The Barmah-Millewa Forest is the largest river red gum forest in Australia. It covers approximately 66,000 hectares of floodplain between the townships of Tocumwal, Deniliquin and Echuca.
The forest supports a range of floodplain vegetation communities including river red gum forest, river red gum woodland, wetlands and the threatened Moira grass plains. The forest is an important feeding and breeding site for waterbirds including egrets, spoonbills and night herons, as well as significant fish, frog and turtle populations.
In recognition of its important environmental and cultural values, Barmah-Millewa Forest is listed as a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention ( Ramsar site) and is one of six Living Murray Icon sites.
The forest also contains important cultural heritage sites and supports a variety of recreational and tourism activities such as camping, bushwalking, fishing, river cruises and bird watching. Barmah Forest is the Victorian component of the forest. It covers 28,500 hectares and is reserved as National and Regional Park.
River regulation and water extraction from the River Murray has reduced the frequency, duration and magnitude of flood events in the Barmah-Millewa Forest. This has affected the diversity, extent and condition of vegetation communities and the habitat and the health of dependent fauna.
Environmental water deliveries seek to build on high unregulated flows and the delivery of consumptive water en route to maximise environmental outcomes at Barmah Forest. As Barmah Forest is located in the upper-mid reaches of the Murray River, environmental water delivered to the forest can often be used again at sites further downstream as part of multi-site watering events. This occurs through use of return flows.
Priority watering actions include:
- Baseflows in forest waterways to improve water quality and provide native fish and turtle habitat and passage.
- Flow pulses down the Murray River channel to trigger golden perch movement and breeding.
- Wetland inundation to promote and support colonial waterbird breeding.
- Overbank flows to increase the extent and diversity of floodplain and wetland vegetation including Moira grass plains.
Below are the resources available for download regarding proposed watering actions for the Barmah Forest:
Any further information regarding proposed watering actions for the Barmah Forest can be obtained by contacting the GB CMA.
Barmah Forest Ramsar site Ecological Character Description
Live River Data – Murray-Darling Basin Authority
Barmah Heritage Centre
Murray Valley National Park – NSW Parks
Barmah National Park - Parks Victoria
Dept. Environment Land Water Planning
Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation
Mapping the Moira Grass
Photos of the Barmah Forest
To view photos of the Barmah Forest, visit our GB CMA Flickr page by clicking on the image below:
Videos regarding the Barmah Forest
To view videos of the Barmah Forest, visit our GB CMA YouTube channel by clicking on the image below: