Murray-Sunset National Park

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Murray-Sunset is the second largest national park in Victoria, Australia, 438 km northwest of Melbourne. It is in the northwestern corner of the state, bordering South Australia to the west and the Murray River to the north. The Sturt Highway passes through the northern part of the park, but most of the park is in the remote area between the Sturt Highway and the Mallee Highway, west of the Calder Highway.

The park was created in 1991, and expanded to encompass Pink Lakes State Park in 1999. The lakes are dubbed "pink" after the beta-carotene pigment that colours it in late summer, caused by the algae Dunaliella salina. This area was the site of a major salt industry from 1916 to 1975. At its peak, ten thousand tons of salt was harvested and railed from Lake Crosbie, Lake Becking and Lake Kenyon to the nearby town of Linga.

Another defunct railway, the Nowingi line, terminates at the remains of a gypsum mine hopper on the Raak Plain. Other historical relics include Shears Quarters and Mopoke Hut, built as grazier accommodation in the 1960s.

Contents

Flora and fauna

Over 600 species of plants have been recorded, and 300 species of birds in the rich mudflats. Major plants include Murray lily, silvery emu-bush, blue-leafed mallee, saltbush, buloke, porcupine grass, mallee eucalyptus. In spring, wildflowers include spider orchids, azure sun orchids, desert baekias, poached-egg daisys.

Emus, wedge-tailed eagles and both western grey kangaroos and red kangaroos are also present.

Walking

The park is attractive to bushwalkers as the nearest semi-arid region to Melbourne. Walks include circuits of Lake Crosbie and Lake Kenyon, and the three day Sunset walking track. Groundwater is scarce, and hikers generally rely on water tanks maintained by rangers.

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