Mungo National Park, Outback NSW
Mungo Nationa Park (Lake Mungo), is in theory nothing more than the remnants of an ancient lake (completely dry and with ancient sand dunes running twenty plus kilometres along one side) in the middle of the New South Wales outback. But in reality, Lake Mungo is one of the most significant anthropological and archaeological sites in the world.
The much photographed 'Walls of China' is something all visitors should experience; as is the story they reveal.
This is a remarkable place, its international significance recognised with World Heritage listing.
It's where you'll find the Walls of China, an icon not only for the sheer beauty of dramatic formations but also for the amazing spiritual significance of the area.
Mungo has evidence of continual human habitation over 40,000 years.
Lake Mungo is one of 17 dry lakes which constitute the Willandra Lakes World Heritage Area.
The awesome Walls of China emerged over eons, as winds blowing across the dry bed of the lake collected sediment and deposited it on the western shore.
This forms an elevated bank that extends almost 20 km along the side of the lake. The layers of sedimentary sands and clays have been eroded by wind and rain to form a spectacular lunette, offering stunning photo opportunities in the changing light.
The lakes last experienced permanent water over 10,000 years ago. Here, Aborigines gathered mussels, fished for Murray cod and golden perch, hunted wallabies and rat kangaroos and collected emu eggs. Evidence of this activity can still be found in ancient fireplaces, indigenous burial sites, and fossilised remnants of extinct species such as the short-faced kangaroo.
There is also a glimpse into former European occupation. The area was an operational sheep station before becoming a national park and many heritage buildings remain.
Located just over 1 hour’s drive from Wentworth and about 1 hour from the Darling River near Pooncarie.
Autumn, winter and spring are the best times to visit, avoiding the extreme summer heat.
Touring Mungo National Park
Lake Mungo is a remarkable place, and is a must for anyone travelling through the lower Darling River area of Outback NSW.
The region is so exquisite and ethereal that it is recognised by World Heritage listing, and is where you’ll find the Walls of China, an icon not only for the sheer beauty of dramatic formations but also for the amazing spiritual significance of the area.
Lake Mungo is unique in relation to anthology as processes evidence of continual human habitation for 40,000+ years.
The lake is one of 17 dry lakes which forms the Willandra Lakes (World Heritage Area) and the evocative Walls of China has been created over the millennia through a process of both wind and rain; sediment has been deposited on the eastern bank of the dry lakebed and has, in turn, been eroded by the rain to reveal a myriad of textures and colors.
For those wanting to also visit Broken Hill, the Broken Hill Loop can be incorporated.
Wentworth <> Mungo National Park - Distance = 155 km - about 2.5 hours:
- Wentworth Pooncarie Rd (Sealed), 86 km
- Top Hut Rd (Dry weather road) 66 km
Pooncarie <> Mungo National Park: - Distance = 97 km - about 2 hrs
- Wentworth Pooncarie Rd (Sealed), 31 km
- Top Hut Rd (Dry weather road) 66 km
Mungo National Park Visitor Information:
Mungo National Park See & Do...
- Foreshore walk
- Grasslands Nature trail
- Mallee Stop walking track
- Mungo lookout
- Mungo Self-guided Drive tour
- Mungo Visitor Centre
- Mungo Woolshed
- Red Top lookout
- Walls of China viewing platform
- Zanci Homestead site
Mungo National Park Information Centre:
- Park Office: Corner of Sturt Highway and Melaleuca Street, Buronga NSW
- Telephone 03 5021 8900