Mungo National Park

The Willandra Lakes World Heritage area, with Mungo National Park at its centre, maintains a continuous record of human occupation stretching back well over 40,000 years. Rain and wind has uncovered ancient fireplaces and hearths, as well as calcified plant matter, artefacts, stone tools and animal bones. At the 33 kilometre long crescent of the Walls of China, erosion has sculpted the sand and clay into dramatic formations.

 

Getting there

This park is near...
>>Pooncarie (85 km)
>>Mildura/Buronga (110 km)
>>Balranald (146 km)
>>Wentworth (160 km)
>>Broken Hill (316 km)
>>Best access routes

From Broken Hill, follow the signs to Menindee and then to Pooncarie. Travel through Pooncarie and 20 kilometres south you'll see Top Hut Road with a sign indicating Mungo National Park. Follow this road to its end and turn right at the T-junction.
Road quality: unpaved sections

 

From Mildura, cross the bridge to Buronga and follow the Silver City Highway towards Broken Hill. As you leave Buronga you'll see Arumpo Road with a sign indicating Mungo National Park. Follow this road to its end.
Road quality: unpaved sections

 

From Balranald, follow the signs to Ivanhoe (Ivanhoe Road) for 53 kilometres. Turn left 3 kilometres after Box Creek Bridge (signposted), and follow the road until you get to the park.
Road quality: unpaved sections

 

From Wentworth, cross the bridge and turn left, following signage to Pooncarie. 20 kilometres before Pooncarie you'll see Top Hut Road with a sign indicating Mungo National Park. Follow this road to its end and turn right at the T-junction.
Road quality: unpaved sections

 

Facilities & things to do

 

>>Walking tracks
>>Wheelchair facilities
>>Cycling
>>Car touring
>>Canoeing & boating
>>Picnics & barbecues
>>Lookouts
>>Camping grounds
>>Star Gazing
>>Mungo visitor centre

 

Park closure times

The park does not have closing times, but be aware that all roads in and around the park are closed after rain.

Safety in the park

 

The summer months can be extremely hot in Mungo National Park with temperatures up to 50°C and it's often over 40°C in bewteen December and February. Please follow these safety guidelines:
Water is a rare commodity in a semi-arid environment - always carry plenty with you.
All roads in and around the park are unsealed. Many of them have little traffic, particularly outside holiday seasons. Always carry extra food and water in case of an emergency.
If you become stranded stay with your vehicle!
Mobile phones do not work in Mungo National Park. In emergencies a ranger can be contacted on UHF channel 22.

 

No food or petrol/diesel is available at or near the park. The closest fuel is 80 kilometres away at Pooncarie.

 

Mungo lies in the fruit fly exclusion zone so you can only bring in food bought in Broken Hill, Menindee, Hillston, Griffith, Narrandera, Shepparton, Swan Hill, Mildura, Waikerie, Renmark or other places within those boundaries.

 

Natural environment

Native plant communities
>>Mallee
>>Woodlands
>>Heathlands

Native animals
>>Invertebrates
>>Birds
>>Reptiles and amphibians
>>Mammals

 

Culture & history

 

Significant places & sites in the park
>>Zanci Homestead Site
>>Zanci Woolshed
>>Vigars Well
>>Allen's Plain Tank
>>Allens Plain Hut
>>Mungo Woolshed

 

History in the park

 

The park area since colonisation

 

The first colonists in this area were pastoralists on the 203,000 hectare station known as Gol Gol station (which included Mungo), in the later 1860s. The station ran sheep, which immediately began to destabilise the soil.

 

Aboriginal people made up much of the labour force that kept the stations running in the 1860s after many of the settlers had departed for the goldfields.

 

By the 1870s, gangs of Chinese miners were working in the area. It was these gangs which felled the thousands of white cypress pines with which the Mungo woolshed, outbuildings and yards were built. This denuded the western lake rim's pine woodlands, further destabilising the soil.

 

Pastoralists kept 16–20 workers constantly cutting scrub during 1884–85, to feed the sheep that were greatly overstocked.

 

Rabbits arrived, along with a series of droughts, culminating in the catastrophic drought of 1898–1900. Massive storms swept the area and sand swallowed fences, sheds and tanks. It is generally thought that it was the drought and erosion of this period that exposed the Mungo lunette dune.

 

Prior to 1922, the area now covered by Mungo National Park (formerly the Mungo and Zanci stations) formed part of the original Gol Gol station. At its peak, 18 hand-shearers were employed in the Mungo Woolshed on Gol Gol to shear up to 50,000 sheep. Over time, the combined effects of sheep, rabbits and feral goats seriously reduced the carrying capacity of the land.

 

In 1922, Gol Gol station was divided into a number of smaller blocks for the settlement of soldiers returning from the First World War. Mungo and Zanci were two 16,000 hectare soldier settlement blocks.

 

The break up of Gol Gol station increased the pressure on the habitat because the smaller area could only carry 3500 to 4000 sheep. The wool store, adjacent to the woolshed, was dismantled and used in the construction of the Zanci shearing shed.

 

In 1934 Albert Barnes purchased the lease, which he held until 1978, when the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service acquired it.

History of the park

Mungo National Park was gazetted on the 21 March 1979 after it was acquired in 1978.

 

The neighbouring Zanci lease was acquired by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service in 1984 and added to the park. In October 2002 the two properties to the north, Leaghur and Garnpang, were added, bringing the park's total area to just over 90,000 hectares.

 

Since becoming a park, the impact of grazing animals has declined. The soil has had a chance to stabilise and the vegetation communities have started to regenerate and restructure.

 

Hundreds of hours have been dedicated to the maintenance and restoration of buildings related to post-colonial history in the area.

 

Information for this National Park has been supplied courtesy of  The New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service

 

 

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