It’s a place that gets under your skin. It has a heartbeat that you can’t ignore and a spiritual sense of time and space that transcends words. Mungo National Park left an indelible impression on me when I first visited years ago. Whenever we spoke of it my sister (who’s never camped a day in her life) was enthralled so now, eight years later, we’re returning, and she’s coming with us. As she has little idea of what to expect, I thought I’d create a mini itinerary of our proposed trip.
After all, half the fun of the journey is in the planning.
Mungo National Park, at the heart of NSW’s Willandra Lakes World Heritage area, is one of the world’s most ancient and precious cultural treasures. To truly feel the magic is to immerse yourself in the landscape, to camp and connect in the best possible way under the stars.
After Mungo we’ll travel to the Pink Lakes, an extraordinary outback lake in the Murray Sunset National Park. Or will we?
It’ll be the second trip in our new Outback Journey and our biggest road trip yet in the new DMax and I’m super excited, though it’s mingled with a tad of apprehension.
There’s going to be long stints on the road and maybe some testing times ahead. It’s a LONG way for just a few days but not as far as the Red Centre! Same red earth, big skies, combined with mighty rivers and a cultural heritage over 45,000 years in the making.
It’s time for a new story.
OUTBACK LAKES ADVENTURE
Day I Fri 22 November
Melbourne to Wentworth
Distance: 589 kms
Overnight at Willow Bend Caravan Park
Highlights: Confluence of where the Darling meets the Murray, two of Australia’s greatest rivers.
Day 2: Sat 23 November
Wentworth to Mungo National Park.
Distance: 130 Kms
Via Pooncarrie and Top Hutt Road Road
Overnight: Main Camp
Day 3: Sun 24 November
Full day at Mungo exploring the awesomeness of the landscape and including a guided tour of the Walls of China
Overnight: Main Camp
Highlights: awe and peace of this sacred landscape
Nature has been for me, for as long as I remember, a source of solace, inspiration, adventure and delight, a home, a teacher, a companion.” Lorraine Anderson
Day 4: Mon 25 November
Mungo to Pink Lakes in the Murray Sunset National Park
Distance: 283kms (via Arumpo Road, Calder Hwy and Mildura)
Overnight: Lake Crosbie Campground
Highlights: Salt lakes that change colour, big skies, million dollar star restaurant in the great outdoors and a whole lot of nothingness
Day 5: Tues 26 November
Happy birthday to my sis!
Full day exploring/bushwalking and enjoying the unique landscape of Murray Sunset National Park.
Day 6: Wed 27 November
From wherever we are
“Adventure begins with a thought, decision and action.” Lailah Gifty Akita
Since writing this I’ve done more research, more investigating and been on the phone to a couple of Visitor Information Centres.
Our destination may well change for the last two nights, based on weather conditions and circumstances. Who knows? Life’s like that, isn’t it. Being prepared for those detours, for the unexpected and being flexible means we’re open to all sorts of possibilities.
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” Helen Keller
“WHAT TO BRING” she asked?
“Not much” I said. Keep it simple. Cool light weight trousers for during the day/shorts/t-shirts etc.
Warm coat, for those cool desert nights
Comfy shoes, sun hat
Towel and medications
A BIG dose of adventure
Transport with personal drivers and guides
A very comfy king size Swag
All food and drinks
Camping fees and permits. Fly tent in case of mozzies!
So, that’s a rough plan of what I’ll be doing over the next week. My intention is to soak up a big dose of that desert stillness and inspiration. Anyone else like to come along?
Who knows, maybe one day I’ll run a fair dinkum tour in the outback. For now I’ll stick to organising our small group of five. Hopefully I won’t get us too lost!
Whatever happens, travel always gives us a story to tell. It’s up to us to turn the next page.
Stay well and keep enjoying the journey.
In love and light