crustaceans, which include Murray cod, yellowbelly, Silver Perch, catfish (Tandanus tandanus) as well as crawbobs (Cherax destructor). "Crawbob" is a regional name and may be called a "yabby" elsewhere in the state.

Murray cod in the Namoi grow to a very large size, with fish of forty kilograms or larger being not uncommon. European carp and extensive irrigation practices have had adverse impact on the native fish population over the last forty years, and restocking programs have been undertaken, mainly by volunteers, to ensure the survival of the native fish population.

The Namoi River Snapping Turtle or Bell's turtle (Elseya belli) is a species of turtle found only in the upper reaches of the Namoi River, Gwydir and Macdonald Rivers on the North West Slopes of NSW Australia.

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