The Road Ahead : April May 2007
32 APR/MAY 07 Mungo mystique STORY KRISTIN LEE PHOTOS KRISTIN LEE, DANIEL BOSSEVAIN After driving across the southern plains of NSW and passing Mallee scrub, at the end of thin bitumen we rattled along corduroy-ribbed roads where thick, red dust swirled and eventually a road sign read: 'Mungo, Population 10'. Before us, in the middle of this semi-arid zone, was a site of archaeological significance, a natural and cultural phenomenon, Mungo National Park. Forming part of the Willandra Lakes World Heritage-listed area in south-western NSW, Mungo National Park is the sandy footprint of a vast lake that dried up about 16,000 years ago. Despite its desolate location, during the last ice ages, Lake Mungo once thrived with fish and was surrounded by lush vegetation and life on its edge, including a 3 metre kangaroo known as Procoptodon goliah and a giant buffalo-sized mammal called a Zygomaturus trilobus. Even the bones of a Tasmanian tiger have been discovered here. A remarkable time machine, the findings of Mungo man and woman, our largest collection of fossilised human footprints and well-preserved artefacts, have indicated the longest continual record of Aboriginal life in Australia. Dating from around 60,000 years ago, it is now regarded as the site of one of the earth's oldest cultures; a place that a lot of Australians still don't know exists. Extensive information and interesting displays are available at the visitor centre, with activities such as exploring signposted walking tracks, a boardwalk (with access for people with TRAVEL & LEISURE BE ENCHANTED BY THIS DISTINCTIVE OUTBACK NATIONAL PARK.
June July 2007