Wyperfeld National Park is the third largest national park in Victoria (south-eastern Australia). Declared in 1921 and expanded significantly since, it protects more than 3,500 km² of mallee, woodland, and heathland in Victoria's north-west, about 450 km northwest of Melbourne.
Like most of north-western Victoria, Wyperfeld was a shallow sea from about 25 million years ago until fairly recent times. The current landforms took shape as the sea gradually retreated, leaving a vast expanse of sandy sediment which, as it dried, was formed into sand dunes during the period 40,000 to 15,000 years ago.
In good years, the Wimmera River fills Lake Hindmarsh to the south of the park, which overflows along Outlet Creek, which then fills Lake Albacutya to the immediate south of the park, and (given sufficient rain) flows further north into Wyperfeld itself, forming a series of smaller lakes which support rich floral and faunal communities based around black box and river red gum.
Before European settlement, the network of ephemeral lakes filled and emptied, on average, about every 20 years, typically remaining dry for about half that period at a time. More recently, agricultural irrigation and drainage projects in the surrounding areas have cut off a significant part of Wyperfeld's water supply, and the lakes have not been completely filled since 1975, and had drained again just two years later.
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