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Water in Australia

Water in Australia

Explore the different ways that people imagine and use water in Australia, and learn how stories connect us to places, at the National Museum of Australia.


A large Tasmanian canoe seen on the eastern shore of Schouten Island, colour engraving by Charles-Alexandre Lesueur, artist on the Baudin Expedition (1800–1804).

Tasmanian bark canoe

Preserving an ancient craft

Water trough, Myalls Bore. Photo: Matt Atchison

On water

A writer's reflections on water and the National Museum's collection

Christine Filiamundi's family photos from the Guthega project show the gigantic scale of the vast industrial undertaking that was the Snowy Scheme. Photo: Christine Filiamundi collection.

Snowy Scheme collection

An engineering feat to harness rivers for power and crops

  Martumili Ngurra (This is all Martu's home) 2009 by Kumpaya Girgaba, <a class=

Martumili Ngurra canvas

A map of waterholes and springs

Renmark North Primary School students testing the water at Ral Ral Creek, South Australia.

Bottles from the Basin

Comparing water quality

The PS Enterprise at full steam on Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra. Photo: Dragi Markovic.

Paddle Steamer Enterprise

An old ship of the inland rivers

The Simplex windmill as it stood on Kenya station. Photo: Ben Lynes.

Kenya Station windmill

Farming and water technology in the outback

Empty open shell.

Basin Bytes

Photos of the Murray-Darling from the people who call it home

Protest poster from a community meeting held in Griffith on 15 December 2011.

Basin Authority collection

Hear the protests of Murray-Darling irrigation communities

Colour illustration of gumnuts playing the surf with the text 'We're still above water! Copyright May Gibbs'.

Collection Explorer

Search for more watery treasures

 Tagged Murray cod being released, Goulburn River near Toolamba. Photo: Nick Drayson.

Hooked on the Goulburn

Stories of fishing and life on a river in Victoria

Black and white image of six people in a river

Critical undercurrents

Talking about rivers, art and objects

Woven pandanus yawkyawk sculptures by Kunwinjku artists Marina Murdilnga, left, and Lulu Laradjbi. Photo: Dragi Markovic.

Yawkyawk sculptures

Mermaid-like Aboriginal freshwater spirits


People and the Environment

Water in Australia is part of the National Museum's People and the Environment program. Discover more stories about people's relationships with Australia's natural and built environments on our People and the Environment website.