Murray-Sunset National Park

Murray-Sunset National Park, in Victoria's far north-west corner, is the State's second largest national park. It is in one of the few remaining semi-arid regions in the world where the environment is relatively untouched. With its wide open landscapes, breathtaking sunsets and starry nights, its vastness and isolation, the park is not the place for a day trip - longer stays are recommended.

 

Things to Do

 

All of the tracks within the park are best suited for four-wheel drive, although conventional vehicles can use the Pink Lakes track from Linga, Settlement Track (the northern boundary) and Wallewa or Berribee tracks to Lindsay Island and the Murray River. All tracks are subject to seasonal conditions and up-to-date information should be sought from the ranger.

 

There are excellent walking tracks in the Pink Lakes area. However, it is recommended that walkers seek ranger advice before starting longer walks. The Pink Lakes are so named because of their colour during late summer. A red pigment, carotene, is secreted from the alga - best seen early or late in the day or when it is cloudy. The lakes evaporate over summer leaving concentrated salt crusts over black mud.

 

Facilities

 

The camping site at Pink Lakes on the southern shore of Lake Crosbie, the largest of the four lakes, has toilets, gas barbecues, picnic tables, fireplaces and water.

 

Other structured camping grounds are at Mount Crozier, Lake Becking, Rocket Lake and Mopoke Hut.

 

There are also a number of remote campsites with facilities.

 

The Shearer's Hut offers hostel-style accommodation with cooking facilities, bunks and a hot shower.

 

Heritage

 

A few million years ago the area was a sea inlet and when this retreated, the large sand ridges and dunes were left. Several Aboriginal tribes lived there for thousands of years, as evidenced by the burial grounds and middens on Lindsay Island.

 

Salt was commercially harvested between 1916 and 1975 from Pink Lakes. The area was declared a National Park in 1991.

 

Fauna

 

Murray-Sunset National Park is one of the few regions in Victoria where the red kangaroos can be seen in their numbers. The park is home to a number of threatened species - they include the Paucident Planigale, a small carnivorous marsupial, the slender yellow and green Regent Parrot, and the Millewa Skink.

 

Other notable birdlife include Mallee Fowl, Pink Cockatoos and White-browed Tree creepers. On a warm afternoon Bearded and Mallee Dragons may also be seen.

 

Vegetation

 

There are more than seventy significant plant species including Victoria's largest flower, the Murray Lily, the restricted Silvery Emu-bush and the Blue-leafed Mallee. Grasslands, saltbush, buloke, porcupine grass and mallee eucalypts dominate the flat, expansive landscape with pockets of native cypress-pine and Belah woodlands scattered throughout.On Lindsay Island, River Red Gums line the creeks, and Black Box woodlands surround the floodplain. Salt tolerant plants favour the low lying dry lake bed areas.

 

Looking After the Park

 

All plants, animals, archaeological and historic sites are protected.

 

Dogs, cats and firearms are prohibited.

 

Light fires only in the fireplaces provided; BYO firewood or use of fuel stoves preferred.

 

Keep to designated tracks.

 

Please take your rubbish with you.

 

Precautions

 

Summer temperatures are very high and it is necessary to carry adequate water. A compass and topographic map are essential for travelling in isolated areas. For users of remote campgrounds, it is recommended that visitors carry a gas or fuel stove or BYO firewood, and adequate drinking water.

 

Beware of falling River Red Gum limbs along the river.

 

It is important to check current road conditions with park staff before visiting - tracks become impassable in wet weather, whilst others are suitable for four wheel drive vehicles only. All tracks on Lindsay Island are dry weather only. Vehicles are prohibited in 'wilderness' zones and 'remote' and 'natural' areas.

 

How to Get There

 

Murray-Sunset National Park is located in north-west Victoria, about 550 km from Melbourne and 400 km from Adelaide. The park can be approached from Murrayville and Ouyen in the south and Red Cliffs, Mildura and Renmark in the north. Pink Lakes can be accessed by two wheel vehicles along a gravel road from Linga on the Mallee Highway

 

Nearby Parks

 

Big Desert Wilderness

 

Murray Kulkyne National Park

 

Murray River Reserves

 

Wyperfeld National Park

 

Activities/

 

Four Wheel Driving, Scenic Drives, Walking

 

Guided Activities

 

1. Birdwatching
2. Bushwalking
3. Coach/Bus Tours
4. Four Wheel Drive Tours
5. Mountain Bike Riding
6. Spotlight Tours / Nightwalks
7. Trail Bike Tours

 

 

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