Lake Mournpall

navigate dunes and ephemeral lakes in Victorian desert

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Summer temperatures soar in Hattah-Kulkyne National Park but frosty winter nights can thaw to crisp mornings heralding sunny afternoons perfect for walking. And the pick of the walks is the easy 9.5km Lake Mournpall Circuit, a bushwalking Victoria opportunity to step out in near-desert country.

More than 200 bird species have been identified on and around the Hattah Lakes, a freshwater system filled by a Murray River anabranch. Pink-and-white Major Mitchell cockatoos, red-capped robins, yellow rosellas and mulga parrots are some of the birds you’ll see as you climb the red sand hills poured onto the plains beside Mournpall campground. Walking north you’ll add human footprints to decorative reptile and insect spoor.

From sandy, red folds bristling with cypress-pines, multi-limbed mallees and porcupine grass, you descend onto the floodplain. Here you loop through old-timer river red gums and whip-fine saplings, between perennial and intermittent lakes.

Heavy rains can flood the lakes and the submerge the walking track. Hot sun can dry the mud to crazy paving impressed with emu and kangaroo prints. So your journey back to the camping ground is fascinating whatever the weather.

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