Russell Curr • Secrets of Lake Mungo

New South Wales can offer photographic nirvana, but how best can you capture a national park? Russell Curr has the details on local landscapes and how to keep the dust away

The road to Lake Mungo can be dusty, or it can be muddy; today it was dusty. And it can be hot, but today was cold, and there are often flies, millions of them, but not today. Today was one of those rare perfect days in the Australian outback when the sun is warm on your face, the air cool and free of pestering flies. I was heading out to Lake Mungo National Park, a pleasant one-and-half-hour drive north-east from Mildura. The road is pretty straight and flat for about 100 km, as it crosses several stations that eke out a living from grazing sheep in this difficult marginal land.

Lake Mungo National Park in the Willandra Lakes area of SW New South Wales is the site of the Mungo Woman and Mungo Man discoveries, proving First Peoples occupation of Australia for well over 40,000 years. It is also the site of the earliest known ceremonial burial in human history. For more than 20,000 years there was a thriving community around the lush shores of Lake Mungo, but the climate changed around 17,000 years ago with the melting of the last ice age and the lakes dried up. The local people adapted. These first peoples – the Paakantji, Ngyiampaa and the Mutthi Mutthi peoples of the Willandra Lakes – claim ...

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