Sunset on Lake Mungo. Pic: Ian Brown/

Got that deep craving in your veins for a bit of proper red dirt? Here’s one for the purists. You’ll be wiping the remnants of your dusty escapades out here from under windowsills come footy grand final time.

This is a fair dinkum outback escape – within a cruisy half-day’s drive of Melbourne’s ristretto belt. Just think, you could be parked up under the big desert sky, knocking the froth off an ice cold tin by tomorrow arvo.

Beats sinking half a day’s pay to endure a plate of artisinally smashed avo toast, perched atop a reclaimed milk crate with a Biggie Smalls/Johnnie Cash mashup blaring in the background.

Stop. No more thinking required. Load up the fourby, pack your winter woollies and some extra firewood, as the desert’s got a chill about it this time of year. Point your bullbar north, up the M2 and along the Calder Highway until you reach the Silver City Highway, your road to Valhalla.

Mungo NP’s way out the back of Menindee and Pooncarie, smack in the middle of outback paradise. Don’t those names just get the blood a’tingling?


4WDING: Unsealed dirt roads link all the park’s foremost features, but they won’t present any challenges in dry weather. Heavy downpours are rare but can rip up the tracks, so use common sense if a big storm has recently torn through.

Mungo Discovery Tours run guided 4WD tours of the park led by rangers from the three tribal groups of the Willandra Lakes region.

THE WALLS OF CHINA are the prominent crescent-shaped dune features around the dried lake rim. Check ‘em out on the tag along tours that are run from the visitor centre during school holidays.

MUNGO MAN is the name of the oldest human skeleton discovered in Australia, an archeological relic unearthed within the park. Old mate knew a good spot when he saw it.

Mungo Woman is the name of the oldest ritually cremated relics in the country, also uncovered within the park.


LOCATION: Mungo National Park is located 580 clicks north of Melbourne, access is via route the M2, Calder Highway and the grand old Silver City Highway. The park is 1000km inland of Sydney, with access via route M31 and the Sturt Highway.

CAMPING is available at the park’s Main Campground, which is furnished with toilet and shower blocks, picnic tables and barbeques. Park fees of $8.50 per grown-up and $4 per kidlet apply nightly.

FUEL is available at Wentworth, Mildura and Balranald.

MORE INFO is available at

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