The Big Desert is Victoria’s first declared wilderness area. It is a vast park of 113,500 hectares and adjoins large conservation areas in South Australia. It offers visitors an opportunity to experience a landscape which has remained unaffected by human beings and provides a challenge for the experienced hiker – walk through a true wilderness. Big Desert Wilderness Park is an arid area of sandstone ridges, sand dunes, mallee scrub and heath.
The infertility of the terrain has ensured that it has not been substantially altered by Europeans. Nonetheless there is wildlife aplenty – lizards, snakes, birds, the pygmy possum, the hopping mouse and other small mammal species. The heath and mallee scrub contain a wide variety of shrubs such as desert banksia, scrub cypress pine, grass tree, she-oak, tea-trees and heaths.
Access is by the Murrayville-Nhill Rd which runs parallel to, but 5 km east of the park boundary. It is only suitable for two-wheel drives in dry weather (check road conditions before departing) and, as there is no vehicular access within the park, this is as close as you get. You will have to walk from the road through a strip of public land into Big Desert.
There are no real facilities of any kind within the park, however, there are two camping areas with washing water (not for drinking) on the Murrayville-Nhill Rd. The Big Billy Bore is 35 km south of Murrayville and Broken Bucket Tank Reserve is 87 km south. The latter has pit toilets, an information shelter, picnic and barbecue facilities.
Supplies can be obtained in Murrayville if you are going camping and you must carry your own water and just remember that the temperatures during summer are far too high for safe and comfortable walking. Leave the park as you find it.