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Hattah-Kulkyne National Park

Hattah-Kulkyne National Park. Image credit: Parks Victoria

Hattah-Kulkyne National Park is located in north-western Victoria’s Mallee country. A globally unique parade of birds, animals and vegetation thrive in the sandy soils and searing summers.

Camping, walking, bike riding and canoeing are popular here and in the adjoining Murray-Kulkyne Park. When water levels are suitable the lake system offers excellent opportunities for canoeing. During flood times the water can extend many kilometres from the lakes.

Getting to Hattah-Kulkyne

The national park is half way between Ouyen and Mildura, off the Calder Highway. It’s a hefty 5.5 hours’ drive from Melbourne, but only 45 minutes due south of Mildura. Most visitors enter via the Hattah Entrance Road and head directly for the Lake Hattah Campground.

The park extends north and east, covering 48,000 hectares, before hitting the Murray River off Hattah–Robinvale Road not far from the small village of Liparoo. Many of the park’s best spots are accessible in a 2WD car, but some tracks are 4WD only. Be especially careful if there’s been recent rain.

Points of interest

Walking is one of the most popular actives in the Hattah-Kulkyne National Park, with four well-marked walks available to suit everybody from families to more experienced hikers:

  • Hattah Nature Walk – 1.2km, 40 minutes return
    This gentle walk begins from the carpark near the park entrance off the Hattah–Robinvale Road. Interpretative signs highlight the local ecosystem.
  • Warepil Lookout Walk – 600m, 30 minutes return
    Start from the Old Calder Highway carpark and take a short stroll up the steady incline to the lookout tower. You’ll be rewarded with great views of the surrounding region. Look north-west and see the vast Murray Sunset National Park. This is a great place to witness magnificent Mallee sunsets, and is perfect for short-term visitors wanting to experience this amazing landscape.
  • Woodlands Walk – 2.5km, 1 hour one way
    Start at the Hattah–Kulkyne National Park Visitor Centre carpark and connect to the Camel Pad Track. The walk follows the 8km track to Lake Mournpall Campground avoiding car traffic on Mournpall Track.
  • Mournpall Lake Loop – 9.5km, 3 hours circuit
    From Lake Mournpall camping area, this loop walk follows the northern edge of Lake Mournpall before circling north around Lake Konardin passing through River Red Gum flood plains and Mallee dunes.

Wildlife enthusiasts should keep their eyes peeled for emus and three kinds of kangaroo (Red, Eastern Grey and Western Grey) especially at dawn and dusk. The park has a rich variety of birdlife ranging from wetland species such as pelicans, ducks and spoonbills to dry mallee specialists such as Mallee fowl and emu wrens. Fishing for Murray Cod and Golden Perch (Yellowbelly) provide good sport for anglers.

Camping in Hattah-Kulkyne

There are two designated campgrounds in the park with basic facilities, including non-flush toilets, fireplaces and picnic tables. They are at Lake Hattah and further north at Lake Mournpall. Advance bookings and payment are required for these sights via the Parks Victoria website.

Other river camping areas without facilities are available at Ki Bend, Firemans Bend and Jinkers Bend, all along the Murray at the eastern edge of the park. No booking or fees are required, although these areas are best accessed with a 4WD.

Be sure to check the Parks Victoria website for the latest information before visiting this National Park.