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 images 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 hundreds of thousands of years, Mungo Nationwide Park has so many tales to inform and on a latest 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, folks and historical past. Do your self a favour, in case you get an opportunity to go to Mungo, spend just a few days right here to essentially take in the wonder and magic of this photogenic and vital a part of Outback New South Wales. 


The place is Mungo Nationwide Park?

Positioned 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 linked lakes (now dry), dunefields, sandplains, lunettes (extra on these within the images part beneath) 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 cross 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 guide a guided tour to stroll amongst the lunettes. This may be achieved through the Mungo Customer Centre or immediately through Mungo Lodge in case you’re staying there.

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

Updated customer info may be discovered on the National Parks of NSW website here.

With no 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 vital?

Thick layers of sand and clay discovered inside Mungo Nationwide Park reveal indicators of how the local weather and panorama has modified over the past 100,000 years. Not solely is the earth vital, 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 the moment, the Paakantji, Ngyiampaa and Mutthi Mutthi folks care and proceed the tradition and data 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 wherein the Willandra Lakes and Mungo Nationwide Park are situated.
  • 150,000 years in the past the Willandra Lakes fashioned as low-lying basins crammed with water from the mountains to the east.
  • 40,000 years in the past the local weather turned persistently drier and the world plunged into a chilly, glacial section from 22,000 years in the past.
  • 10,000 years in the past the final Ice Age was over and a comparatively steady, semi-arid local weather settled over the world.

Maybe most individuals know Mungo Nationwide Park as the placement for the place probably the most vital 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 this planet. They’re additionally a illustration of the early emergence of humanity’s religious beliefs.

Learn extra in regards to the folks and and tradition on the Visit Mungo website.

*Info additionally resourced from the National Museum of Australia.

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

*A fast be aware earlier than studying additional – in case you’re aiming to movie or {photograph} for business functions, please visit the NPWS website and apply for the related allow at the least 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 enormous Lake Mungo, Lake Leaghur as potential places for panorama images, nevertheless in individual, they’re expansive, dry lakebeds that are actually dwelling to an unimaginable 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 nevertheless, it’ll little doubt be the Partitions of China that drew you to Mungo Nationwide Park. Stretching alongside a ridge on the japanese 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 Crimson High 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 Crimson High Lookout you’ll be able to {photograph} dawn, sundown and in addition watch in anticipation for a full moon to rise (verify dates for the perfect viewing!).

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

When to go to Mungo?

You possibly can go to and {photograph} Mungo Nationwide park year-round, nevertheless be aware that in winter it’ll get fairly chilly, and in summer time the warmth can be reasonably intense! I visited in mid-February and we had 41degrees at some point, then 27degrees the subsequent, which I can let you know was way more snug to {photograph} in!

You possibly can plan your go to round a full moon to {photograph} this stunning scene from Crimson High 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 robust (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 a bit of!

What gear to make use of?

It may be windy, sandy and gusty out right here so having a digital camera that may deal with a little bit of sand/mud is crucial. My OM SYSTEM OM-1 and Olympus E-M1 MKIII cameras have been such an ideal 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 unimaginable digital camera through the OM SYSTEM site 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 in a position to stand 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 deliver the panorama nearer and reveal the layers of carved sand and clay.

At occasions I additionally connected the MC-20 2 x teleconverter to get near the distant dunes I wasn’t in a position to entry because of the self-guided street being closed. Whereas the street closure was a disappointment, I used to be actually proud of the photographs I captured of the dunes from a unique angle and was actually glad to have the MC-20 in my digital camera 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 digital camera more often than not not just for landscapes, however for the wildlife too. They’re so near the street and viewpoints nevertheless 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 a bit of additional away.

Drones should not permitted inside Mungo Nationwide Park except 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 info on NSW Nationwide Parks, you’ll be able to take a peek at their handy app here with downloadable maps, park info and locations to remain.

Find out how to get to Mungo Nationwide Park?

There are a variety of how you’ll be able to drive to Mungo Nationwide Park, most require some grime roads which change in situation relying on the climate. My greatest recommendation is to drive to the situations, 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 anxious previous to arriving that the roads can be a bit of too tough for me, nevertheless, they have been completely superb and as soon as I relaxed a bit of, I had a lot enjoyable driving alongside them! You do want to look at for kangaroos, emus and the odd deeper sandy patch on the street that may seize the wheels.

An necessary be aware – there aren’t any petrol/gasoline services when you enter Mungo Nationwide Park so it is advisable 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 deliver meals, water and no matter you want at some stage in your go to.

Driving from Sydney or Melbourne, you’ll most certainly drive via considered one of two predominant 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 street is effectively maintained and may be pushed in a 2WD automobile, nevertheless, it’s a grime street, there are patches of sand and if it’s been raining, the situations could also be difficult. At all times verify street situations with the native customer centre if it’s been raining otherwise you’re travelling in summer time when storms and rain could also be extra possible. That mentioned, we had an ideal drive in February with my AWD Hyundai Sante Fe and no points because of dry climate. *Though I drove overly cautious and really sluggish your entire method!

From Damaged Hill: Comply with the indicators to Menindee after which on to Pooncarie. Proceed 20km south past Pooncarie till you see High Hut Highway which has an indication indicating Mungo Nationwide Park. Comply with 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 numerous factors. The street begins alongside Ivanhoe Highway, then turns off, following Marma Field Creek Highway. It contains about 150km of unsealed roads and relying on situations, there are two routes accessible to you when approaching from the south-east.

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

Examine street situations with any of those three customer centres, relying on the place you’re driving via –

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

E-mail [email protected]


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

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

I recommend you spend at the least two nights right here to benefit 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 an effective way to stroll amongst the lunettes and hear as a neighborhood information talks about this vital location.

The view from Crimson High 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 suggest it extremely sufficient as you’ve bought a snug mattress on the finish of an extended 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 in case you like! The rationale that is so necessary, is that there aren’t any retailers at Mungo Nationwide Park, it is advisable both arrive absolutely ready with meals and water, or keep at Mungo Lodge the place you’ll be taken care of 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, recommend timings for sundown, full moon places and still have some free emu meals in case you’re courageous sufficient to enterprise over to their resident emus or goats and provides them some treats.

If you happen to’re eager to discover the Partitions of China, Mungo Lodge additionally provides guided excursions which grant you entry to the restricted space throughout the day, and even sundown excursions on numerous days. Examine 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 services and you may guide on-line or search availability via this link.

A brand new choice in case you’re searching for one thing a bit of extra thrilling is the Mungo Roo Bunkhouse and Glamping. You possibly can guide and see photographs here via Booking.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.

Photographs of Mungo Landscapes + Particulars

*All photographs 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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