Site Requires Javascript - turn on javascript!

Mungo National Park An ancient lunar landscape

By Martha Tattersall

You won't see many landscapes on Earth quite like Mungo National Park. A chain of dried-up lake beds and sand dunes make up this archaeological wonderland, an isolated, lunar landscape rich in natural beauty. It was here that the remains of Mungo Lady and Mungo Man, said to be roughly 40,000 years old, were discovered, preserved by low humidity and carbonite present in the sand. Tour the park with an Aboriginal guide and see where ancient burial sites, fireplaces, stone tools and fish bones continue to be discovered, offering a precious window into Australia’s past.

Map of Mungo National Park, New South Wales

Witness the Walls of China

While it’s 14,000 years since water filled Lake Mungo, the 33-kilometre (21-mile) chain of white dunes that once surrounded it is a feast for the imagination. This breathtaking lunar landscape – known as the Walls of China – is accessible on foot. The Walls of China Boardwalks are open to public access, however, access beyond the boardwalk is available only with a tour. See where rain has washed away the soft sand and mud, creating characteristic ridges and cracks. Don't miss the sunset spectacular, when the striking chain turns yellow, orange and deep wine-red. 

Uncover history with a local Aboriginal guide

The best way to learn about Mungo National Park is with an Aboriginal guided tour. Connect with an Aboriginal Discovery Tour ranger at the Mungo Visitor Centre, who will likely be descended from one of the three groups of the region: the Paakantji, Ngyiampaa or Mutthi Mutthi. You'll see evidence of ancient campfires, and learn about the adaptation and resilience of a people who have lived in the landscape for at least 45,000 years.

Spend the night under the stars

Experience the park at your leisure and return to a hot shower and comfortable bed at the end of the day. For a touch of luxury, relax in an air-conditioned cabin at Mungo Lodge. This outback property, located just outside the park, offers warm hospitality and is committed to eco-tourism. Modern furnishings, local artworks and sophisticated amenities will welcome you home. If you want to stay in the heart of the park, Mungo Shearers Quarters offers cosy facilities close to key park attractions. At this unique heritage accommodation, you will discover the area’s pastoral and Aboriginal history. 

Explore at your own pace

Follow the 65-kilometre (40-mile) self-drive tour of the park which takes you to 15 stops along the way. The route includes the iconic dunes and the Walls of China and traces the northeast shores of Lake Mungo. More than 120,000 hectares (300,000 acres) of remote landscape provide a window into the dawn of human life on Earth. Please note, the weather in this area can be extreme: temperatures in summer frequently rise above 40°C (104°F) and nighttime winter temperatures often drop below zero (32°F).

Popular itineraries

Travellers' stories

More experiences around Mungo National Park

Make your trip happen

Property Type
Hotel Class
Price Range
Main Course

Prices are indicative

Liquor Licence
OOPS! The search results for your query are currently unavailable. We apologise for any inconvenience. Please try again later.

Other places to visit