Posted on Leave a comment

Mungo Run – Day 3/4/5 – The Loop.

Mungo National Park is the traditional meeting place of the Muthi Muthi, Nyiampaar and Barkinji Aboriginal Nations.

Home to the famous archeological discovery of Mungo Lady and Mungo Man, the World Heritage Mungo National Park is a region rich in Aboriginal history and natural beauty.

The visit centre or meeting place is the start of the Loop.

Remarkable human footprints walked straight out of the last ice age when they were re-discovered at Willandra Lakes in 2003 during a routine survey for archaeological sites. The footprints may have been exposed for some time before 2003, and some local Aboriginal people say they already knew they were there. Research has revealed that the well preserved footprints are about 20,000 years old, and can tell some amazing stories. They are the oldest footprints ever found in Australia and the largest set of ice age footprints in the world.

3D generates impressions of some of the footprints and the story they tell have been laid at the back of the centre. The story goes mum was walking with a child, child runs off and is chased down, men are hunting and catch food. One of the men is one legged. They are said to have been around 7ft tall. The story was followed and interpreted by experienced outback elder trackers brought in specifically to tell the story of the footprints in the ancient clay pan.

There are plenty of places to see and stop on the Loop Rd self drive tour. The Loop is 50-70km (dependence on if you do all the roads) and mostly one way except for the start and finish.

The next stop is right next to the visitor centre – the Woolshed.

The woolshed was constructed in 1869 from locally sourced and hand-cut Cypress Pine.

Obviously when the woolshed was built iron water tanks didn’t, so they dug these to help conserve water. This is a reconstruction finished in 2016 and covered to preserve it and skylights added so you can see into the construction.

Inside view of the water tank.

Many of the traditional woodshed items are still there, like this sorting table and bale scales.

The holding pens.

The shearers shoots.

The Shearers line

Literally the engine room of the woolshed.

From the sorting pens up the ramp to the holding pens.

Those white walls are visible from almost all angles in the park. Next stop – The Walls Walk.

The information boards at the beginning of the Walls Walk.

A tribute to one of the guides that passed away, representing his tribe, his family and the park including the lake and walls of China.

The flat dry lake bed of Lake Mungo stretches as far as the eye can see.

Even after some rain a few weeks back the ground is still so dry!

From the Walls Walk you head around to Red Top lookout. This is the last of the two-way road from here on The Loop it’s one way so make that’s where you want to head!

The lunette like landscape Mungo is famous for is evident here and quite close. In krder to protect and preserve both the indigenous and geological history, you can no longer walk out onto the “lunette” without an accredited and authorised Guide. This lookout gives the best close up view of the Lunette if you don’t want to take a tour (I’d highly advise you do but more about that in another post to come).

This mumma and her baby we’re keeping an eye on us.

Can you spot Charlie 🚙 .. Nothing like vast landscapes to remind you have how small you really are.

From here you travel over the walls and along the eastern side of the park where the landscape changed at every turn. From stands of Rosewood and Belah, to grasslands, and over the red dunes and mallee scrub down into the depression where a number of old wells were located, past the remote Belah campground and old goat trap.

Our next stop was Paradise Tank. One of the many artificial watering holes in the park, a legacy of the past pastoral activities.

Relics of the pastoralists can still be found in the park. They were very clever for their time and technology.

Welcome water for the animals, shame about the 40 degrees keeping them away lol 😂

Nooo, don’t run away!

Next stop – Vigors Well, a very worthwhile detour.

Plenty of opportunities to spot emu particularly given the ‘hidden’ watersource.

Can you spot the emus sitting in the holes?

It took us a little while to figure it out, but watching them we realised they weren’t just sitting the holes, they were digging, digging for water! The well is a natural soak and they know it. So clever.

Can you see the tail and footprints of the kangaroo?

Emu prints in the sand, see the palm tree like print of their feet.

Seriously who needs a drone when you’ve got legs 🤔🙄 … Yep that’s where we walked!

The sand was super glarey and gave an almost optical illusion of being a straight drop off as we walked along the crest of the dune, when in fact it sloped down away from us. The view was pretty spectacular.

That’s Tash in the distance! Lol she’d had enough waiting around and was headed for the shade of the shelters back at the carpark 😂

Emu patrol heading back to their watering holes

Next stop – Zanci

The old Zanci property stables.

An example of the thatch roof that would have been used.

Zanci Station – Woolshed.

The White walls are back in view on the horizon again.

Inside the old Zanci shearing shed. By 1922 Mungo shed had been reduced to 4 machine shearers, so a section was removed and rebuilt on Zanci.

The old Zanci station homestead ruins. Zanci is also the name given to the upper grey-green clay and sandy sediment of the ‘lunette’

Ahh the old outhouse is still standing.

The dugout – built deep into the ground to help store provisions away from the searing heat above the surface. It was a good 10 degrees cooler down there! I reckon the rabbits and wombats are onto something 😁

Old machinery.

The loop now takes you back to the Visitor centre.

Advertisements
Posted on Leave a comment

Mungo Run – Day 3/4/5 – Park and Main Camp

Home to the famous archeological discovery of Mungo Lady and Mungo Man, the World Heritage Mungo National Park is a region rich in Aboriginal history and natural beauty.

Where did you come from? Where are you going?

The remains of Mungo Man, the oldest human remains discovered in Australia, and Mungo Lady, the oldest known human to have been ritually cremated, were both discovered within the park and have now both been returned to Country. They were buried on the shore of Lake Mungo, beneath the ‘Walls of China’, a series of lunettes on the South eastern edge of the lake.

The national park is part of the UNESCO World Heritage–listed Willandra Lakes Region, that incorporates seventeen dry lakes.

The Visitor Centre holds an impressive collection of bones, indigenous implements and tools, pastoral era artifacts.

The facilities in the park are very impressive. Each of the stops have shade shelters, tables, water tanks and most have toilets. These shelters are at the back of the visitor centre. There are also showers available here for use by all Park visitors – we loved that!

Footprints of History

Remarkable human footprints walked straight out of the last ice age when they were re-discovered at Willandra Lakes in 2003 during a routine survey for archaeological sites. The footprints may have been exposed for some time before 2003, and some local Aboriginal people say they already knew they were there. Research has revealed that the well preserved footprints are about 20,000 years old, and can tell some amazing stories. They are the oldest footprints ever found in Australia and the largest set of ice age footprints in the world.

3D generated impressions of some of the footprints and the story they tell have been laid at the back of the centre. The story goes mum was walking with a child, child runs off and is chased down, men are hunting and catch food. One of the men is one legged. They are said to have been around 7ft tall. The story was followed and interpreted by experienced outback elder trackers brought in specifically to tell the story of the footprints in the ancient clay pan.

Aboriginal story telling of the Dreamtime serpent, with the lake and walls of China, and the male brolgas dancing for the somewhat unimpressed female. The three colours represent the three tribes.

Dreamtime story telling in rock

 

The information displays at the beginning of the Walls of China.

The boardwalk at Red Top Tank lookout

Looking back over lake mungo from big red top

The roads whilst dirt and very susceptible to rain are for the most part in pretty good condition.

Mallee landscape is predominant across the park – where it’s not there’s flat sandy saltbush or red sand dunes 😊

Reminds me of Africa 💝

Plenty of Skippy’s about so you need to be watching when you drive and walk!

Most of the time the emus run well before you get to them but sometimes across the road is their choice 🙄

Aerial view of Vigars Well facilities and surrounds.

We stayed at Main Camp about 3km from the visitors centre. The campsites vary in size and shape but most have tables and fire pit, some of the tables are covered.

Our table and fire pit

Plenty of room to spread out on our site. The gravel top and hard outback dirt was not so pleasant.

Our entire site. There are approximately 25 to 30 sites at main camp.

Thankfully we had our new (not so little) Hexpegs to help us out! Drill and peg. Most certainly wasn’t getting pegs into this by hand.

Aerial view of our site.

We weren’t the craziest. Most nights it’s was us and tents!

The toilets well camouflaged (and unexpected)

Chilled out dude in the shade at camp .. Or ready to kill, it was hard to tell.

Mmm these are tasty

Posted on Leave a comment

Mungo Run – Day 3 – Ivanhoe to Mungo NP

After a snugly night under the doona we woke to a cool 16 feels like 13 Christmas morning in Ivanhoe. The caravan park sits behind the corner store/petrol station and we were in need of fuel so we had a sleep in as fuel wasn’t opening until 9am. We called home and spoke to our folks for Christmas Day before making tracks for Mungo NP.

Merry Christmas from Charlie, Leeroy, Tash and I

Chasing Wildlife on the dirt roads

Can you spot the emu’s! Darn things were happily drinking away as we drove on past but oh no get out and walk towards them with a camera and off they run! I guess at least Im heading towards my 10,000 steps 😔

Emu’s at a waterhole

It didn’t take long before we hit the dry weather only signs and the red dirt roads. These are the roads we’ll travel for the next few days at least. It’s only about 200km but I was allowing anywhere from 4 to 6hrs as road conditions can vary significantly out here.

Dry Weather Only roads ahead
Cute little shingleback didn’t run away from me!
Lots of little king billies about. We even went thru and experimental area where they are using goats to eradicate noxious weeds. Interesting as they are still seen as pests in most outback areas.

Mungo National Park

WhooHoo we finally made it !!!

The boys are pretty darn dirty. Surprisingly after the rains the roads were in really good condition and we made good time to the park.

At the entry to the Park, yay we finally made it!
Traditional welcome to country boards greet you at the entries to the park. The park is managed by the three surrounding tribes in partnership with National Parks. The boards are greetings in the three tribal languages.
The land was simmering from the heat, and i couldn’t seem to capture it very well. This is shot looking back from where we’ve come at the northern entry to the park.

We followed the Ivanhoe/Menindee Rd and weaved our way into the park, arriving at about 2ish approximately 4 hours later which was pretty good timing with a few camera stops and a snack break along the way.

Sand Dunes! They look huge from way over here!

Lake Mungo

Once we were all settled into camp we wandered through camp to the lookout track.

The obligatory selfie 🤳

Christmas Sunset

Early Christmas dinner, well earlish anyways when sunset is 8.30pm, so we could hunt out a sunset location.

Sunset was a bit of a fizzer both colour and location, but there was plenty of wildlife to take in.

Merry Christmas 🎄
Emu on Sunset

Night Sky

Star trails of the southern sky. I saw 3 shooting stars this night and not a single one was to the south.
Southern sky from the campground. You can see the southern cross just to the left of the tree on the right hand side.
Posted on Leave a comment

Mungo Run – Day 2 – Peak Hill to Ivanhoe

Our morning at Bogan Weir, began a little something like this exchange …

T – tapping my arm

T – Babe sunrise

E – huh (it’s really not clear if I’m awake)

T – sunrise

E – **sits up in bed looks out window looks at T**

E – it’s a line of orange light behind a row of trees shut up and go back to sleep

T – so no sunrise then 😂😂

After waking a little bit later to the sounds of birds we watched the birds on the river before packing up and heading back into town.

Peak Hill

We arrived earlier then the tourist info centre was open so we wandered up the street, popped the lotto in (fingers crossed we can stay on the road forever!) and checked out the community manger in the gardens.

Christmas in Peak Hill

We grabbed a few maps and bits and pieces from the Info centre and headed up to the Peak Hill mine experience.

Peak Hill Mine

An old open cut gold mine no longer in use that you can walk around. It was only about 36 degrees at 10am so of course we opted for the full boundary walk.

Peak Hill Mine
I think these guys have been in the sun a little too much!
The main open cut gold mine
Looking back over the township of Peak Hill

The Walk and facilities.

The walk is pretty interesting as it takes you past the 4 different mining areas. The track is well maintained and signposted with benches scattered along it if you need a rest.

There’s a large car park with some pull through parks for longer vehicles or vehicle towing, like we are.

At the start of the walk there is a good bubbler for drinking and filling water bottles, which was very welcome at the end of our walk. There is also a toilet.

The track and safety fence

From Peak Hill we headed across the dirt tracks to Trundle. Along the way we found sunflowers – Yay who would have thought it!

Trundle

Given it was both Sunday and Christmas Eve Trundle was pretty quite which made the huge wide main street seem even more ginormous.

The huge Trundle Pub. Luckily the pub was open, serving cold drinks and hot pizza.

The veranda is the widest in the country so I believe. 

We sat up on the balcony enjoying the refreshing 40 degree shade and breeze with a lovely view if the main street.

We were taking to the publican who said she’s just been awarded a State Government grant to help her finish off the balcony decking. It’s so great to see old pubs like this one being restored and looked after for the next generations to enjoy.

We criss crossed the dirt roads and highways spotting some spoonbills drinking at the waterholes along the side of the road that are still full after the rains a few weeks ago. We also spotted our first emu which is always a good sign that you’ve left the crazy city well behind.

From Trundle we made a decision to head straight to Ivanhoe and coff up for a caravan park (and showers) giving us a shorter drive into Mungo NP on Christmas day.

Red Dirt, Blue Skies – Doesn’t get better than this!

Back on the black top again . Stormy clouds … maybe, maybe not

A little oasis from the rainfall a few weeks ago

Lake Cargelligo

Round silos at Lake Cargelligo . I’m a bit of a sucker for wheat silos no real idea why but I am and I particularly love these rounds ones.

Ivanhoe

We arrived into Ivanhoe just before 7pm which is when the park closes! After traveling the states in an RV park closes times really baffle us. It’s always a battle between not disturbing campers who are ready there but seriously 7pm in summer in a remote area is insane and the number one reason we free camp.

The park is small, has power, showers/toilets and that’s about it. At $28 a night it’s a bit expensive but it is what it is – they need to make a living we wanted somewhere to stay.

Our campsite for the night

We love the dirt roads, these little piles all over the carpet at the end of the day not so much 🙄

By the time we arrived a cool breeze and blowing and we were enjoying some munchies, because after that pizza dinner was not needed!

After having made the call that sunset wasn’t doing anything, yep you guessed it some pretty colours lit up the sky for about an hour, but given we’d already cracked a cold one, so I wasn’t going anywhere so whilst Tash enjoyed the sunset I sulked 😂

Sunset

With a lovely cool breeze we sat outside watching the stars and listening to the pub patrons enjoy Christmas Eve until about 10.30 when if you can believe it, it got a bit a cool. By about 1am that cool breeze morphed into a bloody cold breeze requiring the doona to be retrieved from the seat it had been relegated too not that much earlier on.

Posted on Leave a comment

Mungo Run – Day 1 – Newy to Bogan Weir.

Work is done for 2017 and we’re heading west hoping to get to Mungo National Park after rain foiled our attempt last August.

The usual safety check stop at the rest stop on the expressway out of town.

Dunedoo Tors

The Tors, are on the highway heading west into Dunedoo.

Dunedoo Tors

Lunch Stop

IMAG3710
Cassilis Rest Stop

We stopped for lunch at the Cassilis rest stop. This is a great spot for a quick stop it overnight stay, with covered tables and chairs and toilets. It’s mainly a truck stop but you can stay overnight down the back away from the trucks (so they can access their much needed rest breaks).

Bogan Weir

Not as Bogan as it’s name 😂 .. A great free camp next to the river about 10 mins out of the town if Peak Hill. There are no toilets, water or power so you do need to be self sufficient. The bugs and mozzies were pretty awful for around an hour and half at sunset. however the mirror like views across the river from our campsite did make them somewhat bearable (once they were gone!)

Sunset

We even got a bit of colour at sunset

Sunset

 

Noisy locals at the watering hole.

IMAG3722