A Photographer’s Information to Mungo Nationwide Park –


The place lunettes type a chiselled panorama of rugged formations and Australian wildlife and Aboriginal tradition take centre stage, Mungo Nationwide Park is one location to place in your pictures wish-list.

The glow of dawn illuminates dry lakebeds the place kangaroo and emu are slowly beginning their day, whereas golden sunsets and pastel skies create a surprising palette when photographing the other-worldly panorama.

Carved and formed over thousands and thousands of years, Mungo Nationwide Park has so many tales to inform and on a current go to, I used to be blown away by simply how a lot I didn’t find out about not solely Australian landscapes, however our tradition, individuals and historical past. Do your self a favour, when you get an opportunity to go to Mungo, spend a couple of days right here to essentially take in the sweetness and magic of this photogenic and important a part of Outback New South Wales. 


The place is Mungo Nationwide Park?

Situated in Outback NSW, Mungo Nationwide Park is roughly an 11hour drive west of Sydney or 7hours north-west of Melbourne. Resting close to the centre of the Murray Basin, Mungo Nationwide Park contains of 19 related lakes (now dry), dunefields, sandplains, lunettes (extra on these within the pictures part under) and lakebeds which might be thriving with native Australian wildlife.

Damaged Hill, NSW, is a 3-4hour drive north-west whereas Mildura, Victoria, is a 90minute drive south-west from the Mungo Customer Centre.

Accessing Mungo Nationwide Park

To remain, go to or drive inside Mungo Nationwide Park, you’ll want a customer go which prices $8 per day and is payable on the Mungo Customer Centre.

You possibly can entry the Wall of China viewing level however might want to e book a guided tour to stroll amongst the lunettes. This may be finished through the Mungo Customer Centre or instantly through Mungo Lodge when you’re staying there.

Regardless of a portion of the self-guided tour being closed, you’ll be able to nonetheless additionally entry the Purple Prime Lookout which was my private favorite! The viewing platform seems down into the rugged panorama and lunette formations, making it the perfect spot for dawn and sundown pictures!

Updated customer data will be discovered on the Nationwide Parks of NSW web site right here.

And not using a guided tour, that is so far as you’ll be able to go when viewing the Partitions of China. A guided tour will get you entry to stroll up amongst the lunettes and interesting formations.

 What makes it so important?

Thick layers of sand and clay discovered inside Mungo Nationwide Park reveal indicators of how the local weather and panorama has modified during the last 100,000 years. Not solely is the earth important, discoveries made inside the area have allowed particulars of the previous to be voiced.

Three Aboriginal tribal teams stroll within the footsteps of their ancestors at this time, the Paakantji, Ngyiampaa and Mutthi Mutthi individuals care and proceed the tradition and information of Nation.

A timeline of how the panorama was fashioned (useful resource: NMA)

  • 32 million years in the past the ocean flooded the Murray Basin through which the Willandra Lakes and Mungo Nationwide Park are situated.
  • 150,000 years in the past the Willandra Lakes fashioned as low-lying basins stuffed with water from the mountains to the east.
  • 40,000 years in the past the local weather turned constantly drier and the world plunged into a chilly, glacial part from 22,000 years in the past.
  • 10,000 years in the past the final Ice Age was over and a comparatively secure, semi-arid local weather settled over the realm.

Maybe most individuals know Mungo Nationwide Park as the placement for the place probably the most important human stays ever to be found in Australia, have been discovered. Named Mungo Man and Mungo Lady, the stays date again 42,000+ years and are a few of the oldest stays of contemporary people, discovered exterior Africa.

Geologist Jim Bowler found the bones of Mungo Woman in 1968 and located that they had been ritually buried, making her stays the oldest recognized cremation on the earth. They’re additionally a illustration of the early emergence of humanity’s non secular beliefs.

Learn extra in regards to the individuals and and tradition on the Go to Mungo web site.

*Info additionally resourced from the Nationwide Museum of Australia.

What and the place to {photograph} at Mungo Nationwide Park?

*A fast word earlier than studying additional – when you’re aiming to movie or {photograph} for business functions, please go to the NPWS web site and apply for the related allow a minimum of 7 days previous to your arrival.

The very first thing that stunned me throughout my go to to Mungo Nationwide Park was the abundance of wildlife. When researching and scouting places through Google Maps, I had famous the large Lake Mungo, Lake Leaghur as potential places for panorama pictures, nonetheless in individual, they’re expansive, dry lakebeds that are actually residence to an unbelievable quantity of kangaroos and emu. Inside minutes of arriving at Mungo we noticed a mob of 15 emus huddled collectively and kangaroos stood and watched as we drove (waving like we’d by no means seen a kangaroo) by them.

For many panorama photographers nonetheless, it can little doubt be the Partitions of China that drew you to Mungo Nationwide Park. Stretching alongside a ridge on the jap aspect of Lake Mungo, this panorama is other-worldly. Made up of lunettes, fashioned over 1000’s of years, they’re a chiselled assortment of sandy clay formations.

My favorite location of the park is the Purple Prime Lookout which is the spot you’ll see in many of the Mungo imagery on Instagram/social media. It’s a viewing platform that’s perched in one of many highest places inside the park and appears down into the lunettes and throughout the Partitions of China to the north. From Purple Prime Lookout you’ll be able to {photograph} dawn, sundown and likewise watch in anticipation for a full moon to rise (verify dates for one of the best viewing!).

Options of the panorama are highlighted inside the golden hour as shadows assist to boost the patterned and textured formations, significantly alongside the Partitions of China and from Purple Prime Lookout.

When to go to Mungo?

You possibly can go to and {photograph} Mungo Nationwide park year-round, nonetheless word that in winter it can get fairly chilly, and in summer season the warmth shall be somewhat intense! I visited in mid-February and we had 41degrees sooner or later, then 27degrees the subsequent, which I can inform you was way more snug to {photograph} in!

You possibly can plan your go to round a full moon to {photograph} this stunning scene from Purple Prime Lookout.

This exhibits the distant haze while wanting towards the Partitions of China, created by the 41 diploma warmth inside Lake Mungo.

Winds have been so sturdy (you’ll be able to see within the distance behind me), sand was whipping up throughout however the wind was additionally serving to to chill the air slightly!

What gear to make use of?

It may be windy, sandy and gusty out right here so having a digicam that may deal with a little bit of sand/mud is important. My OM SYSTEM OM-1 and Olympus E-M1 MKIII cameras have been such an awesome companions for this journey!

Right here’s an inventory of the gear I used whereas photographing Mungo Nationwide Park:

OM SYSTEM OM-1 Digicam (learn all about this unbelievable digicam through the OM SYSTEM website right here)

OM-D EM-1 MKIII Digicam

40-150mm f2.8 professional M.Zuiko lens (learn my article about this lens right here)

12-40mm f2.8 professional M.Zuiko lens

7-14mm f2.8 professional M.Zuiko lens

MC-20 x teleconverter

As I ventured on to the Partitions of China with a neighborhood information, I used to be capable of rise up good and near the lunette formations and therefore, use my wide-angle 7-14mm lens to get some shut particulars of the rugged formations. I did discover although, my favorite lens to make use of was the 40-150mm as I actually loved zooming in to carry the panorama nearer and reveal the layers of carved sand and clay.

At instances I additionally connected the MC-20 2 x teleconverter to get near the distant dunes I wasn’t capable of entry as a result of self-guided highway being closed. Whereas the highway closure was a disappointment, I used to be actually pleased with the pictures I captured of the dunes from a unique angle and was actually glad to have the MC-20 in my digicam bag, increasing the 40-150mm lens to 80-300mm (approx. 160-600mm full body equal).

I opted to have the 40-150mm lens on the digicam more often than not not just for landscapes, however for the wildlife too. They’re so near the highway and viewpoints nonetheless as soon as they’ve noticed you, can bounce away and watch from afar, so having that further focal size allowed me to seize the cuties even slightly additional away.

Drones are usually not permitted inside Mungo Nationwide Park until you’ve acquired written permission from the Park Workplace previous to arrival, and you’ll require an endorsement from the standard house owners.

NSW Nationwide Parks App: For extra data on NSW Nationwide Parks, you’ll be able to take a peek at their helpful app right here with downloadable maps, park data and locations to remain.

Easy methods to get to Mungo Nationwide Park?

There are a selection of the way you’ll be able to drive to Mungo Nationwide Park, most require some filth roads which change in situation relying on the climate. My finest recommendation is to drive to the circumstances, depart early to keep away from driving at night time and go as sluggish as you are feeling snug. As somebody who isn’t an off-road driver, I used to be nervous previous to arriving that the roads can be slightly too tough for me, nonetheless, they have been completely tremendous and as soon as I relaxed slightly, I had a lot enjoyable driving alongside them! You do want to observe for kangaroos, emus and the odd deeper sandy patch on the highway that may seize the wheels.

An essential word – there are not any petrol/gas amenities when you enter Mungo Nationwide Park so you might want to be full (replenish in Mildura, Wentworth or Balranald and able to be self-sufficient for the drive there and again! There are additionally no shops inside the park, so carry meals, water and no matter you want in the course of your go to.

Driving from Sydney or Melbourne, you’ll most definitely drive by way of one in all two most important centres, Mildura or Balranald.

Driving from Mildura: From Mildura you’ll be able to take Arumpo Highway which has 20km sealed and 88km of unsealed roads that lead straight to Mungo Lodge (see extra within the ‘The place to Keep part’, which is 5minutes away from the Mungo Customer Centre.

This highway is properly maintained and will be pushed in a 2WD car, nonetheless, it’s a filth highway, there are patches of sand and if it’s been raining, the circumstances could also be difficult. At all times verify highway circumstances with the native customer centre if it’s been raining otherwise you’re travelling in summer season when storms and rain could also be extra possible. That stated, we had an awesome drive in February with my AWD Hyundai Sante Fe and no points as a result of dry climate. *Though I drove overly cautious and really sluggish your complete approach!

From Damaged Hill: Observe the indicators to Menindee after which on to Pooncarie. Proceed 20km south past Pooncarie till you see Prime Hut Highway which has an indication indicating Mungo Nationwide Park. Observe this till the T-junction after which flip proper.

From Balranald: Google Maps is aware of the best way so merely kind ‘Mungo Customer Centre’ or ‘Mungo Lodge’ into your GPS for the route earlier than departing Balranald as you could lose sign alongside the best way at varied factors. The highway begins alongside Ivanhoe Highway, then turns off, following Marma Field Creek Highway. It consists of about 150km of unsealed roads and relying on circumstances, there are two routes accessible to you when approaching from the south-east.

I discovered the highway from Balranald slightly tougher to drive than the highway from Mildura, however it can rely upon the time of yr you go to and circumstances. Each roads are maintained so circumstances will even rely upon when it was final graded. They’re stunning drives although with loads of open areas, beautiful outback surroundings and also you’ll barely see one other soul!

Test highway circumstances with any of those three customer centres, relying on the place you’re driving by way of –

Balranald Customer Info Centre – 1800 444 043

81 Market Road, Balranald, NSW


Mildura Customer Info Centre – 1800 039 043

180-190 Deakin Avenue, Mildura, VIC


Wentworth Customer Info Centre – (03)5027 3624

66 Darling Road, Wentworth, NSW

Electronic mail tourism@wentworth.nsw.gov.au


Are you able to do a day journey to Mungo Nationwide Park?

For those who’re simply hoping to have a fast look and tick it off your listing of issues to see, then sure, by all means, when you depart early you’ll be able to drive from Mildura for the day and be again earlier than sundown. Nonetheless, when you’re aiming to {photograph} the gorgeous lunette formations at dawn/sundown and really take in the magic of this particular a part of Australia, I might say no.

I counsel you spend a minimum of two nights right here to profit from your go to and to expertise a dawn, sundown and {photograph} the altering colors of this spectacular panorama. Taking one of many guided sundown excursions is a good way to stroll amongst the lunettes and hear as a neighborhood information talks about this important location.

The view from Purple Prime Lookout viewing platform.

The place to remain in Mungo Nationwide Park

I opted to remain at Mungo Lodge and had such a beautiful expertise there, not sponsored, I paid full value and I can’t advocate it extremely sufficient as you’ve bought a snug mattress on the finish of a protracted day trip exploring, plus their restaurant dishes out scrumptious meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner, bookings are important. They’ll even pack a picnic lunch when you like! The explanation that is so essential, is that there are not any outlets at Mungo Nationwide Park, you might want to both arrive absolutely ready with meals and water, or keep at Mungo Lodge the place you’ll be sorted in luxurious.

I cherished listening to the birds waking within the morning and listening to the desert winds whipping throughout the panorama from my mattress at Mungo Lodge! The employees are additionally so pretty and useful, prepared to supply recommendation on the place to go, counsel timings for sundown, full moon places and still have some free emu meals when you’re courageous sufficient to enterprise over to their resident emus or goats and provides them some treats.

For those who’re eager to discover the Partitions of China, Mungo Lodge additionally gives guided excursions which grant you entry to the restricted space throughout the day, and even sundown excursions on varied days. Test with Mungo Lodge reception for accessible tour dates.

Alternatively, you’ll be able to keep on the Mungo Shearer’ Quarters which is situated inside Mungo Nationwide Park beside the Customer Centre. There are 5 rooms with bunks, shared amenities and you may e book on-line or search availability through this hyperlink.

A brand new possibility when you’re in search of one thing slightly extra thrilling is the Mungo Roo Bunkhouse and Glamping. You possibly can e book and see pictures right here through Reserving.com, I personally haven’t stayed right here however the photographs of the glamping particularly look good and it’s situated proper beside Mungo Lodge.

Pictures of Mungo Landscapes + Particulars

*All pictures have been taken on the OM SYSTEM OM-1 or OM-D EM-1 MKIII

Mungo National Park Full Moon Mungo National Park, NSW

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