Lake Mungo, Australia
Mungo National Park
Lake Mungo National Park is a truly remarkable place and is one of the most unique Australian landscapes to photograph. In theory, Mungo National Park (Lake Mungo) is little more than the remnants of an ancient lake, completely dry with ancient sand dunes running for over 20km along the eastern bank. In reality, it is one of the most important anthropological sites in the world with its international significance recognised with World Heritage listing.
Over time, prevailing winds that blow across the dry lake bed collected sediment and deposited it on the western shore forming an elevated bank that extends almost 20km along the side of the lake. The transposed lake bed layers of sedimentary sand and clay that form the ridge, known as 'The Walls of China', have in turn then been eroded by wind and rain to form the spectacular Lunette.
The iconic’ Walls of China’, is an icon not only for the sheer beauty of dramatic formations but also for the amazing spiritual significance of the area. Mungo has evidence of continual human habitation over 40,000 years.
Lake Mungo is one of 17 dry lakes which constitute the Willandra Lakes World Heritage Area. The spectacular ‘Walls of China’ emerged over eons, as winds blowing across the dry bed of the lake collected sediment and deposited it on the western shore.
This forms an elevated bank that extends almost 20 km along the side of the lake. The sedimentary layers have been eroded by wind and rain to form a spectacular lunette, offering stunning photo opportunities in the changing light.
The lakes last experienced permanent water over 10,000 years ago. Here, Aborigines gathered mussels, fished for Murray cod and golden perch, hunted wallabies and rat kangaroos and collected emu eggs. Evidence of this activity can still be found in ancient fireplaces, indigenous burial sites, and fossilized remnants of extinct species such as the short-faced kangaroo.
There is also a glimpse into the former European occupation. The area was an operational sheep station before becoming a national park and many heritage buildings remain.