When you first see the majestic orange and black sandstone domes that are the Bungle Bungles, hold on to your Akubra!
Located in the World Heritage-listed Purnululu National Park in Western Australia’s Kimberley region, they rank up there with the Taj Mahal and The Great Barrier Reef on travel bucket lists, worldwide.
Adding to the adventure is the fact that the access road to the Bungle Bungles, the Spring Creek Track, is narrow, with creek crossings, tight corners, sheer climbs and ripples in the dirt that make for an intrepid 4WD trek for off-road explorers.
The Bungle Bungle range looks like a city of giant, black and red beehives.
The Bungle Bungles towers are made up of sandstone and rocks that took form more than 350 million years ago. It’s amazing to think that they eventually evolved into the spectacular domes we see today. It’s amazing that they have shaped by wind and rainfall over millions of years.
Strangely enough, though the range is located near the main highway, the area was only ‘discovered’ in the mid-1980s by a film-crew producing a documentary on the Kimberley region. It quickly became an international travel location and was pronounced a World Heritage area in 2003.
Aboriginals, however, are thought to have lived here for over 40,000 years. Additionally, the traditional owners of the area are the Kitja peoples. Throughout Purnululu Park, you can see traces of their history in the form of ancient rock art and burial sites.
If you’re a keen walker, you can marvel on several walks that give you a personal view of the scenery. You can walk to Cathedral Gorge, a natural amphitheatre, and try out the acoustics as your voice echoes and bounces off the rock ledges. The Piccaninny Creek Walk offers a front row seat to domes, rock pools, cliffs and chasms.
The Echidna Chasm walk can be a tough one on the ankles, due to large boulders and loose rocks. However, you’ll be rewarded with towering red rock walls and the silent ambience of nature. The Mini-Palms Gorge walk takes you through a narrow chasm dotted with Livistona Palms. We promise that it leads to a jaw-dropping lookout over the vertical rock walls!
If you’re not a fan of bush-bashing, it’s still easy to explore the Purnululu National Park. There’s a range of Bungle Bungle Tour options and accommodation options to choose from. You can take in sweeping views of the range on a helicopter tour or via a scenic flight. There are also 4WD tours, so someone else can navigate the rough terrain while you sit back and enjoy the ride.
The park has a visitor’s centre and two campgrounds with toilets, showers and water. You can also opt to do a cabin safari or an organised bush camp. This way, you spend more time in the surreal, outback environment while ticking the Bungle Bungles off your bucket list!