Hattah RFI

Subject: Hattah RFI
Date: Fri, 4 Nov 2005 08:28:47 +1100
A few thoughts for David's question on camping at Hattah-Kulkyne National 
Park in far north-west Victoria.

The Parks Victoria Parknotes for this area can be found at: 

The PV site ( also has a bird 
list for the desert parks.

I have been to both the Lake Hattah and Lake Mournpall camping areas of 
the park.

A. Lake Hattah campground
This area is closer to the Information Centre and of course the day 
parking area for visitors so could be busier.  It's also a larger area for 
vans etc and I remember the ground was quite bare but there were fire 
places.  We thought it a bit too open for our little two person tent and 
went to the Lake Mournpall campground further north.

One potentially useful thing about the Lake Hattah camp site is that it 
puts you close to the water troughs near the rangers residence.  We were 
told Major Mitchell Cockatoos drank from the troughs daily (but did not 
check this ourselves).

B. Lake Mournpall campground
This area had more understorey, was closer to the (dry) lake (2004) and 
had a few picnic tables as well.  It certainly felt more like you were 'in 
the bush' and better for small tents.

The downside of camping in this park is the annoying feral honeybees (Apis 
mellifera) that went for every bit of water, however small, during 
daylight hours.  After spilling some drinking water in our car the bees 
moved in en masse.  The only way we could rid the vehicle of them was to 
close it up entirely and let the rising heat 'cook' the insects.

It's worth taking a fine-mesh net to cover your face from the small bush 
flies as well.  We also found a floor brush useful for getting the sand 
out of things (eg. tent).

The various nature and other walks (early morning best) at the park are 
all worth doing, especially in the morning.  And I understand that Lake 
Lockie has water in it (via environmental flows from the Murray River 
along Chalka Creek) so there may be water birds as well.  It's a great 
park for Regent Parrots, Major Mitchell Cockatoos and some dry country 
honeyeaters.  Keep an eye out for White-fronted Honeyeaters as we found a 
few there last year.  Yellow-plumed Honeyeaters are the common one seen in 
most areas.

If Chalka Creek has water then it could make for a good extended walk 
to/from the Murray River.  Ask the rangers, take your park notes and maybe 
also have copies of the relevant 1: 25 000 topographic maps covering the 
area  (Hattah, Lake Mournpall).

We got Zebra Finches on the road just outside the park south of Colignan 
and Scarlet-chested Parrots have been recorded from Boonoonar Rd which is 
just north of the park (see ParkNotes).

Regent Parrots, Major Mitchell Cockatoos and a number of other birds in 
this area are threatened in Victoria so I strongly encourage birdos to 
record and submit their observations to the Atlas of Victorian Wildlife 
(send to  so land managers can better take 
care of our avifauna.

cheers, Martin

Martin O'Brien
Threatened Species & Communities Section
Department of Sustainability and Environment
2/8 Nicholson St. (PO Box 500), East Melbourne  3002

Tel: 9637 9869
(prefixes: Interstate 03 International 613)
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