The magnificent and unique World Heritage listed Bungle Bungle Range
30.04.2012 - 05.05.2012 31 °C
Purnululu (the Kija Aboriginal word for sandstone) also known as Bungle Bungle, is a fascinating landmark and one of Australia's World Heritage sites. The orange and grey stripes on the massive sandstone structures are breathtaking from the air and on the ground. The orange bands are oxidised iron layers and the grey bands are composed of cyanobacteria growing on the layers of sandstone where moisture accumulates. Cyanobacteria are single celled organisms that represent some of the oldest life-forms on earth. This maze of orange and grey striped beehive shaped domes that rise 300 meters above the grass plains is without a doubt one of Australia's most unusual and facinating landforms and completely unique in the world.
Astonishingly Purnululu was almost unkown to the outside world until it was "discovered" by a television film crew in 1983, filming "The Wonders of Western Australia". Before that the aboriginals obviously have always known it as a sacred site and pastoralists were aware of it but never took any attention of it as they were too busy surviving in this harsh country. Only when the film crew revealed the astounding orange domes the world took notice and it was declared a National Park in 1986 and received World Heritage listing in 2003. Most of the park is closed for tourists as it is sacred ground for the Aboriginals. The Aboriginals believe it was the giant rainbow serpent that fought with a giant echidna undergound and the ichidna fled above ground and pushed the earth up to form Purnululu.
Road access to Purnululu National Park is only by a 53km long 4WD track that is extremely challenging on both driver and vehicle. It took us two hours to navigate this notorious track through numerous river and creek crossings and winding through steep hills and passes. We camped at Walardi campsite for four nights and enjoyed this nice big and isolated campsite. We also saw two dingos during our stay in the park. We explored most of the walks in the maginificent gorges and chasms and we also took a helicopter (open with no doors) flight over the Bungle Bungle range which was an unforgetable experience.
Purnululu was certainly the top highlight of our tour so far. We are back in Fitzroy Crossing for a couple of days and then we will finally start the Gibb River Road and Northern Kimberley journey. The Gibb River Road is now declared open for high clearance 4WDs but the Kalumburu road is still being repaired and will take some time.