Broken Hills – Mungo National Park, via Menindee Lakes, Pooncarie 331 kms all dirt road, Pooncarie to Mungo alone took 3.5 hours
We were up early this morning, no time to shoot sunrise, although it was lovely, we headed out to Menindee Lakes, off the beaten track, red dirt roads again for miles and miles. This series of lakes is often empty and there are dead trees sticking up out of the water everywhere you look. There is a main weir and feeds off the Darling River.
The Menindee Lakes is a chain of shallow ephemeral freshwater lakes connected to the Darling River to form a storage system. The lakes lie in the far west region of New South Wales, Australia, near the town of Menindee.
I was suffering from childhood flashback all along the road to Menindee and later email confirmed I had indeed been to this spot several times as a child. I remember the roads and the paddymelons growing wild on the side (a type of fruit bearing a similar appearance to watermelon but small and round like an orange or grapefruit). I remembered the lakes and the dead trees, wonderful spot for camping and the sunsets were amazing, but alas we were not there for sunset this day 😦
The road from Menindee to Pooncarie was also full of flashbacks; red dirt, blue skies and more paddy melons on the roadside. We saw a few kangaroos, some emus and more wild goats. We had the worst lunch at the Pooncarie Pub……..never visit there again! We finally arrived at Mungo Lodge in a huge cloud of dust. After we settled into out rooms, we were introduced to our last travelling companion to join us and then we were all escorted out to Mungo National Park to visit the Walls of China for a picnic dinner and sunset. I was not at all sure of what to expect, I did not remember ever seeing or hearing of it before on previous visits. It was surreal, almost felt like walking on an alien landscape. Our latest companion had a drone and took aerial shots of the area, they were wonderful. I think Moth really, really, really wants to get a drone now……..I might just let him 🙂
Mungo National Park is part of the Willandra Lakes Region World Heritage Area. The region abounds in ancient cultural and archaeological treasures, the scale of which is almost impossible to grasp without a visit. Findings include human skeletal material, tools, middens and animal bones, along with relatively undisturbed land-forms spanning several thousand years.
We even managed to fulfil a bucket list item for one of our companions to create light painting orbs in the desert here.
It was a long and dangerous drive back in the dark after a wonderful sunset; cars, dust and kangaroos…but we all made it back safely.
This is where I leave Day 6 and will continue on with Mungo and Day 7 next post…