Letho's Blog

The Bungle-Bungles

by on Mai.28, 2011, under The Kimberleys

May 27, 2011

We had camped quite close to the turnoff leading to the Purnululu NP, better known as the Bungle-Bungles. In the night we not only heard some howling dingoes, but a growling and grunting sound very nearby. Very similar to a wild boar or another big animal .. in the next morning it turned out to be most likely one of the countless Brahman cows in the area. 🙂

We had been warned that the road to the Purnululu NP, despite being only 50 kilometers long, would take 2-3 hours to cross, including many floodways. We found this to be true in every sense – we counted more than 40 floodways in all shapes and sizes. The road itself was not too bad, although occasionally curvy and steep.

Finally we entered the gates of the Bungle-Bungles:

Entry to the Purnululu NP

Entry to the Purnululu NP

In the park’s information center we were displeased to hear that the Echidna Chasm in the northern area of the park was still closed due to the late wet season and the resulting road conditions. Another great site barred from us .. 🙁

After all, the Domes Walk and Cathedral Gorge right in the middle were open. Another 30 kilometers and we arrived at the Domes Walk where we had breakfast and packed our gear, expecting an exhausting walk under the hot sun.

Surprisingly the Domes walk was not very long, maybe just short of an hour. We gathered many views of the beehive-like coloured domes while walking through the ranges. What an impressive site .. even more stunning that this place was almost unknown to the world 30 years ago! It was included in the World Heritage listings several years after being declared an official national park.

Here and there we stumbled upon waterholes:

Here’s one of several panoramas depicting the trail for you:

Bungles-Bungles panorama no. 1

Bungles-Bungles panorama no. 1

We proceeded directly to Cathedral Gorge.

The Cathedral Gorge looked less like a typical gorge, but more than a giant rock ledge hanging over sand patches and a pool. You can clearly see where the water pours into the gorge from the carved rocks above. And it’s big – compare the dimensions of the people to the rock walls.  Most noticeably are the acoustic properties which gave this place its name: raising your voice and singing sounds like a in a cathedral as the rocks reflect the echoes as in a natural amphitheatre – this one being inverted and hanging from the roof. 🙂

We did two panoramas from only slightly different angles, starting with the first:

Cathedral Gorge panorama no. 1

Cathedral Gorge panorama no. 1

And here the second one:

Cathedral Gorge panorama no. 2

Cathedral Gorge panorama no. 2

Note the little details like the rounded, blackened shape where the water pours down or the vertical, straight rock wall on the right. With its colour schemes and sheer size it makes up for an amazing scenery!

Returning from Cathedral Gorge we decided to head into Piccaninny Creek. Normally the walk into the creek is declared as an overnight hike, requiring registration at the info center. However, we only peeked into it for less than 2 kilometers or so.

Another panorama from one of the lookouts:

Bungles-Bungles panorama no. 2

Bungles-Bungles panorama no. 2

Almost at the end of the day we headed back to the car …

… and drove to one of the campsites in the park. The warming campfire in the evening was comforting. However, the night was one of the coldest nights we ever experienced. Freezing for hours and being unable to sleep really spoils all the fun even with the days being so warm… 🙁

May 28, 2011

The next day we stopped shortly at the Walanginjdji Lookout ..

Great view, tiny LandCruiser - Walanginjdji Lookout

Great view, tiny LandCruiser - Walanginjdji Lookout

.. took a panorama ..

Bungles-Bungles panorama no. 3

Bungles-Bungles panorama no. 3

.. and left the Bungle-Bungles. As a fun project we took a picture of every single floodway on the way out, but we’ll spare you the 40 pictures – for now! 😉


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