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Mungo Outback & Conservation Journey - Small Group Tour

From: $2,995 AUD

Duration: 6 days/5 nights - Australian Geographic Travel Departure

Type: Groups, Shared.

Departs: Set Departure Dates Below

Come and join us on one of the best outback wildlife experiences in Australia. Discover the animals and history of the Australian outback at Lake Mungo in the Willandra Lakes World Heritage Area.  

  • Track majestic wildlife and travel expansive red sand plains sprinkled with kangaroos, emus, and pink cockatoos. Your private nature tour is conducted by an experienced Wildlife Guide who reveals Mungo's arid land, wildlife and ancient Aboriginal Heritage.

  • Walk in the shade of Desert Pines searching for brilliant parrots and sleepy lizards. Climb mighty sand dunes for expansive views over the desert. Experience the peace of the Australian Outback while staying in 4-star accommodation at remote Mungo Lodge beside Lake Mungo.

Upcoming Group Departure Dates
Maximum 8 guests.

  • 9 April 2024
  • 16 April 2024
  • 1 May 2024
  • 13 October 2024
  • 25 October 2024
  • 8 November 2024

AGT LogoWe have developed this exclusive group itinerary with our Australian travel specialist, Australian Geographic Travel. To book this trip or for more information about additional departure options, please fill out the enquiry form. This will be forwarded to one of their expert consultants who will contact you as soon as possible. 


Tour day-by-day

  • Day 1: Arrival in Mildura

    Make your own way (fly or self drive) to Mildura, arriving late afternoon. Airport pick-up by your guide and transfer to your accommodation. Guide will provide a trip briefing in the evening.

    Accommodation: Quality Hotel Mildura

    What makes the Mungo outback so special?

    Australian Aboriginal people have lived and hunted beside Lake Mungo for 50,000 years. Mungo National Park is the site of the oldest-known cremation of any human – dating back 50,000 years. The region has been continuously occupied by Aboriginal people since that time – the longest-known occupation of any land by any people on earth. Ongoing research found the area to be so important it was listed as a World Heritage Area in 1981.

    Mungo National Park offers a unique insight into climate change, its effect on human habitation and the environment over many thousands of years. Mungo is also home to many arid land animals and birds including kangaroos, rare parrots and cockatoos, birds of prey, reptiles and many others. Skeletal remains of extinct marsupials, the forebears of Australia’s unique suite of wildlife, are still found around Lake Mungo. Today the land boasts two of Australia’s five species of kangaroos, many rare and beautiful parrots, birds of prey, reptiles and a rich arid land flora.

  • Day 2: Hattah-Kulkyne National Park

    Hattah-Kulkyne NP contains exceptionally diverse examples of Australia’s semi-arid zones. Situated on a floodplain of the Murray River and extending into the red dunes of the mallee deserts, this park has a little of everything. Ephemeral lakes are the key feature of this 48,000ha park; water levels of these lakes ebb and flow with the years – attracting a diverse range of wildlife. Hattah-Kulkyne is also famous for its birdlife and incredibly diverse dryland vegetation.

    Today we’ll head south from Mildura and spend all day in this magnicent park. We’ll document the condition of the lakes and search for some of its most elusive species including the Mallee Emu-wren, the Malleefowl and numerous other species of parrots and cockatoos. We’ll also keep an eye out for reptiles including geckos, skinks, snakes and the shy and beautifully marked Sand Goanna. Towards the end of the day we’ll traverse the entire centre of the park, through beautiful sand dunes and vast open vistas en route back to Mildura. 

    Accommodation: Quality Hotel Mildura

  • Day 3: The Murray River & Lake Mungo

    Today, we head outback but before we do we, explore the Murray River and associated billabongs (waterholes). Sometimes large numbers of parrots, cockatoos and other birds are seen here as they arrive out of the desert looking for food and water near the rivers.

    In the afternoon, we head out into arid lands towards Lake Mungo. En-route we enter the 2400sq km Willandra Lakes World Heritage Area and walk along an ancient fossilised watercourse – Willandra Creek – that gave its name to this gigantic lake system. The creek, like the entire system, has been dry for 18,000 years.

    Later, we enter Mungo National Park – within the World Heritage Area – and watch the sunset over the dry bed of Lake Mungo, a magical experience. Here you will learn how the Willandra Lakes system dried out over thousands of years as the climate warmed. Because the country is flat, any rise places you on top of a world that stretches to an endless 360 degree horizon. We often have our first sightings of desert parrots and cockatoos and the marvellous macropods: Western-grey and Red Kangaroos.

    Accommodation: Mungo Lodge

  • Day 4 & 5: Lake Mungo – Wildlife & Culture – a 50,000 year journey

    Over the next two days we will explore Mungo National Park in detail on a journey that will help you appreciate the enormous significance of this region to human and wildlife history. The park itself covers more than 1110 sq km surrounding the ancient bed of Lake Mungo.

    Now dry, Lake Mungo has been a living place for Aboriginal people for at least 50,000 years. The dunes beside the lake have eroded to expose the oldest human living site on earth, which is the main reason for the creation of the World Heritage Area. Another reason for its status is a unique layer of exposed megafauna skeletal remains that tell of a cooler, wetter time in Australia when giant marsupials and Aboriginal people coexisted beside a magnicent freshwater lake. Lake Mungo was a massive overflow from the Willandra Lakes system which, before it dried, had an inlet but no outlet.

    On a series of walks and drives, we’ll investigate the wildlife of this place including an amazing number of birds (including Emus), two species of kangaroos, reptiles and a remarkable variety of desert vegetation.

    We travel through a diverse array of habitats varying from dense mallee woodlands, cypress pine/buloke woodlands, mulga scrub and vast expanses of saltbush. Huge white sand dunes rise high above the dry lake beds and have been eroded in some areas allowing burrowing birds such as the White-backed Swallow to build their nests. We often see pink cockatoos and occasional cockatiels in this region along with chats and arid land fairy wrens. The crested bellbird is often heard and sometimes seen. Raptors including the Spotted Harrier, Black Falcon, Grey Falcon and Wedge-tailed Eagles are known to nest in the area. There is a possibility of seeing malleefowl but they are extremely rare. Emus are abundant.

    During our journey we drive across the dry bed of Lake Mungo to lunettes (windcurved sand dunes) to begin a “story line” through 50,000 years of Aboriginal history beginning at the lake bed and rising high into the eroded dunes.

    You will learn about the people who lived at this place, see evidence of their campsites, view the remains of their cooking fires and, depending on the movement of the sand and soil, you may even help with the discovery of new sites! Your guide will also point out evidence of extinct fauna. It will become obvious that this now-dry arid area was once a thriving wetland where large numbers of waterbirds and animals co-existed beside a vibrant population of Aboriginal people for tens of thousands of years. Where people lived they also died and not far from where you will be walking is the oldest-recorded human cremation site in the world.

    Burial sites continue to be exposed throughout the Willandra Lakes World Heritage Area and are monitored carefully by Traditional Owners to minimise disturbance and engender respect for their ancestors. Due to the sacred nature of these burial sites, they are not accessible to the general public. As we travel we’ll stop often to search for birds and other animals and learn about the vegetation in this constantly changing landscape. You have the opportunity to climb high into the huge Mungo dunefield for stunning views across the desert. 

    Accommodation: Mungo Lodge

  • Day 6: Return to civilisation and transfer onwards

    After an optional early morning bird walk, we enjoy a final breakfast at Mungo Lodge before driving out of the desert to Mildura Airport where you will depart.

    Terms & Conditions
    *Price per person, quoted in AUD, based on double occupancy. $3,845 for Single. Price includes 5 nights accommodation as per itinerary, experienced wildlife guide throughout days 1–6, sightseeing as per itinerary by private air-conditioned charter vehicle with meals included: daily breakfast, 4x lunches, 3x dinners. Price excludes domestic or international airfares, airport pick up/drop off, meals/beverages other than specified, alcohol.


    Why Australian Geographic Travel?

    For nearly 40 years, our adventurers, photographers, writers and filmmakers have travelled Australia, bringing to life the stories of our country. Australian Geographic Travel grew from this legacy and invites you to enjoy the special places we've uncovered and meet the wonderful Australians who are inextricably part of them.

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    Unique Itineraries & Access
    Australian Geographic Travel offers a range of unique itineraries carefully crafted by our travel specialists. Our small group tours specialise in hard-to-reach places. By travelling with us you'll have access to private land or reserves for wildlife and nature viewing that is usually inaccessible to the public.

    Explore with Experts
    Incorporated in our trips are highly engaging nature and wildlife experiences that support local conservation efforts, including ethical wildlife encounters, multi-day nature walks, hands-on conservation activities and more.

    Meet Like Minded People

    You'll join similarly inclined souls who share your taste for exploration and a burning desire to learn more about our phenomenal natural world. By travelling in small groups, you'll enjoy opportunities to make new friends – bond around a campfire, an incredible bird-spotting experience, an epic hike or a breathtaking vista. It's the shared stories that bring people together and create unforgettable memories.

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