Little Desert National Park V01

Jennifer Craker

Rupanyup, Australia

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Wall Art


Artist's Description

Little Desert National Park

To the south and west of Dimboola is Little Desert, the second-largest national park in Victoria. This area was ignored during the European settlement of the Wimmera. The first reserve was created in 1955 to protect the mallee fowl and the park was declared in 1968.

Despite its name, the dry hot summers and sandy soil, this is not a true desert so don’t expect Sahara-like landscapes. The park receives 400 mm of rainfall per annum (mostly in winter) and supports a range of fauna and 670 plant species. The eastern block is the most interesting and the only one with facilities. It has extensive heathlands with tea-trees, banksia and sheoak and many spring wildflowers.

Wildlife includes possums, the black-faced kangaroo, the silky desert mouse, reptiles such as the bearded dragon and the short-tailed snake, and 220 bird species, including the mallee fowl which is indigenous to this semi-arid portion of Victoria. Its presence is signified by a mound up to five metres in diameter and one metre high.It lays its eggs inside the mound which is adjusted daily to maintain its temperature at 33° Celsius. The chicks emerge already self-sufficient.

A good 6-km gravel road leads south from Dimboola along the Wimmera River to the shady and attractive campgrounds of Horseshoe Bend and Ackle Bend at the eastern tip of the park (fees apply). The route is signposted. There is a network of walking tracks with heavy concentrations of waterbirds and kangaroos by the river and adjacent woodlands. A short distance from Horseshoe Bend is the start of the short Pomponderoo Hill Nature Walk.

For devout and hardy bushwalkers Horseshoe Bend is a good place to start exploring the Desert Discovery Walk (marked with signposts and track markers), at least in winter and spring. 84 km in all, it is essentially a circular track which heads west to the Kiata Campground (see entry on Nhill). However, there are many ways to subdivide and shorten a prospective walk

Artwork Comments

  • Smudger
  • Jennifer Craker
  • Smudger
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