Fulvic acids from an Australian floodplain river and billabong were isolated using DEAE and DAX-8 resins, and characterised with the use of size exclusion chromatography and solid-state CP-MAS 13C NMR spectroscopy. Differences between the two resin isolates were evident. Fulvic acids isolated using DEAE-cellulose had higher apparent Mn and Mw values, while the DAX-8 resin showed a slight preference for aliphatic components. Fulvic acids from the river and billabong had the same functional groups present, however, the river fulvic acids had higher apparent Mn (number average molecular weight) and Mw values (weight average molecular weight), and were more polydisperse than the billabong fulvic acid. There were no significant changes in the characteristics of the fulvic acid isolated from the river at four sampling times: summer, autumn, winter and spring. In contrast, fulvic acids isolated from a billabong displayed seasonal variation in molecular weights. This work emphasizes the importance in ecological studies of isolation procedure for the operationally defined fulvic acids.