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A severe drought in New South Wales in 1826-7-8 led to the discovery of the River Darling. In 1818, an earlier explorer. Oxley, had been prevented by swamps from continuing his survey of the Macquarie River. Governor Darling, thinking that the prolonged drought might have dried up the swamps, appointed Captain Charles Sturt to complete Oxley's work.
Sturt left Wellington, N.S.W., in December, 1828, and, proceeding past the marshes which Oxley had considered to be the termination of the Macquarie, followed the course of the Bogan River, dry except for occasional pools, until in February, 1829, he reached a river which he named the Darling.
On a later expedition, Sturt followed the Murrumbidgee River down to its junction with "a broad and noble river" which he named the Murray. Actually it was the same river that the explorers Hume and Hovell had crossed in 1824, and called the Hume. Sturt explored the Murray down to its mouth.