Manning River

Manning River
Manning River

The Manning River upstream of Mount George
Origin Barrington Tops
Mouth Pacific Ocean at Old Bar and Harrington/Manning Point
Basin countries Australia
Length 250 km
Basin area 8,190 km² [1]

The Manning River is a river in the Mid North Coast of New South Wales, Australia that flows through the Manning Valley. It is one of Australia's few large river systems not to be dammed for water supply purposes anywhere along its catchment. The local water supply is fed by Bootawa Dam, which is an offsite dam, however, water is pumped from the river to the dam whenever river turbidity and flow levels can allow.

A small weir exists on the upper most section of the Barnard River and is the Barnard River Scheme for Bayswater Power Station the scheme is shutdown until needed but as of 2006 this Scheme was partly decommissioned due to its rare use.

The lower part of the river is a delta system where it meets the sea, with several channels dividing coastal land into large islands, such as Mitchells and Oxley Islands.



In 1818, John Oxley crossed and named Harrington and Farquhar inlets during a trip from the Hastings River, near Port Macquaire, to Port Stephens. The Manning River itself was first surveyed by Henry Dangar in 1825 and again in 1826 on behalf of the Australian Agricultural Company. The river was recorded on the survey map as "Boolumbahtee," its Aboriginal name.

Later in 1826, the river was named Mannings River for the Deputy Governor of the Australian Agricultural Company, Sir William Manning. In the same year it was declared that the Manning was the northern limit of the Nineteen Counties, defining the areas of New South Wales where settlers were free to occupy.

Until 1913, ships servicing the coast brought goods and supplies up the river.


Cargo wharf at Wingham

The Manning River is fed by the Avon River, Rowley's River, the Nowendoc River, the Barnard River, the Little Manning River, and the Barrington River, which flows through Gloucester. Once the river reaches Taree it splits and the southern arm flows into the Pacific Ocean at Old Bar. The northern arm is joined by the Dawson River and the Landsdowne River and meets the ocean at Harrington Hence the river has two separate entrances (or mouths).

Wingham was established at the furthest point supply boats could reach up the river and became the regions major port. The old cargo wharf at Wingham Brush has been recently refurbished. The town of Tinonee was also settled on the river near Taree.

The Manning River is the only double delta river in the southern Hemisphere and the only permanent multiple entrance river in the world other than the Nile River Egypt. The Manning is one of only a few Australian mainland rivers to receive annual winter melting snow deposits. These deposits flow from its tributary the Barrington River in Barrington Tops Mountains into the Manning.


The Manning River is a large producer of Australian oysters and is home to many fish, the most common being the Dusky Flathead (Platycephalus fuscus), a common Australian estuary fish. The Manning River is frequented by dolphins and sharks, with some venturing as far up the river to Wingham.

Whales also frequent the river, mainly at the larger Harrington inlet, although some do enter the Farquar inlet and generally do not venture far up river. However, on 16 September 1994 a rare tropical Bryde's whale measuring 9-metre (30 ft) long, nicknamed "Free Willy" by locals, ventured much further up river to Taree where the river is freshwater. After becoming a tourist attraction, and repeatedly evading attempts by conservationists to free him "Free Willy" finally left the Manning River 92 days later of his own free will.[2]


Taree is home to the annual Manning River Summer Festival, which features rowing, and sailing. The Taree Powerboat Club Spectacular is held in the Manning River during the Easter long weekend. The link between Taree and the oyster industry is shown by the presence in Taree of the "Big Oyster", a building constructed in the shape of an open oyster shell.


Tourist trips are popular on the Manning.

Commercial fishing and oyster farming are both practiced in the Manning. The peak season for oyster production is September to March and average yearly production is 310,755 dozen.[citation needed]

See also


External links

Coordinates: 31°52′S 152°38′E / 31.867°S 152.633°E / -31.867; 152.633

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