Aussie RT Day 4-5: Bungle Bungles

Australia, WA Roadtrip — By on October 26, 2010 3:49 AM

It was a tight fit, but we managed to squeeze four people into the Jeep. We had to leave some of our stuff in Thibauth’s car to make room for him and Shir. The two made great travel companions and we were happy to have them accompany us on our Bungle Bungles adventure.

We turned left off the highway onto the unsealed road that leads to the Purnululu National Park. After stopping to lower the air pressure of the tires, Stacy engaged the 4WD and we began our journey along the dusty red track leading to the Bungles. About only fifteen minutes on the path Hercules stopped, he was too hot and needed to rest. We had forgot to turn on the fan that a previous owner had cleverly magayvered to help cool the engine. The thermometer on the dash said it was 115 degrees outside but the humidity and lack of shade made it feel so much hotter.

Bungle Bungle Range

It took us almost three hours to reach the park entrance driving 50 km on a rugged  four-wheel drive track that was badly corrugated with unexpected sharp corners, steep dips and boulders along the way. Stacy was constantly exclaiming “Here’s a big one … hold on!” and “Oops, sorry!” as Shir and Thibought went air born in the backseat. She said she felt like she was playing a video game as she maneuvered through the course. There were many rivers to cross along the way and we could see how the roads would quickly wash out with any rain. We were once again grateful that the it had yet to rain since our arrival in the Kimberleys.

Going fast across a river seemed like a good idea at the time we filmed this video, but we now know we are lucky we didn’t flood our engine!

A lady at the visitor’s center said that to be able to truly appreciate the vastness of the range you need to be in the air, but the $290.00 helicopter tour was more than any of us could afford. We set out on foot, marveling at the wild assortment of gorges, canyons and beehive shapes domes. With each step we took we unanimously agreed “It just keeps getting better!”

Piccaninny Gorge Walk

The Bungle Bungle Range is a maze of striped domes that sweep across the landscape, soaring 250 meters above the surrounding plains. The ranges were created over 20 million years ago. Geologists consider the Bungles a natural phenomenon as it would take just the right mix of dissolution, weathering and erosion for these natural wonders to occur. The region’s incredible natural beauty and it’s geographical value has earned the park the title of being listed as a World Heritage Area. Aboriginal people of the Kimberley lived among the rock forms for thousands of years living a hunter gatherer lifestyle, adorning the rocky walls with their art.

We spent two days and one night inside the park. A third day would be necessary if you want to do the second half of the Piccaninny Gorge hike, camping overnight on the trail.  I would have loved to do this if we had the extra time and have added this to my list to do next visit!

Echidna Chasm

Echidna Chasm

The first day we hiked to Echidna Chasm, arriving around noon as we were told the best time photograph the chasm is mid-day. The long narrow chasm yields striking color variations throughout the day depending on the angle of the sun. We arrived in time to take a few god shots at the beginning of the chasm, but learned from two guys headed out that we had just missed the best angle of the light a few minutes earlier … a big bummer for this photo happy gal. Apparently the best time to photograph the chasm is between 11:30-12. The chasm was really cool none the less and we wandered all the way through as it narrowed at it’s end.

As I made my way through the chasm, Stacy decided to hide and jump out and scare me. Scare me she did indeed, so much so that I threw my camera against the rock wall!  It was suppose to be funny … but neither of us were laughing.

In the late afternoon we hiked along the pebbly, dry creek beds of Mini Palms Gorge. We arched our necks to take in the high cliffs radiating orange and red amongst lush green palm trees.

At the end of our walk we came upon two Aboriginal park employees, who were painting the staircase that leads up to the a vista viewing point. They smiled and greeted us kindly, seemingly happy at work. As we passed they joked that their office has the best view in the world, we all had to agree.

We drove to a lookout point to watch the sunset over the rocks, the setting light caused the rocks to change colors from brown, red, to a glowing golden color. We spent the night at Waladri Campsite where Stacy and I cooked up a batch of spicy curry that made Thibauth cry.

We set out early the next morning on the Piccaninny Gorge walk. A network of narrow gorges running through the domes, creating a seemingly endless series of twists and turns and never ending 360 degrees of beauty. I made myself dizzy constantly turning in circles trying to take it all in.

Cathedral Gorge

Cathedral Gorge

After hiking all day in the sweltering heat, we were happy to reach Cathedral Gorge with it’s inviting watering hole engulfed by vertical sandstone walls. The water reflected the vast beauty of the gorge.

We spent over an hour in the gorge swimming and being super silly as we were delirious from the heat.

Our last hike of the day was through the domes where we were surrounded by countless striped sandstone beehives.

We all found the Bungle Bungles to be a majestic place which we would have loved to further explore.

To see my photos from the Bungle Bungles Adventures CLICK HERE.

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1 Comment

  1. Roxy says:

    Luv the blog….sounds like you 2 are having an amazing time!! It makes me want to travel!! xx

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