Mungo National Park

Outback NSW National Parks

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In theory it is nothing more than 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. In reality it is 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. 

Lake Mungo (and Mungo National Park) is a jewel of Outback NSW and is located about 1 hours drive from Wentworth and Mildura.


Nearby Towns

  • The quiet and pretty town of Balranald is located on the Murrumbidgee River 859 km from Sydney. Originally inhabited by the Wemba-Wemba Aboriginal group, who called the area 'Nap Nap', Balranald was probably the first town settled on the New South Wales side of the river. Balranald is now one of the major entry points to the Lake Mungo National Park and the recently opened Yanga National Park.

 

Outback Beds Members & Touring

  • The Broken Hill Loop allows the visitor to explore the wonderment of southwest NSW, from the ethereal Mungo National Park, to the Darling River and picnic areas of Kinchega, this region is rich with indigenous history and culture as well as European/Pastoral history. A large part of this touring route focusses on the Darling River and some of the iconic towns of the Lower Darling including Wentworth, Pooncarie and Menindee. But it is not all about river towns as the ‘Capital of the outback’, Broken Hill, is a highlight of this route that deserves a visit for at least a few days.

  • Experience the awe-inspiring landscapes and the anthropological significant Lake Mungo as well as a taste of the lower Darling including Menindee Lakes before heading upstream and to Wilcannia and onto the iconic opal town of White Cliffs… this touring route is a must for the adventure minded.

  • The Darling River Run from Walgett to Wentworth is a spectacular journey stretching nearly 950 kilometres following alongside the mighty Darling. This memorable road trip is rich in history of pioneering days, showcases impressive scenery and highlights indigenous history and culture. Meandering alongside the Darling River be sure to keep your eyes peeled for an abundance of ora and fauna endemic to the region.

  • A taste of the Outback, Food and Wine; Griffith to Mildura. Getting to the Riverina and South West NSW is easy! If driving to the area major highways from Sydney, Melbourne lead to Griffith or coming from Adelaide to Mildura. Fly in and out options are also available with major airports at each end, Griffith (to/from Sydney - only via REX Airlines) and Mildura (to/from Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide). Many of the large hire car and campervan companies can organise vehicles by ordering in advance.