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Travel up to the remote northwestern corner of New South Wales, some 130 km from Broken Hill, and you will find the rugged Bynguano Ranges and the Mootwintji National Park (sometimes also referred to by its old name Mootwingee National Park).
The Bynguano Ranges is a stark landscape of rocky mountains. Geologists describe these Ranges as sloping layers of sedimentary rock that were laid down at the bottom of an inland sea 400 million years ago. Over the years the rock layers have been eroded into numerous gullies (small vallies), cliffs and various other knobbed and twisted geological forms.
The Bynguano Ranges have been inhabited for thousands of years by the Wilyakali Aboriginal people who took refuge in these mountains from the fierce heat and lack of water of the region. They took their sustenance from the plants and animals found in and around the waterholes hidden in these ranges.
The Mutawintji National Park is 68,912 hectares in area and it includes numerous Aboriginal rock art galleries (such as rock carvings and cave paintings) as well as attractive geological features such as gorges and waterholes that sustain a surprising abundance of wildlife. In the spring blue and white wildflowers bloom.
Sadly, vandals have attacked some of the Aboriginal cave paintings and carvings. As a result, of the approximately 300 identified sites of Aboriginal significance, some of the most important can only be visited as part of a ranger-led tour. These tours can arranged through the NPWS (National Parks and Wildlife Serivce) office in Broken Hill.
While on your tour, you will be able to visit the Mutawintji Cultural Resource Centre, where you can see a multimedia presentation of Aboriginal tribal life, history, myth and art.
This National Park offers good opportunities for hiking. One hike goes through the Homestead Gorge (following a dry creek bed between crumbling sandstone cliffs). during the hike you will see the initials "W. W." carved into the rock (standing for "William Wright", a man who guided the Burke and Wills Expedition through the Bynguano Ranges).
Another hike, known as the Western Ridge Trail, takes you to a low summit where you can view glorious sunrises and sunsets.
Yest another hike takes you through the Old Mootwingee Gorge. You can also have a swim along this gorge.
There is a well-equipped camping area at Homestead Creek. It is set among beautiful river red gums.
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Author: David Paul Wagner
(David Paul Wagner on Google+)