We awoke engulfed in a damp grey mist that meandered about our campsite defying the sun that was trying to struggle through. Beads of water ran down the tent in small, cold silver streams as we unzipped the fly cover and stumbled on to the damp red dirt we had set up camp on. We knew once we left the camp-site we were stuck on the tiny narrow one way track and would need to circle back 70kms just to get back to the camp, so we planned our day. Our first stop was the famous sand dunes that rise over the flat plains that used to be Lake Mungo, then lunch at the BBQs at the Visitors Centre, then the ‘Wall of China’
So we bounced around the track in the Jeep as it kicked up a cloud of red dust behind us for about 20kms before we reached the dunes and pulled in to what could best be described as a ‘car park’ but was more a flat patch of dirt with a small walking track that led off in the distance. The emus stopped and stared at us as the shook off muddy water from their damp feathers. Their necks stretched as their tiny heads darted about curiously. We followed the track which opened up on to a huge expanse of giant sand dunes. The fog was still dense, so much so that, at first, we couldn’t even see how far the dunes stretched on for. We started climbing the giant dune and again the silence was incredible which made our breathing and panting even more evident as we struggled on the steep climb to the top.
We reached the peak and saw a vast razor edge of sand, carved to perfection by the wind as it stretched along the crest in to the distance complimented by the ripples in the sand, as if the ancient ocean that used to exist here was just out on a low-tide. We continued on amazed at the height of the giant mountains of sand and the strange rock formations that stuck out of the ground on the plateau. It was like another planet, a moonscape. We continued on as the fog slowly lifted and the sun made itself known, casting dramatic contrasts in light and shade adding to the surreal effect of such a strange landscape. We wandered about as if stuck in a Salvador Dali painting, with trees, shrubs and rocks resembling one of my favourite Dali paintings ‘Persistence of Memory’.
Again no other signs of humans except us. Just the barren landscape with its dead trees, alien rock formations and mountainous sand dunes, all exaggerated by the eerie light and the fog that danced about us.
Here are some photos taken from the dunes and more of the rock formations known as the ‘wall of china’ in Mungo National Park.
More Information Under Gallery
Where: The sand dunes are at a stop along the Mungo track called ‘Vigar Wells’ – an old horse drawn coach stop due to its rising swamps where coachmen could get a refreshing sip of tepid water. It’s just over halfway around the track (past Belah Camp). The ‘Wall of China’ is the ‘main’ stop on the track and just past the visitors centre.
Tip: The ‘Wall’ is impressive, however you are no longer allowed to walk on the dunes and around the rock formations unless you’re on a guided tour by NSW National Parks. So you can’t get really close. If you want to get closer, a more impressive stop (in my opinion) is past the ‘Wall of China’ by about 15kms. You will find a small area to pull over where you can look out on the rock formations. You still can’t walk on them but you can get much closer than you can at the official ‘Wall of China’.