Brisbane, QLD

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Kimberley and Top End (Part 7) Bungle Bungles

I have been looking forward to this day for a long time. A helicopter ride over the Bungle Bungle Range in Purnululu National Park.
As you can see the helicopter had no doors. We wore headsets so we could hear the pilot telling us about this unusual sandstone formation.
The Bungle Bungles are the remains of a large sedimentary rock mass from 360 million years ago. Rivers deposited layers of sediment, which eventually turned into sandstone. The last 20 million years of weathering has produced the spectacular, striped,beehive domes we see today.
The Aborigines have lived in this area for 20,000 years but it wasn't until 1983 when a TV documentary was shown about the Bungle Bungles that they became known world wide.

In 2003 the Bungle Bungles and the The Purnululu National Park became World Heritage listed

The stripes are formed by the different texture of the layers. The brown stripe has more clay and holds the moisture longer, which supports the growth of a bacteria. The orange stripe has less clay and dries out quickly and the bacteria can't grow.

Gorges and chasms wind there way through the ranges.

After the exciting helicopter ride went by bus past Elephant Rock on the way to Cathedral Gorge for a walk.

It was like being on another planet.

We put on hats, sunscreen and took a bottle of water and set off in the raging heat.

We were glad to reach the shade of the gorge.

The gorge came to an end where the walls towered around us like the walls of a cathedral.

Looking out of the cathedral over a pool towards the track where we had entered.

Then back to the bus and camp for lunch. After lunch we were taken on another walk.

I love the "outback dunny" (loo, rest room, bathroom, toilet)

We set off to Echidna Chasm.

The path was rocky and a little hard going.

The walls of the chasm got closer and.......

....and closer and it got darker and........

.....darker until we came to the heart of the rock and.....


Then it was back to scrambling over rocks and follow the twisting turning path out.

Kim, our tour guide, had a surprise for us on the way back to camp.

She got Ben to stop the bus at a rest area so we could enjoy the sunset on the ranges. Then Kim produced an afternoon tea spread of nibblies, cheese and biscuits with Champagne.

It was a delightful end of an adventurous day. We were living it up in the outback.

To enjoy the flight over the Bungle Bungles see Bill's video HERE or on my sidebar.


  1. The helicopter ride over the Bungle Bungles would have been my favorite part of the trip. What a great way to view the area.

    I love all the rock formations.

  2. That's the only thing I haven't done yet, flying in a helicopter, but this will happen too, lol ! I overflew the Belgian coast in a 3 place airplane, so it can't be worse. The landscapes are so beautiful ! the first pictures reminds me of Turkey but the rocks were all white and the other is more like Jordan and Morocco, these huge gorges all in red rocks. Isn't it strange that so far away mother earth has almost the same face ?

  3. Diane and Bill ... was the helicopter ride as exciting as in all those little Cessnas, Pilatus Porters and other tiny single engine planes in PNG? Your pics are quite spectacular.

  4. Wow Diane, That truly would be the highlight to me. Those huge rocks are amazing... I loved it when you all could walk deep down inside of the boulders. Totally awesome. Wow--what a trip you had... I'm so impressed.

    Cute little 'restroom'---Reminded me of a trip to Tybee Island, GA last year. When we were on the beach, there was a huge restroom and it's name was "Royal Restroom"... Funny huh???

    Hugs to you,

  5. Impressive landscape and thank you again for sharing.....

    lizzie b.

  6. Amazing! You and BB definitely missed your proper ( youthful) vocations in life. Travel analayses with photos and stories were your true 'fortes'! I suspect I see an ASOPA collegue comment on this entry?

  7. Wow! I can see the heat shimmering off the towering rockfaces, I can hear the flies, feel the heat of the sun beating down. Looks like an amazing day again. I love the pic of you both at the end! you must email me that shot in the biggest file you have so I can print it out!

  8. Wow, the bungle bungles looked fabulous from the air. Well done with the photos.

  9. Darnation, we never got the champers! But we did not get a stinking hot day either. Maybe 33 - most of our days were 33.

    Other than that, snap snap snap snap. We did much of the same. I did not see that dunny though!

  10. Spectacular! That photo of setting off to Echidna Chasm in particular just got to me. I love the palms in valleys like that.
    It was wonderful to see the Bungle Bungles. Thank you for sharing your fun :D