World Heritage site Purnululu National Park, in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, covers 3000sq km of rugged country. Within its boundaries are the Bungle Bungles: 350 million years old, a sacred place for Aboriginal people for 40,000 years, but only a tourist destination since the 1980s.
Despite being popular with tourists, the difficulty in visiting has helped preserve a feeling of remoteness. The park is only open from April to November, and accessible only by high clearance 4WD or helicopter.
The striking ochre and black-striped beehive domes of the Bungle Bungle Range are the centrepiece of Purnululu. The towers rise 300 metres into the air and are made of sandstone shaped by rain over millions of years. The tiger stripes are caused by oxidised iron and algae.
Take in the enormity of the range with a scenic flight. Helicopters and small planes leave from both inside the park and nearby Warmun, for those without access to a 4WD.
After your flight, visit the domes on foot. The park has hundreds of kilometres of trails and you’ll be able to see ancient rock art, native wildlife and towering rock formations.
For sunset, drive over to Kungkalanayi Lookout to watch the sky change colour over the western face of the Bungle Bungles. It’s an easy 15-minute walk to the lookout from the car park.
Purnululu is chockablock with beautiful bushwalks. The most famous is also the easiest: Cathedral Gorge, which is a massive natural amphitheatre with incredible acoustics. If there aren’t too many people nearby, you can practise your vocal range. The trail to the gorge is three kilometres return.
If you want to continue on, walk along Piccaninny Creek through the gorge. This can be done as an overnight hike or as a shorter day hike. Walk along the eroded creek bed as far as you’d like, admiring the chasms and rock pools.
See the Bungle Bungles for yourself on a 15 Day Kimberley Complete Tour with APT from $9720 twin share. Visit RACQ Travel or contact one of our friendly travel consultants on 1300 096 166.