The area around the junction of the Warrego and Darling rivers is part of Country for the Kurnu-Baakandji Aboriginal People. Toorale has extensive evidence of Aboriginal occupation and activity, including over 500 known Aboriginal sites. Artefacts recorded during 2018 have been dated at over 50,000 years old.
Toorale is associated with significant water management and engineering achievements including the Boera Dam and Floodwaters Scheme constructed by Sir Samuel McCaughey around 1892. This scheme was one of the most successful and large 19th century civil engineering and water management constructions known to be undertaken by a private individual in New South Wales.
The Warrego and Darling rivers and their floodplains on Toorale provide habitat for a diverse variety of wildlife and plants, including threatened species. When inundated with water, the wetlands along the floodplain spring to life supporting an abundance of native fish, frogs and waterbirds including pelicans, brolgas and the endangered Australasian bittern. The lush lignum that has established on the western floodplain provides some of the best habitat for waterbird breeding in the northern Basin.
Studies have also highlighted the importance of the Warrego River for many of our native fish species. For example, the Warrego River is a significant source of golden perch to the Barwon-Darling system.
The Warrego River can be particularly important for the Darling River and its dependent communities in years when inflows from other rivers are critically low.
More information on the natural values of Toorale can be found at Commonwealth Environmental Water Office: Looking after Toorale's wildlife and plants.
Extensive ecological monitoring has been undertaken at Toorale. Annual monitoring results are available for the Warrego River and floodplain and the Darling River in annual reports at
Commonwealth Environmental Water Office publications and resources.
Monitoring such as this will improve knowledge to inform decisions about relative environmental demands on Toorale and in the Darling River, to help balance water use.