Earlier in the day we explored the Visitor Centre and also met a lovely couple from the NSW coast. They simply loved Luna! She is a brilliant conversation piece and isn’t at all shy! The couple were telling us about their daughter, who is a counsellor for a regional university. Everyday she speaks to students who are suffering from mental illness. Some are suicidal. They worry about her constant exposure to such situations at work, but speak to her regularly to ensure she is coping. We gave them one of our cards, and they were going to take a photo and send it to her. As we’ve said, we’re more than happy to go and speak with schools, universities, community groups, to try and break the stigma around mental health. We also met a couple of lovely French Canadian ladies, and after hearing about our trip, they said we should come to Canada and do the same thing! Well there’s food for thought for us .. Even at Mungo, we’re spreading the word that it’s ok to not be ok!
The Walls of China, or lunette, draw visitors from all over the world for the breathtaking colours at sunset. Paul & Kirstine have fond memories of staying here a couple of years ago, and having the entire viewing deck to ourselves to enjoy a summer sunset. On this visit with the children, they were in awe of the colour variance as the sun sank quickly below the horizon behind us, the shadows playing over the lunette. It looks very much like a set from a science fiction movie, but the lunette holds the secrets of Australian history and every so often it gives up one or two of these to amaze the world. If you don’t know the story of Mungo Man & Mungo Lady, do yourself a favour and google it. It’s hard to imagine that 45000 years ago, the whole area was a massive lake, and there was a thriving population of humans.
Accessing the lunette is only possible with one of the Mungo National Park staff or licensed tour operators. It used to be common back in the 70s & 80s to drive your car right up to the dunes and go exploring. Of course, they rely on the honesty and good will of modern day visitors to the park to do the right thing. Our history lies out on that fragile landscape, and after damaging rains over the last few years, they have had to change how people visit the area. The board walks are part of the scenery, and there is ample room at the viewing platform to enjoy the landscape without impacting on it. We respect that these are the traditional lands of the Paakantji, Ngiyampaa and Mutthi Mutthi Peoples.
Mungo National Park is a great place to go and experience the outback and appreciate the rich history we so often forget. There are no phones, no internet, very few lights. You can camp at the back of the park and likely have it all to yourself, or be at the main camp. The Shearers Quarters are fabulous if you don’t want to have to set up a camp. We always knew we’d take the kids there so they could see the multitude of kangaroos and emus, and experience the vastness of our country and how much it has changed over time. What we weren’t expecting is that we find ourselves wondering when we’ll go back again, already craving the peace that can be found at Mungo.