One of Australia’s most remarkable natural wonders is still hiding its light.
It’s a cradle of humankind. It has starkly beautiful scenery and emus, roos and birds of prey. And it’s cheap: just $8 per vehicle to enter. So how has Mungo National Park stayed a secret? Well, it’s remote. Stranded between Adelaide and Sydney, it covers more than 110,000 hectares of outback NSW. The nearest airport, in Mildura, Victoria, is about 120 kilometres away. But make the effort to come and you’ll reap the rewards.
Mungo is part of the Willandra Lakes Region World Heritage Area, a chain of ancient dried-up lakes that looks like a Star Wars set. Looming lunettes only add to the other-worldly feel, the Gaudí-like pinnacles of sand and clay sculpted by wind and water over tens of thousands of years. In the 1960s and ’70s, human remains thought to be 42,000 years old were unearthed here, an indication of its long Indigenous history.
Like much of the outback, it’s not a place to visit in the height of summer; autumn and spring are ideal. Either camp in the park or book a room at the comfy Mungo Lodge just outside it.
Must-dos include the Walls of China guided tour, where you’ll get a close-up look at a unique lunette, plus a day on the 70-kilometre loop track that traverses mallee-covered country and takes in many of the park’s highlights while offering stunning desert views.
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