Hattah-Kulkyne National Park protects an area of 48,000 hectares 580 kilometres north-west of Melbourne. It lies in typical mallee country with extensive low scrub and open native pine woodland. Superbly adapted birds, animals and vegetation thrive in the poor, sandy soils and searing summers. Hattah-Kulkyne is special because of the flow of permanent water in the nearby Murray River and the freshwater Hattah Lakes seasonally filled by creeks connected to the Murray which provide food and shelter for waterbirds and fish. These lakes can remain full for up to ten years without flooding, but flooding generally occurs, on average, once every two years.