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Lake Mungo. (25 December 2010)

contributed by DerrickJessop
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Lake Mungo The shifting sands undermine many of the trees.

The Lake Mungo National Park covers part of Lake Mungo that is one of about 15 dry lakes between Willandra Creek and the Lachlan River in South West New South Wales.

Lake Mungo The 110 Kms North East  from Mildura is over rolling sandy plains.

Access is via 110 Kms of dirt road over rolling sandy plains North East of Mildura, and the area was first visited by Europeans in the 1880s. Sheep were introduced and the large sheering shed of the Hungo Homestead is used by the National Park as a sometime bunk house.

Lake Mungo Mungo Lodge looks out over the expansive dry lake.

The National Park has a good visitors centre with displays and information, and the Mungo Lodge offers good varied levels of accommodation.

Lake Mungo The sand dunes on the Western shore where important archaeological relics were found. (See story).

Lake Mungo is an important archaeological site famous for the discovery of 'Mungo Lady' who it is thought lived 40,000 years ago, and whose bones reveal that she is the earliest record of a cremated human in the world. She was discovered in 1969; and the bones of 'Mungo Man' of the same era was discovered in 1974.

Other stone artifacts, milling stones, and axe head together with animal fossils have also been discovered in the lake and surrounds.

Lake Mungo The varying colours of the sand reflect different periods dating back 120,000 years.

The lake system has had a very long history, assessed by dating the levels of coloured sand from gold through grey to brown covering from 15,000 to 120,000 years.

Lake Mungo The road to the Walls of China on The Eastern shore crosses the lake bed.

Lake Mungo was a very fertile area but has been dry for the last 15,000 years. Over many years the Westerly winds have driven sand to the Eastern shore until today a 26Km line of lunettes or dunes, called the Walls of Chin, stretch unbroken from North to South.

Lake Mungo Erosion forms columns and in some places sculptured wash aways.

Over many years erosion has formed strange pillars and created sculptured washaways as well as leaving trees and bushes perched up on piles of sand, secured there only by their root systems.

Lake Mungo In the setting sun the formations take on a rosy glow.

The colours of the Walls of China vary throughout the day from a dazzling white, through gold to a rosy red in the setting sun, all tinted by streaks of the gold, grey and brown of the tinted sands of passing centuries.

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