Big Desert Wilderness Park

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This article is about the protected area in Victoria (Australia). For the associated locality, see Big Desert, Victoria.
Big Desert Wilderness Park
IUCN category Ib (wilderness area)
Big Desert Wilderness Park is located in Victoria
Big Desert Wilderness Park
Big Desert Wilderness Park
Coordinates 35°39′30″S 141°07′57″E / 35.6582°S 141.1326°E / -35.6582; 141.1326Coordinates: 35°39′30″S 141°07′57″E / 35.6582°S 141.1326°E / -35.6582; 141.1326
Established 26 April 1979 (1979-04-26)[1]
Area 1,417.49 km2 (547.3 sq mi)[1]
Managing authorities Parks Victoria
See also Protected areas of Victoria

The Big Desert Wilderness Park is a protected area in the Australian state of Victoria, Australia located in the state's west adjoining the border with South Australia. It is the oldest of Victoria's three wilderness parks.

The wilderness park consists of an area of 1,417.49 square kilometres (547 sq mi),[1] with no vehicular access, and no defined walking tracks. It includes part of the Big Desert and also adjoins Ninety Mile Desert across the border in South Australia. As it is a dedicated wilderness area, there are no facilities of any kind, including toilets or campsites. However, hiking and small fuel stoves are permitted. The wilderness park is overlapped by the Wyperfeld, Big Desert and Ngarkat Important Bird Area which identified as such by BirdLife International because of its importance for the conservation of malleefowl and other species of mallee birds.[2]

A large bushfire was ignited by lightning in the park in 2002 then spread rapidly due to strong winds and dry fuel. The fire soon joined another in the adjoining Wyperfield National Park and an area of 1,814 square kilometres (700 sq mi) was burned out. The fire burned for two weeks resulting in the loss of an abandoned house and 400 hectares (988 acres) of private property.[3]

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  1. ^ a b c "Terrestrial Protected Areas in Victoria (2014)". Department of the Environment. 2014. Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  2. ^ BirdLife International. (2011). Important Bird Areas factsheet: Wyperfeld, Big Desert and Ngarkat. Downloaded from "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-07-10. Retrieved 2012-09-29.  on 6 December 2011.
  3. ^ "Bushfire history". Victoria State Government. Retrieved 12 September 2015.