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Jindabyne, in the southeast section of New South Wales, was moved to its current site from its original site upon the building of a hydroelectric dam, the resulting reservoir, Lake Jindabyne, which now sits atop the original townsite. Among its residents are a group of friends who socialize together: married Stewart and Claire, a service station owner/former race car driver and a pharmacist respectively, and their school age son Tommy; married Carl and Jude, who have been guardians to their granddaughter Caylin-Calandria, Tommy's friend and disruptive classmate, ever since her mother's passing; Rocco and his new aborigine girlfriend, Carmel, a teacher at Tommy and Caylin-Calandria's school; and young parents Billy and Elissa, Billy who works casually as a mechanic for Stewart. Despite Stewart and Claire loving each other, there has long been disharmony in their household. Claire left for eighteen months following Tommy's birth due to post-partum depression. Then, Stewart's mother moved to Jindabyne to look after Tommy, but still undermines Claire as a parent. And Claire doesn't like Stewart's closed emotional state, she who just wants them all to connect as human beings. As they do every year, the four men embark on a multi-day fly fishing trip to a remote section of the river. Shortly upon their arrival, Stewart discovers the dead body of a young aborigine woman in the river. What the men decide to do, or not to do, ends up receiving the wrath of general populace, but especially that of the aborigine community. It also has the potential to tear the friendship among this group, as well as Stewart and Claire's marriage, apart. Through it all, Claire, in that want for human connection, does what she believes is the right thing, which is not always met with what is her intent.