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Lower Lakes South Australia 1844 Map

In 1844 the South Australia Company needed to know where fresh water and grazing would have been available for the thousands of sheep and cattle being brought into the state.

Annotations on types of vegetation and the quality of water around the Lower Lakes and Lower River Murray have been made by the map maker. This includes locations where, in 1844, there were areas in the Lakes that had 'brackish' water. Also noted are the locations of 'salt lagoons'.

These observations by the South Australia Company pre-date major irrigation projects, weirs and barrages along the River Murray. Interesting to find 'salt lagoons' in an area that many people claim 'has always been freshwater'.

The map below is a mashup map combining a tracing of an 1844 map over a modern day Google Map.  The tracing of the 1844 map is shown in white and shows up best when the Google map is in 'satellite' mode.  As of December 2011, the satellite images in Google Maps still show the Lower Lakes during drought as you zoom in.

View the mashup map: Lower Lakes 1844 map.

Original map in the South Australian State Library .

Reproduced tracing from the book, 'A Diverse Land' by Rob Linn