Learn more about the Willandra Lakes region


Willandra World Heritage ­- Celebrating 40 years

October marks the 40th anniversary of the World Heritage listing for the Willandra Lakes Region, which covers 2400sq km in the far southwest of NSW.

Aboriginal people lived on the shores of the ancient lakes for at least 50,000 years, and the 40,000-year-old remains of a female found in the dunes of Lake Mungo are believed to be the oldest ritual cremation site in the world.

Falling in both the Balranald and Wentworth shire council areas, the region gives visitors a genuine experience of the Pleistocene era, when humans and megafauna interacted around the remaining inland lakes of the ancient and vast inland sea. In addition to its natural and cultural significance, the region provides economic and social benefits to the surrounding area.

The Willandra Lakes World Heritage Advisory Committee, which includes local government representation through Local Government NSW, provides advice on the management of the World Heritage site to the NSW Government.

We are pleased to recognise the oldest recorded continuing living civilization and highlight this milestone in World Heritage.