Published: May 8th 2012April 30th 2012
It was the day we had been waiting for for a while - we finally got to explore the Bungles. We were all up even before the sun had fully risen to make sure we could make the most of our time in the Bungles. We also had a guest for breakfast this morning - our friendly Kookaburra returned to share our breakfast. He wasn't afraid to come and sit right next to us; we guessed he was used to the scraps that campers leave behind. The Bungles are a relatively new feature on the Australian tourist route. The Bungles were only really discovered for their beauty in the 1970s. When settlers originally came to Australia the land in the Bungles was seen as undesirable as it was covered in spinnifex grass and so not suitable for cattle or any other farms. However the government were giving away a million acre lease to cover this area and one settler was happy to take this on simply to have this size of land. They grazed cattle where they could on the land until the 1970s when the Australian government commissioned a film crew to
make a documentary about Australia With the purpose of increasing tourism. Still at this stage The Bungles were not a feature of the agenda of the documentary, however through a passing conversation between those making the documentary and one if the cattle farmers from the Bungles the film crew went to take a look at the Bungles and ended up focussing more than half of the documentary around the Bungles. This documentary led to thousands of requests from the public to visit the region and this continues and increases each year. The result of this was the area becoming a World Hertige site in 2003 with about 30'000 visitors each year enjoying its splender. We started our exploring at Cathedral Gorge. This gorge is of spiritual significance to the Aboriginals in the area so Nick and Rich asked that we observe silence for the first few minutes when we entered the gorge. The silence was deafening as we sat and absorbed the atmosphere for a few minutes, with the only disturbance being from a friendly crow whos loud squaks echoed off the sides of the gorge. Nick also pointed out the smell of the Spinnifex grass
which gave a string honey smell to the air. This particular species of spinnifex grass is only found around the Bungles region.Along the way Nick also pointed out a couple of Aboriginal drawings on the rock face, 2 boomerangs and a hand print. Nick explained that they can't fe sure of the age of these drawings as their us no carbonic substance to measure. However these drawings can last for many years as the substances that they used as paint can penetrate the rock up to 7mm.From Cathedral gorge we walked to Picanniny Lookout which gave great views across the Bungles landscape and showed the groups of dome like rocks grouped together with their characteristic orange and black stripes. The last walk on this side of the park was the Domes trail which took us alongside the domes of orange and black striped rock. After the domes trail we drove over to Echidna gorge on the other side of the park. An Echidna is Australia's version of a porcupine and the gorge got its name from one of the Aborigibal creation stories. The story
is that an echidna and a gala had a fight and the gala kept flying down and pulling out the spines from the back of the echidna, so the echidna borrowed down into the ground creating the gorges and the gala dropped the spines of the echidna into the ground which then became the tropical palm trees which line the floor of the gorge. There were a couple of points along this gorge which reminded us of the film 127 hours with large boulders caught between the 2sides of the gorge. As we got deeper into the gorge the path became darker and narrower and Nick told us that he found a Western Brown snake (one of the most deadly snakes in the world) in the gorge last year and that they usually retain the same home for life - so we all treaded very carefully through the gorge. Back at the car park Rich cooked up burgers for lunch before we started our drive our of the Bungles, stopping to take a look at Elephant rock on the way out. The bus was playing games again as
we drove out of the park so it was a frustratingly slow journey as we made our way towards Kunnanara. We drove past Turkey Creek again to pick up some more supplies and then headed North until we ran out of sunlight and found a site on the side of the road that looked suitable for a campsite. We set up camp in the dark whilst Rich cooked up a vegetable curry and dessert damper for dinner.
There are more photos below