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Mutawintji National Park

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Learn more about why this park is special

Mutawintji National Park is a special place. Here are just some of the reasons why:

Iconic scenery

Mutawintji Gorge walk, Mutawintji National Park. Photo: John Spencer

Mutawintji National Park displays the classic outback landscape for which Australia is famous around the world. Driving along red dirt roads among rugged gorges and desert, against the backdrop of the ever-changing colour of the Byngnano Ranges, you'll discover the peace and space of the desert. Beyond the ridges, the saltbush and mulga plains stretch to the horizon, making city life seem a long, long way away.

  • Homestead Gorge trail Take a breathtaking walk along the Homestead Gorge trail for scenic landscape vistas and ancient Aboriginal rock engravings. Plus you might see wallabies, emus and birds.
  • Mutawintji Gorge walk The Mutawintji Gorge walk takes you on a hike through one of the park’s most scenic gorges. Enjoy a picnic at the end or simply spend some time taking in the view.

What we're doing for Landscapes and geology in this park

An important Aboriginal site

Thaaklatjika Mingkana walk, Mutawintj National Park. Photo: John Spencer

The traditional home of the Malyankapa and Pandjikali people, Mutawintji National Park has been a significant meeting place for local cultures for thousands of years. Communities have performed initiations, rainmaking and other ceremonies here in gatherings of up to 1000 people. A short, easy walk, suitable for wheelchairs, will guide you amid the splendour of Mutawintji's gorges to the rocky overhang Thaaklatjika (Wright's Cave). Here you'll find paintings, stencils and engravings that depict pre and post colonial Aboriginal history, as well as the animals that live in the area, including kangaroos and emus.

  • Homestead Gorge trail Take a breathtaking walk along the Homestead Gorge trail for scenic landscape vistas and ancient Aboriginal rock engravings. Plus you might see wallabies, emus and birds.

What we're doing for Aboriginal culture in this park

A wildlife wonderland

Bobtail (Tiliqua rugosa), Mutawintji National Park. Photo: John Spencer

It might feel peaceful here, but Mutawintji teems with the wildlife that has occupied these lands since ancient times. You might see a wedge-tailed eagle or even a peregrine falcon and enjoy the chatter of noisy short-billed correllas, zebra finches, budgerigars, apostle birds and magpies. Crossing your path may be goannas and snakes, and look out for members of the only colony in NSW of the endangered yellow-footed rock wallaby. The largest of the rock-wallabies, it is Australia's most brightly coloured mammal - look for them on rocky ridges in the park.

  • Homestead Gorge trail Take a breathtaking walk along the Homestead Gorge trail for scenic landscape vistas and ancient Aboriginal rock engravings. Plus you might see wallabies, emus and birds.
  • Old Coach Road drive The Old Coach Road drive is a piece of Australian history, following a section of the historic Broken Hill to White Cliffs Coach Run that connected these two outback towns.

What we're doing for Biodiversity in this park

Plants and animals you may see

Animals

  • Wedge-tailed eagle. Photo: Kelly Nowak

    Wedge-tailed eagle (Aquila audax)

    With a wingspan of up to 2.5m, the wedge-tailed eagle is Australia’s largest bird of prey. These Australian animals are found in woodlands across NSW, and have the ability to soar to heights of over 2km. If you’re bird watching, look out for the distinctive diamond-shaped tail of the eagle.

  • Red kangaroo, Sturt National Park. Photo: John Spencer

    Red kangaroo (Macropus rufus)

    The red kangaroo is one of the most iconic Australian animals and the largest marsupial in the world. Large males have reddish fur and can reach a height of 2m, while females are considerably smaller and have blue-grey fur. Red kangaroos are herbivores and mainly eat grass.

  • Emu, Yanga National Park. Photo: David Finnegan

    Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae)

    The largest of Australian birds, the emu stands up to 2m high and is the second largest bird in the world, after the ostrich. Emus live in pairs or family groups. The male emu incubates and rears the young, which will stay with the adult emus for up to 2 years.

Plants

  • Sturt

    Sturt's desert pea (Swainsona formosa)

    One of Australia’s most famous desert wildflowers, Sturt’s desert pea is found across inland arid regions of Australia, including far west NSW. One of the most easily-recognised Australian native plants, Sturt’s desert pea thrives in red sandy soil, or loam, and has vibrant red leaf-shaped flowers with a black centre, known as a ‘boss’.

  • Saltbush. Photo: Jaime Plaza

    Saltbush (Atriplex nummularia)

    A hardy Australian native plant, the saltbush is a small spreading shrub that can withstand dry salty soils such as those found in the desert plains of western NSW. It is grey-white in colour and has small spear-shaped succulent leaves. It flowers from December to April.

Look out for...

Saltbush

Atriplex nummularia

Saltbush. Photo: Jaime Plaza

Environments in this park

Education resources (1)

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Rocky cliff over looking the plains, Mutawintji National Park. Photo: Adam Bruzzone