The Big Desert and Murray Sunset National Park

Touring Routes


Mallee Highway map – pdf


Across the Big Desert – pdf

Big Desert Touring Routes

All Routes start from the Big Billy Campground

Route 1 State Forest West of Nhill Murrayville Track 57 kms/ 3hrs

Access Via Cactus bore & Firebreak Tracks

This route takes in 3 specific patches of vegetation; the Red Gums, Blue Gums & Yellow Gums. These stand tall in the surrounding heathland vegetation. Camping is allowed however there are no facilities, all rubbish must be taken with you

Route 2 State Forest East of Murrayville Track 100Kms/5hrs

White Springs to Twelve Mile Patch return via Fire Break Track

Patch Pines, Casuarinas and open Soaks break up the Mallee vegaetation providing ideal location for a break.

Route 3 State Forest East of Nhill Murrayville Track 45kms/2.5hrs

Brush Cutters Track via Brushcutters Flat return via Delisio Track.

This track winds its way through steep sand dunes.

Route 4 Ngarkat Conservation Park & SA/Border. 190kms/9hrs Access Via Firebreak Track West returning via Red Bluff Track

Camping fees apply in South Australian Parks the Centre Track is a two way track with a great lookout on the Orchid Walk Nanam Well and the walking trials around Pine Hut Soak are also worth a look. The Border Track is North to South access only.

Route 5 Wyperfield NP east of Nhill Murrayville Track 175 kms/7hrs. Milmed Rock Track to park Boundary along Pella Track returning via Chainman’s Well Track

Milmed Rock Track has two camp sites.

Route 6 Wyperfield NP East of Nhill Murrayville Track extension to Route 5

Going on to Rainbow past lake Hindmarsh returning past Herman’s Hill Lookout via netting Fence Track or Chinaman’s Well Track Herman’s Hill was developed by the local Community and Nhill Secondary School Students and provides a great view of Lake Hindmarsh, farmland and the Big Desert.

Murray-Sunset National Park

The Murray-Sunset National Park covering 633,000 hectares is Victoria’s second largest park, stretching from the Murray River at Lindsay Island in the north, south to the Pink Lakes near Underbool. Unlike the Big Desert it is a park of wide open spaces. The park has an interesting history, abundant wildlife, beautiful spring flowers, picturesque pink salt lakes and is a wonderful place to view Mallee sunsets.

Take a trip from Murrayville to view the rock holes.

Rock hole

From Cowangie travel along Sunset Road to Underbool track calling in at the Green Opal mine and onto the Mt Crozier Track to the Mt Crozier camping area. The track leads back to the Pink Lakes then onto Linga.

Remains of Don Perry’s Cattle Yards Honeymoon tank Salt Lake North of Tutye.

The Big Desert fires

The Big Desert includes areas of Wilderness; National Parks and State forest. The area is home to many species of flora and fauna.

On the afternoon of the 19th December 2002 lightening strikes caused fires in the Big Desert these raged through 180,000 hectares of bush land and burnt an area of farm land.


No rain fell during January 2003, 54 mm of rain fell on the 20th Feb and none during March, 5 light falls during April added to 9mm.There were good rains from May to October then a further 25 mm in December making a total of 353mm for the year

Shoots that had grown by the 2nd March 2003

Growth as at 27th April 2003

The following photos are only a selection of the many plants that had re-grown. There was very little evidence of seed germination.

There was a good display of flowers along the Nhill track by late September 2003. Orchids such as the Tall leak orchid Prasphyllum elatum and the Red Beak Orchid Calochilus paludosus were found. These orchids only appear after fire.

The rainfall during 2004 and 2005 was a little below average and for 2006 Murrayville recorded 196.4 mm the average is 320mm

Most species flowered during 2006 but there were very few flowers of the different species.

The exception was the Azure Daisy Olearia rudis they provide a wonderful display along the fire track south of Tutye

These images and others can be seen on the display boards opposite the Take Away in Murrayville. For further information contact us

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