National Parks and Reserves

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Hindmarsh Shire contains two National Parks, a Wilderness Park, and numerous Nature Reserves. They are the perfect places to escape the crowds and appreciate the quiet unique beauty of this semi-arid area.

Little Desert National Park

Little Desert NP
 
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The little Desert National Park is a nature lover’s heaven.
 
Stretching west from the Wimmera River near Dimboola to the South Australian border, the park covers 132 000 hectares of varied and diverse vegetation. The Little Desert is home to 670 species of native plants, 220 bird species along with an impressive list of marsupials and reptiles.
One of the most popular locations in the Little Desert is Horseshoe bend, approx. 5km south of Dimboola. This camping and picnic area, along with nearby Ackle Bend, are nestled amongst the river red gums beside the picturesque Wimmera River. The river itself is easily accessed for a swim or to launch some kayaks or canoes.
 
The Nhill-Harrow road dissects the Little Desert and provides a great introduction to the park passing numerous short nature walks as it heads south from the Western Highway at Nhill.
 
From easily accessed idyllic campsites at Horseshoe and Ackle Bend (near Dimboola) and Kiata Camp Ground (near Nhill), to challenging 4wd tracks and multi-day bushwalks, the Little Desert National Park has a lot to offer! It is the perfect place to escape the crowds and hustle and bustle of modern living, and a great place to take the family for a weekend or extended stay.
For more information visit https://www.parks.vic.gov.au/.

Download: Little Desert NP Park Notes(PDF, 5MB)

Wyperfeld National Park

Wyperfeld NP

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East of the Big Desert, west of the Mallee with floodplains and sand dunes to the north, Wyperfeld has something for everyone.
 
Camping facilities, plenty of space for the 4WD enthusiast, displays on the Malleefowl and on cultural history for the naturalist and the curious. Self-guided walking tracks, sand dunes and best of all, if you need a break from city life - peace and space. For more information visit https://www.parks.vic.gov.au/.

Download: Wyperfeld NP Park Notes(PDF, 5MB)

 

Big Desert Wilderness Park

Big Desert
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Just five hours from Melbourne and four hours from Adelaide, will find a part of Victoria’s ‘outback’ in the Big Desert Wilderness Park.
 
Sandstone ridges, dunes, Mallee scrub and heath. Home to over 200 species of birds, the pigmy possum, the hopping mouse, more than 50 species of lizards and snakes to name a few. You will enjoy the feeling of remoteness and appreciate the wildness of the landscape, even though you are only hours from home.
Whilst a 4WD will let you explore the park in depth, a less adventurous way to get a taste of the Big Desert is a trip along the Murrayville Track heading north from Yanac. In dry conditions this can be easily driven by an SUV and even standard car with care. However, following rain the track gets very slippery and a challenge even for 4WDs.

 

Hermans Hill

Hermans Hill
 
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A few kilometres west of Lake Hindmarsh, you will find Hermans Hill.
 
With an elevation of 166 metres on top of a vegetated sand-hill, it is one of those rare things in a desert, a look out. And the views that it looks out at are beautiful.

From the raised lookout platform you can obtain commanding views across the Big Desert, Wyperfeld, Lake Hindmarsh and surrounding farmlands. It particularly highlights the boundary between the cleared agricultural land and the wilderness areas to the north.
The well-marked walking track rises 25 metres from the carpark with information signs about the desert flora and fauna along the route.

Download: Hermans Hill Nature Walk brochure(PDF, 2MB).

Snape Reserve

Snape Reserve

Accessed via Old Racecourse Rd, Dimboola, Snape Reserve is a 846 hectare reserve of significant remnant vegetation on the edge of the Little Desert National Park. It was acquired by Trust for Nature in 2002 to protect its diverse conservation values. There are at least ten distinct vegetation types on the property attracting a diverse fauna and birdlife. Visit http://snapereserve.org.au for further information.

 

Pompondaroo Hill

Pomponderoo Hill

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View from Pomponderoo Lookout across Little Desert NP towards Mt Arapiles.

The Pomponderoo Hill Rd is a well maintained gravel road heading west of Horseshoe Bend Rd, Dimboola. A short walk along a sandhill leads to a raised viewing platform giving extensive views across the Little Desert National Park.

 

    
Little Desert NP
The little Desert National Park is a nature lover’s heaven.
 
Stretching west from the Wimmera River near Dimboola to the South Australian border, the park covers 132 000 hectares of varied and diverse vegetation. The Little Desert is home to 670 species of native plants, 220 bird species along with an impressive list of marsupials and reptiles.
One of the most popular locations in the Little Desert is Horseshoe bend, approx. 5km south of Dimboola. This camping and picnic area, along with nearby Ackle Bend, are nestled amongst the river red gums beside the picturesque Wimmera River. The river itself is easily accessed for a swim or to launch some kayaks or canoes.
 
The Nhill-Harrow road dissects the Little Desert and provides a great introduction to the park passing the Little Desert Nature Lodge and numerous short nature walks as it heads south from the Western Highway at Nhill.
 
From easily accessed idyllic campsites at Horseshoe and Ackle Bend (near Dimboola) and Kiata Camp Ground (near Nhill), to challenging 4wd tracks and multi-day bushwalks, the Little Desert National Park has a lot to offer! It is the perfect place to escape the crowds and hustle and bustle of modern living, and a great place to take the family for a weekend or extended stay. For more information visit https://www.parks.vic.gov.au/.

Download: Little Desert NP Park Notes(PDF, 5MB)

Wyperfeld NP

East of the Big Desert, west of the Mallee with floodplains and sand dunes to the north, Wyperfeld has something for everyone.
 
Camping facilities, plenty of space for the 4WD enthusiast, displays on the Malleefowl and on cultural history for the naturalist and the curious. Self-guided walking tracks, sand dunes and best of all, if you need a break from city life - peace and space. For more information visit https://www.parks.vic.gov.au/.

Download: Wyperfeld NP Park Notes(PDF, 5MB)

 
Big Desert
Just five hours from Melbourne and four hours from Adelaide, will find a part of Victoria’s ‘outback’ in the Big Desert Wilderness Park.
 
Sandstone ridges, dunes, Mallee scrub and heath. Home to over 200 species of birds, the pigmy possum, the hopping mouse, more than 50 species of lizards and snakes to name a few. You will enjoy the feeling of remoteness and appreciate the wildness of the landscape, even though you are only hours from home.
Whilst a 4WD will let you explore the park in depth, a less adventurous way to get a taste of the Big Desert is a trip along the Murrayville Track heading north from Yanac. In dry conditions this can be easily driven by an SUV and even standard car with care. However, following rain the track gets very slippery and a challenge even for 4WDs.
Hermans Hill
A few kilometres west of Lake Hindmarsh, you will find Hermans Hill.
 
With an elevation of 166 metres on top of a vegetated sand-hill, it is one of those rare things in a desert, a look out. And the views that it looks out at are beautiful.

From the raised lookout platform you can obtain commanding views across the Big Desert, Wyperfeld, Lake Hindmarsh and surrounding farmlands. It particularly highlights the boundary between the cleared agricultural land and the wilderness areas to the north.
The well-marked walking track rises 25 metres from the carpark with information signs about the desert flora and fauna along the route.

Download: Hermans Hill Nature Walk brochure(PDF, 2MB).

Snape Reserve
Accessed via Old Racecourse Rd, Dimboola, Snape Reserve is a 846 hectare reserve of significant remnant vegetation on the edge of the Little Desert National Park. It was acquired by Trust for Nature in 2002 to protect its diverse conservation values. There are at least ten distinct vegetation types on the property attracting a diverse fauna and birdlife. Visit http://snapereserve.org.au for further information.

Pomponderoo Hill
The Pomponderoo Hill Rd is a well maintained gravel road heading west of Horseshoe Bend Rd, Dimboola. A short walk along a sandhill leads to a raised viewing platform giving extensive views across the Little Desert National Park.

Pomponderoo Hill.jpg
View from Pomponderoo Lookout across Little Desert NP towards Mt Arapiles.