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 (http://www.parkweb.vic.gov.au/1park_display.cfm) also has a bird
list for the desert parks.
I have been to both the Lake Hattah and Lake Mournpall camping areas of
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
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.
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)
Birding-Aus is now on the Web at
To unsubscribe from this mailing list, send the message 'unsubscribe
birding-aus' (no quotes, no Subject line)
The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering
takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely
a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way.
If you wish to get material removed from the archive or
have other queries about the archive e-mail
Andrew Taylor at this address: