On the outskirts of the Kimberley is the otherworldly Purnululu National Park, which is home to the famous domes of the Bungle Bungle Range.
Set in the heart of Purnululu National Park is the iconic black and red domes that are known as the Bungle Bungles. It doesn’t matter how these sites are viewed – by land or by air – they will not fail to amaze and delight the 4WD enthusiast. What makes this area all the more astounding is that while this area has long been known to the native population, it only came to the attention of the rest of the world in 1983.
What to Expect
The distinct domed towers of the Bungle Bungles are unmistakable. Formed from sandstone and conglomerates, the domes were created more than 350 million years ago. As time passed, wind and rain began to form them into the shape they are today – and they are truly a sight to behold. The banding on the rocks, which give them an even more distinct look, is caused by the sandstone itself. It was in 1983 when a film team, passing over the area, discovered the unique domes and provided visitors with the opportunity to visit the region and see the domes for themselves.
Image: Kungkalanayi Lookout, Purnululu National Park
The Spring Creek Track
The Spring Creek Track is perhaps one of the most notorious tracks within the Bungle Bungles. This 53 km track stretches from the Great Northern Highway to the Purnululu National Park and crosses the Mabel Downs Station as it goes. The track itself is narrow and rocky, making it very difficult to pass over. The right vehicle is imperative for anyone attempting to cross this track and because of the conditions and the narrowness of the track itself, caravans are not permitted.
Image: Near Echidna Chasm in Purnululu National Park
Those looking to visit the area in a caravan have the option of leaving their vehicle at the caravan park at the start of the track. It is advised that visitors allocate at least three hours to complete this track.
Those visiting Piccaninny Gorge should be aware that there are no marked tracks leading to the area, which makes navigational skills all the more important. The track to the gorge’s entrance is about 7 km in length and the entire trail, which takes visitors through the length of the gorge system, is about 30 km’s long. The trail changes from easy to relatively difficult when visitors arrive in the gorge. It is here where travellers will need to navigate trickier aspects, such as loose or fallen rocks and boulders.
Image: Sandstone banded domes near Piccaninny Gorge
It is imperative that visitors are fully prepared for the trip, including having their own water on hand and a fuel stove in order to prepare their meals.
The Piccaninny Creek Lookout is situated about 1.4 km’s from the car park and boasts spectacular views of the Bungle Bungle range. Here, visitors will find picnic tables, toilets and shade.
There are a variety of walking trails available within the Bungle Bungles that will allow visitors to get a good feel for the area, including the Cathedral Gorge Walk, the Domes Walk and the Piccaninny Gorge Walk.
Image: Cathedral Gorge in Purnululu National Park
Camping in Purnululu National Park
Those looking to camp in Purnululu have two options to pick from – Kurrajong and Walardi. The former is located in the north, while the latter is situated in the south. Walardi boasts around 25 campsites and astounding views. Situated on the Bellbourn Creek banks, the site offers walking trails and bird watching opportunities.
Image: Stonehenge in Purnululu National Park
After being kept secret for so long, the Bungle Bungles are inviting visitors to experience some of the most astounding views that nature has to offer. For 4WD enthusiasts, the area doesn’t simply represent the chance for them to see the natural wonders of Western Australia, but the chance to really test their driving skills, making it a must-see for any off-road adventurer.