A Photographer’s Information to Mungo Nationwide Park –

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The place lunettes kind 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 shocking 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 just a few days right here to essentially take in the wonder 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 images part beneath) and lakebeds which are 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 guide a guided tour to stroll amongst the lunettes. This may be performed by way of the Mungo Customer Centre or instantly by way of Mungo Lodge if you happen to’re staying there.

Regardless of a portion of the self-guided tour being closed, you possibly can nonetheless additionally entry the Pink 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 images!

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 possibly can go when viewing the Partitions of China. A guided tour will get you entry to stroll up amongst the lunettes and engaging 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 immediately, the Paakantji, Ngyiampaa and Mutthi Mutthi individuals care and proceed the tradition and data of Nation.

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

  • 32 million years in the past the ocean flooded the Murray Basin during which the Willandra Lakes and Mungo Nationwide Park are situated.
  • 150,000 years in the past the Willandra Lakes shaped 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 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 world.

Maybe most individuals know Mungo Nationwide Park as the placement 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 a number of the oldest stays of recent people, discovered outdoors Africa.

Geologist Jim Bowler found the bones of Mungo Woman in 1968 and located they’d 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 non secular beliefs.

Learn extra in regards to 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 word 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 not less than 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 areas by way of Google Maps, I had famous the large Lake Mungo, Lake Leaghur as potential areas for panorama images, nevertheless in individual, they’re expansive, dry lakebeds that at the moment are house 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 would little question 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, shaped over 1000’s of years, they’re a chiselled assortment of sandy clay formations.

My favorite location of the park is the Pink 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 areas inside the park and appears down into the lunettes and throughout the Partitions of China to the north. From Pink Prime Lookout you possibly can {photograph} dawn, sundown and likewise watch in anticipation for a full moon to rise (examine dates for the most effective 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 Pink Prime Lookout.

When to go to Mungo?

You may go to and {photograph} Mungo Nationwide park year-round, nevertheless word that in winter it would get fairly chilly, and in summer time the warmth will probably be somewhat intense! I visited in mid-February and we had 41degrees someday, then 27degrees the subsequent, which I can inform you was much more snug to {photograph} in!

You may plan your go to round a full moon to {photograph} this stunning scene from Pink 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 robust (you possibly can see within the distance behind me), sand was whipping up throughout however the wind was additionally serving to to chill the air just a little!

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 a listing of the gear I used whereas photographing Mungo Nationwide Park:

OM SYSTEM OM-1 Digital camera (learn all about this unimaginable digicam by way of the OM SYSTEM website 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 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 instances I additionally hooked up 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 pleased with the photographs I captured of the dunes from a distinct 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 just a little additional away.

Drones will not be permitted inside Mungo Nationwide Park until you’ve obtained 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 possibly can take a peek at their useful app right here with downloadable maps, park data and locations to remain.

The way to get to Mungo Nationwide Park?

There are a selection of the way you possibly can 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 situations, go away 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 fearful previous to arriving that the roads can be just a little too tough for me, nevertheless, they have been completely effective and as soon as I relaxed just a little, 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 highway that may seize the wheels.

An vital word – there are not any petrol/gasoline services when you enter Mungo Nationwide Park so you must 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 inside the park, so deliver meals, water and no matter you want all through your go to.

Driving from Sydney or Melbourne, you’ll most probably drive by certainly one of two principal centres, Mildura or Balranald.

Driving from Mildura: From Mildura you possibly can take Arumpo Street 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 will be pushed in a 2WD car, nevertheless, it’s a filth highway, there are patches of sand and if it’s been raining, the situations could also be tough. All the time examine highway 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 awesome drive in February with my AWD Hyundai Sante Fe and no points resulting from dry climate. *Though I drove overly cautious and really sluggish your complete means!

From Damaged Hill: Comply with the indicators to Menindee after which on to Pooncarie. Proceed 20km south past Pooncarie till you see Prime Hut Street 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 might lose sign alongside the best way at varied factors. The highway begins alongside Ivanhoe Street, then turns off, following Marma Field Creek Street. It consists of about 150km of unsealed roads and relying on situations, there are two routes obtainable to you when approaching from the south-east.

I discovered the highway from Balranald just a little tougher to drive than the highway from Mildura, however it would rely on the time of yr you go to and situations. Each roads are maintained so situations may even rely on 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!

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

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

E 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 record of issues to see, then sure, by all means, if you happen to go away early you possibly can drive from Mildura for the day and be again earlier than sundown. Nonetheless, if you happen to’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’d say no.

I counsel you spend not less than 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 pay attention as a neighborhood information talks about this important location.

The view from Pink 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 suggest it extremely sufficient as you’ve acquired a cushty 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 if you happen to like! The explanation that is so vital, is that there are not any outlets at Mungo Nationwide Park, you must both arrive totally 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 beautiful and useful, prepared to supply recommendation on the place to go, counsel timings for sundown, full moon areas 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.

For those who’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. Examine with Mungo Lodge reception for obtainable tour dates.

Alternatively, you possibly can 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 by way of this hyperlink.

A brand new choice if you happen to’re in search of one thing just a little extra thrilling is the Mungo Roo Bunkhouse and Glamping. You may guide and see photographs right here by way of Reserving.com, 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 MoonMungo National Park, NSW

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