The Murray and Darling rivers converge at Wentworth. These rivers form the Murray – Darling Basin which is an area important for both food production and environmental diversity.
The Murray starts in the Australian Alps near Mount Kosciusko fed by snow melt and Alpine rain. The Darling is fed by the monsoons of northern Australia. In the photo you can see the muddy water of the Darling in the foreground as it mergers into blue water of the Murray.
I camped 20km down stream of the rivers junction on the banks of the Murray.
Beside the Murray River as it slowly rolls south west to the Southern Ocean around 500km away.
In many ways the Murray forms the southern boundary of the Outback or at least the southern east corner of the hot dry lands that are the outback.
I had ridden up from a cultural holiday in Adelaide and this was the first stop on the edge of the outback that would lead me to Mungo National Park (my next stop) then up the Darling to Bourke (previous post).
Leaving the banks of the Murray it was onto the dirt roads to get out to Mungo National Park – A World Heritage area.
It was hot and I was happy to set up my tent under a shady tree
The Park was once sheep station and the old shearing shed a relic of those times.
Mungo National Park has both colonial and aboriginal history. The colonial history goes back a century or so. The aboriginal history is an over 46,000 years continual association with the land.
This long association was confirmed with the finding of the remains Mungo Man and Mungo Lady. These remains that have been dated as 46,000 years old. These are the oldest homosapian remains found on the Australian Continent. These are also some of the oldest examples of ritualistic burial any where in the world. If you want more information follow this link: https://learn.culturalinfusion.org.au/story-of-mungo-man-and-mungo-lady/
Another feature of Lake Mungo is the sand dunes that stretch for 135km across the horizon like the walls of China, but nature made.
Areas of dunes are called Lunettes because of the luna type landscape. But in these dunes are artefacts tens of thousands of years old.
At sunset the dunes tale on a redish hue as the sun burns the sky orange and red.
That night I slept with wonderment of the place and what a tiny spec modern humanity is on the universe while sleeping under the milky way.
In the morning I did a tour of the dunes with an aboriginal ranger. As part of the tour I help artefacts 10,000 years old and heard stories of the land, this place that had been passed down from generation to generation in the oldest continuous culture in the world. Stories and rituals that had their origin back 46,000 years ago.
As I left Lake Mungo there was a Sand Goanna on the side of the road.
I thought it was wishing me a fond farewell but, looking back, I think that it was a sign that the 350+km of dirt road I had before me to get to Bourke was going to be a difficult and sandy ride.