Travel Australia - Visit the Mungo National Park

You planned this Australia vacation for over 5 years? You read everything you can about snakes, poisonous spiders, jellyfish, the Outback and indigenous people? You even learned some Austral-ish and you know very well that everyone greets each other with G’Day mate? You feel perfectly prepared to eventually take that trip down under? Finally - the day has arrived. You survive, if you are lucky enough, the long flight (I nearly wanted to write long with three o’s) to Australia. You stopped-over in Dubai, Hong Kong or Singapore, and that was already an adventure in itself.  

Australia. A dream come true. And now, you wouldn’t want to lose one more second, you make your way to the Great Barrier Reef, to Fraser Island, to Sydney and to Uluru. Everyone, really everyone out there recommends these places, and you, never in a million years would want to miss visiting them. I know where you are coming from, I learned it the hard way myself, that Australia indeed is at the other end of the world. It is probably diametrically opposite to literally everything you have seen before. Everything is so exciting. Australia. Wowser.

The Mungo National Park - Step into the footsteps of the Mungo family

But here is a question I have. “When are you going to visit Mungo National Park?” Why should you go there? What is this? And where is it?

I know it is not shiny or anything, one can easily overlook this place in the heat of the (travel) moment. And yet, this national park located in New South Wales is a very special place on the edge of the Australian outback. Not as famous as Uluru or the Great Barrier Reef, but at least just as special, and even heritage listed. Perhaps this area is so very fantastic because hardly any traveller gets lost there. This is a place where you can see the emptiness of Australia up-close and in most cases very much on your own.

The Willandra Lakes

Mungo National Park is a region around the Willandra Lakes in western New South Wales. If you visit, take a moment to listen to the wind blowing around the Walls of China, a 30-kilometre long dune formation, and you shall hear the thousands of year old stories of mankind. Family Mungo certainly went swimming here, but today Lake Mungo is long dried out, just let your view wander over the vast plains and dream. It is that kind of place, you know. Take a deep breath and be strong … there is no mobile reception.

The photo opportunity at sunset is unique. Be warned, without a fly net in front of your face it can easily become a bit of an overwhelming experience.

A broken and rusted beetle car left behind on the dusty red floor of the outback.

Dried out red earth with hundreds of cracks running through it like a landscape.

A sign saying Port Adelaide nailed onto a sun-drenched wooden fence.

A piece of wood in drifting sand.

Rock formations in a wide-open space landscape in the soft light of the blue hour.

Sunset over a desert landscape.
Three people sitting in chairs around a table looking at the sunset over a desert landscape.

Last time I visited Mungo National Park I camped under the stars with a group of friends, and I dedicate this post to Stephan, who loved Australia to the moon and back.

Info: Fee per standard vehicle, AUD 7 per day. There is self-registration (yes it is that lonely) and envelopes are available at the Mungo Visitor Centre. You can either go camping (I highly recommend it) or stay in bunk rooms at the Shearers Quarters. For more detailed info’s please jump onto the Mungo National Park website.

Would this be your kind of place? Can’t wait to hear from you.

From Berlin with love