UNESCO World Heritage Site #31: Willandra Lakes Region

World Heritage Site #30: Willandra Lakes Region

World Heritage Site #31: Willandra Lakes Region

From the World Heritage inscription:

The fossil remains of a series of lakes and sand formations that date from the Pleistocene can be found in this region, together with archaeological evidence of human occupation dating from 45–60,000 years ago. It is a unique landmark in the study of human evolution on the Australian continent. Several well-preserved fossils of giant marsupials have also been found here.

If the Royal Exhibition Building was the most disappointing World Heritage site, then Mungo National Park in the Willandra Lakes Region was one of the most surprising. I really had no idea what to expect when I visited Mungo because it isn’t one of the more popular tourist destinations in Australia. It is out of the way located in the corner of NSW where it meets Victoria and South Australia.

It is about an hour drive from Mildura, Victoria through unpaved desert. When I was there the temperature was 40C (104F) in the sun. The flies were terrible, but disappeared once the sun went below the horizon. Our guide for the day was Graham Clarke, who was an aboriginal from the area who actually quasi-famous. He was the outback spokesperson of the year and I’ve seen him on some TV commercials for Australia.

Mungo is a dried lake bed, which used to be a watering hole during the last ice age. It was also a camp for human beings about 20-40,000 years ago. It is some of the earliest fossil evidence of modern homo saipen. They have also found some evidence of ritual human cremation.

Just walking around we were able to find the bones of wombats in the sand that were tens of thousands of years old.

If you ever get the chance, take the time to visit Mungo National Park.

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Comments

  1. Maiku says:

    WHOA! What a great blog you have! I ended up in here while trying to find something about Malaysian Borneo, where we are currently.

    Just interested to know if you are planning to go elsewhere in Middle East? I wouldn't miss Lebanon and Syria, they are great to travel, and of course Petra in Jordan. We have some tips in our blog, and send email if you have any further questions, we are happy to give info. Would be happy to keep in touch, your trip has been very interesting!

    Ps. My husband just came into room and said he had added you to our links. So we were both impressed by you without knowing about it… :D Now what are the chances for that?

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