We left our campers at Parry Creek Farm and headed off with tents and camping gear towards Purnululu National Park and the Bungle Bungles, leaving at about 8am. It was a fine, mild blue day. The road to Purnululu after the turnoff from the Great Northern Highway is not good (although Dad says it is better than last year). Quite rocky, with some hills so steep you can’t see over the bonnet to see the downside of the hill, and a number of creek crossings. So that 50km took 2 hours. I was a bit surprised how many bridges on the Great Northern Highway are one lane only, too. Not such a great highway. Some sections have soft shoulders and no marked edges too. However there is some lovely hill scenery on the drive down, and the Bungle Bungle ranges are very striking when they come in view along the minor road.
We went to our campsite at the Bungle Bungles and had lunch at about 1pm. There is bore water here, fireplaces (wood supplied) and drop toilets. The sites are shaded and it was pretty full. We decided to do some
walks before setting up camp, so we drove to the Picanniny Creek carpark to do the Cathedral Gorge walk and the Domes walk. Cathedral Gorge is a majestic cave, with white sand and a pool of water. It is an image often used in tourism advertising for the Kimberley. The Domes walk took us among the classic Bungle Bungle striped dome shaped rocks, again very iconic images. The colours are gorgeous, very red rock near green palms, red and yellow grevillea type bushflowers and deep blue sky. The Bungle Bungle ranges are 360 million years old, formed of sandstone and riverstone composite laid down by an ancient, massive river. The black stripes are formed by cyanobacteria. As we drove back to camp, the sunset lit the rest of the ranges to a deeper red.
Once sun set, the warmth was turned off as though with a switch and it got very cold. We put up our tent, made some curry and rice, and stayed around the fire until bedtime (back to our 4-people-in-3-person-tent arrangement).
The warmth came back quickly in the fine blue
morning. After breakfast we did the Mini Palms walk, along an old creek bed and between large rocky hills, where small and very tall Livinstonia palms grow. The walk ends near a cave like area created by a fracture in the rock, where water falls in the wet season. This walk was about 1.5 hours, Kyle found it a bit tiring in parts.
After morning tea, we did the Echidna Chasm walk. This is another iconic image. There is a slim chasm between towering rock walls, with a sliver of sky above. Midway there is a larger gap among the rocks, then the chasm narrows again. The chasm itself is 200m long and makes for a very dramatic walk.
After lunch, Richard and Marion took a helicopter ride. We set up our bush shower and showered in heated bore water.
In the evening, we went to the Kungkalanayi Lookout, which gives a lovely view of the ranges in the evening light. We cooked sausages, eggs and vegetables, and followed that with canned fruit salad and a slice of Nanna’s damper.
I’ve never been to the Bungle Bungles before
but they are an amazing formation and we all enjoyed seeing them.
We left our campsite at about 7:45 am and made good time back to the highway. We stopped at Doon Doon roadhouse for an early lunch, then returned to Parry Creek Farm to collect our campers and set up camp there again.
Spent a quiet afternoon, doing some laundry and going to Marlgu Billabong for another spot of bird watching.
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