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Mungo National Park And The World Heritage Willandra Lakes

The Ancient Walls of China
The Ancient Walls of China

The Mungo National Park is an important part of the Willandra Lakes World Heritage Area, with the biggest focus here being conservation and preserving this magnificent region. The Mungo area was recognised in 1981 because of the importance of both its geological past and its record of Aboriginal settlement dating back at least forty thousand years. Campervans are welcome in the main camp which is on Arumpo Road near the Mungo Visitor Centre; the facilities are basic although the surrounds are visually stunning. Hot showers and toilets are found at the Visitor Centre. There is something magical about camping under the stars, with ever star as bright as a beacon. Located 110km from Mildura in southwest New South Wales, it is well worth the trek to experience this diverse and captivating region. It is highly recommended to bring plenty of water, petrol and food as civilization ends at the beginning of this journey in time, back to the previous Ice Age.

Once you enter the confines of the Mungo National Park, it doesn't matter what direction you head, you will be walking on ancient, sacred ground with the past a lot closer than you may realise. Fossil sightings are prevalent here, close to the track, with ancient stories seemingly woven around every boulder and shadow. The most famous natural attractions are the Walls of China, stretching for over thirty kilometres and mimicking the appearance of an arid moonscape. These sand and clay formations were sculpted by erosion into fragile yet imposing structures; the sand castles of giant children. This is photogenic scenery at its best, especially at dusk and dawn when the light brings out the glowing colours of the landscape.

You must stick to the walking tracks, as this whole area is carefully preserved and monitored. Whatever you pick up needs to be put back; and the only things you can take with you are photos and memories. This region is an irreplaceable national treasure.

Mungo encapsulates the soul and beauty of this Dreamtime land. The central feature of Mungo National Park is Lake Mungo, the second largest of the ancient dry lakes. The Mungo National Park is noted for the archaeological remains discovered here; the remains of Mungo Man, the oldest human remains discovered in Australia, and Mungo Lady, the oldest known human to have been ritually cremated. They were buried on the shore of Lake Mungo, beneath the Walls of China. Could anyone ask for a more spectacular monument or mausoleum? Lake Mungo is completely dry and is now a lake filled with salt bush. There are a number of theories explaining why the lake dried up, most popular being that the extensive sheep properties surrounding the lake were a literal drain on the environment. The Mungo shearing shed has been restored to resemble this time in history and is worth a visit.

An alternative choice to camping is to base your campervan in Mildura and enjoy day trips to the park. The Murray River is an attraction in itself and offers a number of caravan parks such as the All Seasons Holiday Park, located in a prime location near the river and town. You might want to hire a houseboat for a day or so and enjoy the birdlife and beauty of the great Murray. You can appreciate how important this region is to the indigenous people and their culture by the fact that three aboriginal tribes are involved in running the park. This is a not just a place of heart-stopping beauty. Come prepared to be bewitched and enchanted and you will bring home a lifetime of memories.

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