Ever heard of the Mungo National Park? No? I guessed so! I visited Australia during a conference and took a few days off after the event. This was my first trip down under and I wanted to make the most of it. I rented a car at the airport and headed out into the wilderness for four days. This article is a summary of what I did, and as I publish later articles I will link them back here.

This is part 1 in a series about my journey to AustraliaSubscribe to the newsletter to get the latest updates soon. 

Flying to Sydney

I’ve flown quite a lot in my short life but nothing could prepare me for this. The flight took more than a day with a 4-hour layover in Singapore and I was absolutely exhausted when we arrived. Problem is, the conference started five hours after touchdown! So instead of sleeping I went for a nice long walk early in the morning and then headed to the conference.

In the evenings I managed to go for long walks around the city and discover quite a lot of it. The conference was only three days long and I decided to drive to the countryside afterwards.

Royal National Park

My first stop after Sydney was the Royal National Park. The beach was amazing and the sand and cliffs just breathtaking. I didn’t spend much time here but the images below speak for themselves.

Wollongong and Sutton Forest

By the time I left Royal National Park it was dark so I put the pedal to the metal. As I was driving across the mountains I was getting more and more sleepy so I pulled over and had a short nap. In fact, I spent all three nights in the car! After about an hour’s sleep I drove on to Sutton Forest where I had a terrible dinner at a diner. About an hour later I had to stop again in a layover to sleep as I was exhausted.

Breakfast in Wagga Wagga

I drove for another two hours after the truck stop and slept in the car outside someone’s farm sometime later. When I woke up I drove all the way to Wagga Wagga. It is a pleasant place but definitely not a tourist trap. I had breakfast here and drove on toward Balranald.

Balranald, the entrance to Mungo National Park

Balranald is a sleepy town in the middle of nowhere. Most people work in farming or grow cotton. I had lunch here in a bakery and then headed to Mungo National Park on the local dirt roads.

Mungo National Park is the sacred land of the local aboriginal tribe. It was quite stunning to see the dried out lake and the mounds of clay and sand in the sunset!

According to the National Park Service, “Aboriginal people have walked here since the Dreamtime. Scientists have discovered artefacts of this ancient culture dating back over 50,000 years across the expanses of the last ice age. This makes Mungo one of the oldest places outside of Africa to have been occupied by modern humans since ancient times.”

It was an absolutely amazing place and I spent the night sleeping in the desert! The milion stars above were totally amazing!

Lithgow & The Blue Mountains National Park

I woke up early in the morning and drove all day to arrive in Lithgow for the last night. Again, I looked for a secluded place in the hillside and put myself away for the night. I will go into more detail about the place in between in later posts. For now watch the video below.

Once I got up I headed to the Blue Mountain National Park. It looks very similar to the Big Bend National Park, except it is a lush forested area. I spent a good few hours walking around then headed back to Sydney Airport.

This is part 1 in a series about my journey to AustraliaSubscribe to the newsletter to get the latest updates soon. 

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About The Author

By profession Janos Gal has been a journalist since 2008. He holds a Bachelor of Arts, honours degree in journalism from Edinburgh Napier University. He has written for the Global Journalist magazine, the Estrella de Arica daily in Chile, Agence France-Presse in Budapest and many international titles in London. He has travelled extensively in Europe, South America, Australia, Asia and the United States as well as Canada.