Lake Mungo (and Mungo National Park) is a jewel of Outback NSW and is located about 1 hours drive from Wentworth and Mildura.
Lake Mungo consists of the remnants of an ancient lake (completely dry and with ancient sand dunes running 20+ km along one side) in the middle of the New South Wales outback. It is also one of the most significant anthropological and archaeological sites in the world. Lake Mungo, located in Mungo National Park, is one of 17 dry lakes which constitute the Willandra Lakes World Heritage Area (1981).
The Lake last experienced permanent water over 10,000 years ago and has recorded continuous indigenous habitation for 40,000+ years – making it the site of the oldest known human occupation in Australia. From the lake, Aboriginal people gathered mussels, fished for Murray cod & golden perch, hunted wallabies & rat kangaroos and collected Emu eggs.
Over time, prevailing winds that blow across the dry lake bed collected sediment and deposited it on the western shore forming an elevated bank that extends almost 20km’s along the side of the lake. The transposed lake bed layers of sedimentary sands and clays that form the ridge, known as ‘The Walls of China’, have in turn then been then been eroded by wind and rain to form the spectacular Lunette. As the lunette erodes, it reveals the secrets of the past; ancient fireplaces, indigenous burial sites, fossilized remnants of extinct species like Thylocene and short-faced kangaroo as well as wonderful specimens of contemporary species.
Mungo National Park also affords the visitor a glimpse into the European past of the area as it was an operational sheep station prior to becoming a National Park and many buildings from the era remain.