Easter weekend earlier this year, I went on an trip to the North-West part of Victoria, you have seen my previous posts on Wyperfeld NP and its Campgrounds. I also stayed at the Pink Lakes at Murray Sunset national Park.
First and foremost, getting there is a tedious long 6 hour drive along freeways, nearly the whole way. Be ready to change drivers as there is not so much as a turn or a lane change for more than an hour some times. This is a guideline of the location versus melbourne; as usual all you need to do is Change the address from Melbourne to yours and you have a pretty good guide on how to get there. Click here for a google map. Once you make it to the marker just past Unberbool, you will need to turn right into the park. This is well marked with huge Tourist Signs (the brown ones) so you should have no trouble whatsoever finding it.
Murray Sunset National Park is one of the most photogenic places I have ever been. I actually filled my camera while I was there. I always try and avoid uploading too many photos of a place, after all part of exploring it for the first time is the wonder and the beauty of the nature in the area; I would hate to steal that experience from anybody. That being said I saw what is one of the most amazing sunsets I have ever experienced on the Pink lakes in Murray Sunset.
The place is pretty amazing, and really something else considering that we’re still talking about inside (barely) Victoria. Park access is via a well sealed dirt road, and I was able to drive down it without considerable worry in a 2wd though it will shake you up a bit. The pink lakes main campsite is located not far from the entrance of the park; (relatively speaking) They are named as such as the salt lakes that form around the area are turned a vibrant pink colour at the end of summer, this is from the Algae that grows in the water secretes a pink-red dye called Carotene. Interestingly this is the same dye that gives Flamingos their pink colour, though they absorb it through blue-green algea consumption in their diet. There are no flamingos there though so don’t get to excited!
The main campsite is on what is basically the shore of Lake Crosbie. The lake itself is incredible to see, the water was very shallow during april, you should be able to get a pretty good idea of just how shallow from the photo below taken at sunrise:
The campsites are well spread, though it was awfully busy there over Easter, I envision this location being an incredible place to stay for a few days, with the added bonus of some beautiful day walks around the lakes; including a great walk that shows you some of the old equipment used by the Salt Miners who used to mine the Salt lakes around the area, including Lake Crosbie itself. There are even a few multi-day walks within a short driving distance. The secondary site for Lake Crosbie is also the starting point for a 3 day 66KM hiking extravaganza; I have the walk in my sights, and hope to do this within the next 12 months. The Semi-arid nature of the area means that if you’re a Victorian like me it will be a very different camping experience to what you are used to.
The area is full of wild-life that has adapted to the environment, with Bright pink Major Mitchell Cockatoos, Hopping Mice and more lizards than you can shake a stick at. If you’re lucky you might even spot a Bearded dragon, Unfortunately I wasn’t lucky enough to see one. Lake Crosbie isn’t the only pink lake in the area, there are two others in close proximity known as Becking and Kenyon, the latter of which is depicted below:
During my Overnight stay, I managed to see quite a lot of the surrounds, and went for two walks, one the aforementioned Salt Mines walk and the second was a wildlife stroll that took us down by Lake Kenyon and let us see some great views of the landscape and the wildlife living on it.
Murray Sunset National Park is an incredible place and definitely worth the drive, I look forward to heading there again soon, and will be walking out in to the wilderness zone to truly get amongst the incredible un-touched beauty and wild nature of the park. I thoroughly enjoyed my short stay there and would recommend anybody to head there for a couple of days without hesitation.