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Dight Falls


Dight Falls

/Boonwurrung Country

Geographical Information

Dights Falls is a weir and rapids on the Yarra River, just downstream of the junction with the Merri Creek. It was originally a natural rock barrier in the Yarra River that was first converted into a weir in the 1840s. The purpose of the weir was to divert water to drive a flour mill on the northern bank of the river.[1] At the weir the river narrows and is constricted between 800,000-year-old volcanic, basaltic lava flow and a much older steep sedimentary spur.  The north side of the falls contains abundant fossils in sedimentary sandstone.[2] 

First Nations Information

Dight Falls is the place where saltwater meets the freshwater flowing downstream in the Yarra River.

Originally, Dights Falls was one of the narrowest parts of the lower Yarra River. This made the Dights Falls site ideal as a camping ground for the Yallock-Bullock clan (Wurundjeri tribe) of the Woiwurrung Aboriginal people. Clans would meet here and trade together.

Before the weir was built, native fish were able to make their way around the natural rock structures and move upstream to breed. Many of these native fish rely on this migration as part of their breeding cycle. This was made difficult with the weir’s construction, but a fishway now allows the fish to move upstream past the artificial barrier.[3]

Below is an external link to an ABC episode of Back Story Dreaming with a Boonwurrung Elder Fay Muir telling stories of the eel migration along Birrarung and its tributaries.

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Environmental Support

Would you love to join a local action group who protect and restore the environment near Dight Falls and Merri Creek?  Click below to hear more and offer your support.