Show-off Holiday Post: Mungo National Park

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You probably didn’t realise that I was away all of last week – (that’s the power of scheduling posts) – not only was I away, I was completely off the grid. Yes, two hours from the nearest shop (no chance to duck out for more gin and salty snacks) and three hours from mobile reception. Such circumstances are equal parts wonderful and terrifying. So, where was I? Mungo National Park.

For those who aren’t sure of where Mungo is, it’s north of Mildura and east of Broken Hill. If that means nothing, just know that it’s in the desert, but not quite in the middle of Australia.

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Mungo is most famous for Mungo Lady and Mungo Man, and more recently for preserved human footsteps, which happen to be the only human tracks of Pleistocene age yet discovered in Australia (and the largest collection of such prints anywhere in the world).

Apart from having significant and internationally important old stuff, Mungo is also a place that reflects more recent Australian history – the area that is now a National Park was once the site of two large sheep stations and some of the historic farm buildings remain (and yes, of course the children all lifted the lid…).

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We didn’t completely rough it on this trip, instead staying in the ‘Shearer’s Quarters’ (certainly not luxury but after some long hikes, my bunk bed and access to a shower felt positively five-star).

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The landscape is semi-arid – stretches of desert and extensive sand dunes are broken by ancient dried lake beds and mallee scrub.

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We met up with friends at Mungo and spent our days hiking and introducing sand to every available pocket and crevice – the kids mastered the slopes and invented a million new uses for paddy melons.

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Our holiday also included a visit to Hattah-Kulkyne National Park, where I made the kids listen to my long-winded (and no doubt boring) lectures on the importance of wetlands. Nothing better than a captive audience.

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The trip from Mungo back to Melbourne was over ten hours in the car. Thankfully there were lots of visual distractions – kangaroos, emus and eagles; the town of Robinvale (where Love Serenade was shot); and the many Art Deco joys to be found in Victoria’s Wimmera region.

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A great holiday!

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25 responses

  1. I always debate about sharing vacation/holiday posts. I haven’t yet, but I’m considering it, especially since I love seeing yours. We just took a trip to West Texas, on the Mexico border, and it was 11 hours by car (with absolutely nothing to see). I don’t mind road trips, though I found this one miserable (I was feeling pretty sick). The destination was worth it though.

    • I’ve wondered too about holiday posts but because I like seeing where people go (especially in their own country), I put it out there (always retrospective though and photos are usually landscapes so that if someone was searching for images, my kids won’t end up in their collection!).

      Long road trips don’t bother me because I can read in the car although this one was a little onerous because we had hours driving on unsealed roads which is slow, juddering driving.

      Would love to see West Texas – do a post!

      • Oh, that explains it! I’m a mother-of-four, too—it’s a big family in this day and age. Thanks for sharing your photos, and showing us these glorious landscapes. I love other people’s holiday snaps! x

  2. So nice to learn of these National Parks, down under. Gives me some new stuff to Google and learn more about. We’ve got some spectacular national parks here in the USA too. Sadly, a fire in my apt. which was actually set by an arsonist who lived downstairs from me..it traveled up and inside the walls to my apt.) burned all my pics of the few I’d been too. But the memories of the
    beauty can never be taken from me¡

    • There are so many US national parks on my bucket list – like you, I love seeing other people’s holiday pics. I especially like to see where people holiday in their own country.

      That is just so, so terrible about your apartment. I always say that if there was a fire and I could only save one thing, it would be photo albums but, as you know, you don’t necessarily get that opportunity. Until a few years ago, my photos were all on film. I’ve now switched to digital and when I made the switch I also made sure I got into good habits with printing them and backing them up in Dropbox so that I won’t lose them, regardless of what happens.

      • Fortunately I had put all my family pics and later pix in Dropbox. However, the National Park pics – trips, etc. – I totally didn’t even think about. Go ‘figya’ (Boston accent…yes I pahk my cah in Hayvad Yahd too! LOL). Anyway, they’re gone. Who’d ever in a zillion years think some nutcase arsonist was living downstairs from you? we knew he was a nutcase when he moved in. Actually, he’d been evicted that very day. So, he was being spiteful. When the fire set of the alarms and all the security doors opened he slipped out one of them.

        As for BOOKS – I’m about to re-read “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” one of the first
        ‘grown up books’ my dad bought for me when I was about 13. Can’t wait. It was always one of my favorite books. I haven’t reread it in years and I hope I love it just as much now so many years later!!!! Any thoughts on this book?

      • I don’t think you ever expect to live next door to an arsonist (who sets their own apartment on fire!). What a nightmare.

        I haven’t actually read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, although I do have it in my stupidly out-of-control TBR stack. I’ll get there, one day…

  3. Aah Mungo, i’ve always wanted to go. My sister was studying something eco related years ago and went there. Ever since she did it’s been on my list. Some day…

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