Summer sunset – Murrumbidgee River, Western Riverina

The serenity in this photo of the Murrumbidgee River at Balranald, outback New South Wales belies the harsh environment that would’ve faced 19th century explorers Burke and Wills on their ill-fated journey from Melbourne to the coast of Carpentaria, a distance of over 3200 kilometres.

The explorers camped in Balranald in 1860, a time when non-indigenous Australians hadn’t travelled or mapped the vast inland of the continent. The journey ultimately cost the lives of both explorers and five of their companions from malnutrition and exhaustion.

Sunset over the Murrumbidgee River