Monday, December 3, 2007

Mungo Man

Discovered in the 1970's Mungo man is the oldest evidence of man outside of Africa. Originally thought to be 60,000+ years old , his age has been downscaled to what is now considered to be accurate:- 40,000 years.

Maalie and I travelled to Mungo National Park to investigate this world heritage listed park. Like most of the national aprks, Mungo was a sheep and cattle station, and like most was stripped bare of native vegetation until it could no longer sustain farming.

For 10,000 years Aboriginal people lived by the banks of flowing streams and rivers, fishing and hunting. they moved away as the waters slowly dried up. It is evidence of global warming over tens of thousands of years.

Mr Mungo reclining

But it is the evidence of RAPID global warming that has changed the environment since the turn of the 20th century.

Creeping sand dunes, 33km Walls of China blown bare by the winds, weeds and feral animals are all that remain on this desolate landscape. Neighbouring properties are being offered back to the National Parks as they too succumb to the creeping luna landscapes.

Walls of China(not my photo)

Our journey was from Mildura and the road into Mungo is unsealed. Whilst not a problem for a passenger vehicle, should it rain then the road would become unpassable. A 4x4 is recommended for safety and comfort.

The facilities at the park are superb. Recently rebuilt shearers quarters and home make life comfortable indeed. The visitors centre reverberate tot the sound of digereedoo as the locals teach about the history of there people. its a world class facility, reflecting the importance of the region.

Maalie and I chose to camp in the camp grounds and were quite comfortable whilst Apostle birds nested nearby, and Whistling kites soared majestically overhead.

I cannot begin to describe the park itself. You drive over the lip of a crater and into another world. I half expected to see something prehistoric wandering about. The walk across the China Walls in bare feet with the sand between the toes is something else. I will not forget it.

Of all the National Parks in the State, Mungo is perhaps the most breath taking, and not for the right reasons. As you stand on a dune with the wind blowing the grains away,it left me cold. Its a scene closer to that of the Sahara Desert. Yet its recent.

Bugs on the windscreen!

Don't miss the chance.

BTW I have heard they have found more skeletons on a neighbouring property, rumoured to be older than Mr Mungo, and rumoured to be a "modern civilisation".

Time will tell......


  1. You do a wonderful job for the Ozzie tourist board simon. I loved my holiday in the Northern Territory...but you keep showing me so many more exciting pieces of the Outback, so I am certain to be back sometime!

  2. Since becoming a park the soil has had a chance to stabilise and vegetation to regenerate - which is good. Mungo probably has the answer to the origins and spread of homosapiens! Very interesting looking mud nest, reminds me of the structure of coil pottery :)

  3. yes the Apostle birds nests and Apostle birds became a favorite of mine on the trip.. the nests are beautifully made..

    At first the birds look "ordinary" but then you can see a wonderful family structure/behaviour and the birds are very unique!

    Your comment re Mungo man is true ( until they discover something else!!) if you know what I mean!


  4. Ah! I remember all those places! Feeling nostalgic! You see more pictures (including Apostle Birds) of that trip here.

  5. What is a 'Walls of China'.

    Mungo man looks quite comfy. When you say that it is the oldest man outside Africa, do you mean modern HomoSapiens? Have any autralopithecus or early Homos been found?

    Piccies of Maalie as a young jock now on blogsite!

  6. Walls of china are a HUGE erosion of the soil sub structure due to wind and water. They are 33 (?) km long.....