Broken Hill, NSW
At the northern of the Homestead Creek Campground. If you are visiting for the day then you can start this walk in the ‘day use’ car park and you’ll save yourself around 1km in distance
Homestead Creek Campground, Mutawintji National Park
Mutawintji National Park, in many respects is unique. The park has three seperate walking ‘zones’ which includes the standalone Western Ridge Walking Track and the Mutawintji Gorge Walking Track. However the main walking area is the large loop located immediately adjacent to the day use area and a short walk from the campground. This loop contains a series of standalone walks that be be done separately or combined in a way that provides a choose your own adventure option. What’s unique about Mutawintji is that each of these seperate walks isn’t just a repeat of another nearby one as is the case in many parks we have visited but has its own special character.
The out and back Thaaklatjika Mingkana Walking Track is the shortest of all the walks at around 2.6 km if started from the campground or around 1km shorter if you start from the day use area. This walk can be done as a standalone walk and while not an overly long, will suit many non hikers with the reward being a designated rock art gallery at the mid point. The other bonus of this walk is that its wheelchair friendly, the only one in this park.
The trailhead is at the northern end of the campground – as you enter the facility turn left and follow the loop road about 120 metres till is starts looping around and the signage is visible just off to the left. This first section of the walk parallels the adjacent river bed which is often dry and once you reach the day-use car park turn to the right and follow the signage past the picnic area. From here you are walking into the gorge system and the environment changes form this dry arid landscape to something that is far more lush and temperate. Up until the formal start of this track you are on a natural formed trail but once you reach the formal trailhead you are on paved path, although it’s starting to show it’s age.
Apart from the trailhead signs there are small interpretive signs every so often that highlight the rural past of this area and talk about the local landscape including different tree types. The signage while interesting is getting a bit worn and as you will see in the images below, can be a bit hard to read. As you make your way along the trail your destination is an Aboriginal rock art gallery that has a metal viewing platform and interpretation signage explaining what’s there. This platform is as far as wheelchairs have access.
Once you have spent some time looking at the rock art and reading the interpretation signage turn around and head back the way you came to the trailhead. All up this walk will take just under hour from start to finish.
The trailhead is through the fence at the northern end of the car park
Thaaklatjika Mingkana Walking Track trailhead signage. Our GPS measured this track as a bit longer than the signage states as we started from the campground rather than the day use area
Directional marker near the trail start
Flood damage to the day use parking area
Start of the trail from the day use picnic area
Large remnant Eucalyptus near just near the trailhead
Interpretation signage along the way talking about vegetation and farming practices
Shade along the gullies is very different to the sparse sunny plains
Approaching the rock art gallery
Rock art gallery
Rock art example at the gallery
A marker as opposed to rock art at the rock art gallery
Clever Man stick – see the interpretation signage below
Back to the day use picnic area
Oh so pretty
Heading back to the trail head with dry river on the left
Trail finish inside the campground
This short video contains photos and video from our walk to show you the walk from start to finish
Google map from Broken Hill. The trip from Broken Hill is 130 km, much of it on dirt road
Entering Mutawintji National Park
Information Centre. This kiosk is un-personed
Information centre view
Barbecue at the information centre
Toilet and shower facilities at Homestead Creek Campground
Homestead Creek Campground information kiosk
This walk was undertaken by the team from Australian Hiker