Wednesday, December 6, 2023

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 hundreds of 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 learn about not solely Australian landscapes, however our tradition, individuals and historical past. Do your self a favour, if you happen to get an opportunity to go to Mungo, spend a number of days right here to essentially absorb the sweetness and magic of this photogenic and important 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 includes of 19 linked 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 cross which prices $8 per day and is payable on the Mungo Customer Centre.

You may entry the Wall of China viewing level however might want to e book a guided tour to stroll amongst the lunettes. This may be executed through the Mungo Customer Centre or straight through Mungo Lodge if you happen to’re staying there.

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

Updated customer info could be discovered on the Nationwide Parks of NSW web site right 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 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 throughout 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 by which 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 grew to become persistently 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 situation for the place essentially 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 among the oldest stays of contemporary people, discovered outdoors 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 planet. They’re additionally a illustration of the early emergence of humanity’s religious beliefs.

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

*Data additionally resourced from the Nationwide Museum of Australia.

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

*A fast be aware earlier than studying additional – if you happen to’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 shocked 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 pictures, 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 should little question be the Partitions of China that drew you to Mungo Nationwide Park. Stretching alongside a ridge on the jap facet of Lake Mungo, this panorama is other-worldly. Made up of lunettes, fashioned over hundreds of years, they’re a chiselled assortment of sandy clay formations.

My favorite location of the park is the Crimson 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 throughout the park and appears down into the lunettes and throughout the Partitions of China to the north. From Crimson 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 throughout the golden hour as shadows assist to reinforce the patterned and textured formations, significantly alongside the Partitions of China and from Crimson Prime Lookout.

When to go to Mungo?

You may go to and {photograph} Mungo Nationwide park year-round, nevertheless be aware that in winter it should get fairly chilly, and in summer season the warmth shall be reasonably intense! I visited in mid-February and we had 41degrees in the future, then 27degrees the following, which I can let you know was way more snug to {photograph} in!

You may plan your go to round a full moon to {photograph} this stunning scene from Crimson Prime Lookout.

This reveals the distant haze while trying 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 incredible companions for this journey!

Right here’s a listing of the gear I used whereas photographing Mungo Nationwide Park:

OM SYSTEM OM-1 Digital camera (learn all about this unimaginable digicam through the OM SYSTEM web site right here)

OM-D EM-1 MKIII Digital camera

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 an area information, I used to be in a position to 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 occasions I additionally connected the MC-20 2 x teleconverter to get near the distant dunes I wasn’t in a position to entry as a result of self-guided highway being closed. Whereas the highway closure was a disappointment, I used to be actually proud of 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 nevertheless as soon as they’ve noticed you, can soar away and watch from afar, so having that further focal size allowed me to seize the cuties even slightly additional away.

Drones aren’t 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 homeowners.

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

Tips on how to get to Mungo Nationwide Park?

There are a selection 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 finest recommendation is to drive to the situations, depart early to keep away from driving at night time and go as sluggish as you’re feeling snug. As somebody who isn’t an off-road driver, I used to be nervous previous to arriving that the roads could be slightly too tough for me, nevertheless, they have been completely positive 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 necessary be aware – there are not any petrol/gasoline amenities when you enter Mungo Nationwide Park so you might want to be full (refill in Mildura, Wentworth or Balranald and able to be self-sufficient for the drive there and again! There are additionally no shops throughout the park, so carry meals, water and no matter you want during your go to.

Driving from Sydney or Melbourne, you’ll almost certainly drive via one in all two major 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 effectively maintained and could be pushed in a 2WD automobile, nevertheless, it’s a grime highway, there are patches of sand and if it’s been raining, the situations could also be tough. All the time verify highway situations 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 seemingly. That mentioned, we had an incredible drive in February with my AWD Hyundai Sante Fe and no points as a consequence of dry climate. *Though I drove overly cautious and really sluggish the whole manner!

From Damaged Hill: Comply with 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. Comply with this till the T-junction after which flip proper.

From Balranald: Google Maps is aware of the way in which 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 way in which 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 situations, 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 should depend upon the time of yr you go to and situations. Each roads are maintained so situations can even depend 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!

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

Balranald Customer Data Centre – 1800 444 043

81 Market Road, Balranald, NSW

Mildura Customer Data Centre – 1800 039 043

180-190 Deakin Avenue, Mildura, VIC

Wentworth Customer Data Centre – (03)5027 3624

66 Darling Road, Wentworth, NSW

Electronic mail


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 checklist of issues to see, then sure, by all means, if you happen to depart early you’ll be able to drive from Mildura for the day and be again earlier than sundown. Nevertheless, if you happen to’re aiming to {photograph} the gorgeous lunette formations at dawn/sundown and actually absorb the magic of this particular a part of Australia, I’d say no.

I recommend 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 an effective way to stroll amongst the lunettes and hear as an area information talks about this important location.

The view from Crimson 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 worth and I can’t advocate it extremely sufficient as you’ve obtained a cushty 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 if you happen to like! The explanation that is so necessary, 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 liked 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 workers 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 if you happen to’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 in the course of the day, and even sundown excursions on varied days. Verify 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’ll e book on-line or search availability through this hyperlink.

A brand new choice if you happen to’re searching for one thing slightly extra thrilling is the Mungo Roo Bunkhouse and Glamping. You may e book and see photographs right here through, I personally haven’t stayed right here however the images of the glamping particularly look good and it’s situated proper beside Mungo Lodge.

Photos 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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