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The Willandra Lakes area of south western New South Wales offers much to the keen photographer, provided you enjoy flat, desert landscapes with the occasional salt lake and don’t mind driving many hundreds of kilometres. However there are two standout areas: the Menindee Lakes region and Mungo National park. This photo was taken in the latter region on the lunette to the east of the ancient Lake Mungo, which dried up after the last ice age, about 17,000 years ago; so don’t expect to go swimming there! The shot was taken just after sunrise on a fine and still winters morning. I did however soften the colours just a bit which I preferred in this instance to the starker post dawn colours.
Whenever I am on the dunes I try to ensure I don’t leave foot prints across an area I may wish to photograph later on. I don’t always succeed and this photo needed to be edited to avoid being spoiled by my tracks cutting across from left to right. However foot prints, other than the local kangaroos, are quite rare out here being such an isolated region. Many roos live out here and will traverse the lunette in search of water. There is a reliable soak on the far eastern edge not too far from these dunes that is a magnet for the local wildlife, mainly kangaroos, emus and birds, great for the wildlife photographer. Any planned visit needs to be completely self sufficient, although water can be obtained at the Park headquarters; there is no mobile reception and no fuel available. The nearest town is about 140kms away, but the roads are generally OK for 2 wheel drive vehicles. Winter is the best time to visit due to the heat, which can be extreme in summer but is quite mild in winter.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor