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The Bungle Bungles – One of the Most Spectacular Landmarks in the World

The Bungle Bungles, Purnululu National Park, Kimberley, Western Australia, Australia

Fourth day, the group woke-up early in the morning.  We were busy for breaking the camp, packing all our backpacks and luggage back to the truck and these includes the group’s tents and swags. Then all had quick breakfast. It was the day that we let left the camp ground earlier than the previous days. We were on the road for adventure around 6:00 AM in the morning.

Because we had an overnight in one of the campsite within Purnululu National Park, we reached hastily the next destination of the group and that was “The Bungle Bungles”.

From the previous post that I had about Purnululu National Park, I already mentioned about Echidna Chasm. And the said chasm is actually part of the Bungle Bungle Range proper and is located at the north. Fourth day’s adventure was focused on other parts of the range which starts from Piccaninny which located at the south. The southern part of the Bungle Bungle Range features the one of the worlds most fascinating geological landmarks, the orange and black sandstone domes called as “The Bungle Bungles”.


On the way to Piccaninny in “The Bungle Bungles”


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“The Bungle Bungles” From A Distance

While we were approaching “The Bungle Bungles”, it reminds me something that I saw while I was trekking in Kings Canyon in Northern Territory in April 2013 and below are the photos that I remembered which is called as “The Little Bungle Bungles” in Kings Canyon. I don’t have the photo of the park from the air so I used these snapshots to imagine what it looks like of “The Bungle Bungles” from the top.



The Little Bungle Bungle (Look alike of the Bungle Bungles from the top) in Kings Canyon

We reached Piccaninny Parking Area, same starting point of our trek in “The Bungle Bungles”. I was excited as we approached the domes sandstone. I started to witness up close and personal these giant rock domes that looks like mini hills. At the walking trail, I cannot stopped myself to take a lot of photos because I was so amazed of what I was seeing and I wondered how these rock domes were formed or created.



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I remembered Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) that I trekked in Northern Territory which shows some similarity in some ways, as it has hilly rocky domes but different in colors and textures. “The Bungle Bungles” has lots of coarse rock domes in orange and black bands color while Kata Tjuta has lesser but more polished rock domes which mostly in solid orange color.





Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) in Northern Territory

There are number of walking options available for visitors at Piccaninny, these options differ on distance and views to appreciate along and within the trail, hikers must check the details first at the visitor centre before starting any walks. Our group was able to visit two locations, first is called as “The Domes” and second is called as “Cathedral Gorge”.

The Domes

The trail surface is uneven and exposed to radiant heat from the domes. It provides close-up observation of the banding from layers of sediments, oxidisation of the iron content, microbial colonisation and exposure of the bleached sands within.

Source : At the Park’s Board Information








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On the way to “The Domes”

The shorted and I can say the easiest walks is “The Domes”. It is a walk to see closer sediment layers exist in all rock domes in the park. It was surprising that along the way we saw sands in the ground like sands in the beaches. I just learned that the range said to be a former seabeds that rises due to earth’s movement million years ago.







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At “The Domes”

Our guide Scotty explained the reason of black and orange colors that can be seen in the domes in “The Bungle Bungles”. It was said that the dark colors are parts which has more moisture where bacterial algae lives and the orange colors hase less moisture that dries fast and rusted due to oxidisation process.

Cathedral Gorge

Uneven surfaced, dry creek bed exposed to the sun before entering the Gorge that culminates in a natural amphitheatre with a permanent pool. There are some steep steps within the Gorge.

Source : At the Park’s Board Information

After staying a bit in “The Domes”, we left the place and moved to another one which they call it as Cathedral Gorge. We had a bit of trekking before we were able to reach the gorge. We stopped a bit in the middle of the trek to rest and our guide Scotty discussed something about the park such as the possibility of the formation of rock domes in “The Bungle Bungles”. It also mentioned the similarities of Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) and Uluru (Ayers Rock) in Northern Territory on how these fascinating hilly and mountain rocks were emerged and now all considered natural wonders of our world.






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On the way to Cathedral Gorge



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Resting before our final stop at Cathedral Gorge








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At Cathedral Gorge

Cathedral Gorge Walk is considered one of the best walks in the southern part of the range. When we reached the place, we rested in the gorge for an hour and we were all silent while appreciating the natures that surrounds us. While the whole group was resting, I walked within the gorge and circling around the pool almost in the middle of it experienced the cooler condition underneath.

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Going back to Piccaninny

When it was time to return to Piccaninny, we walked back to the same trail we took towards the gorge. But it was the same trail going back, looking at the surroundings we were in, it was still fascinating to observed that we were in the middle of “The Bungle Bungles”. I enjoyed the walk and the discoveries that I learned inside the range. And the said trip will be treasured as it was one of the best moments that I had in Purnululu National Park, followed by Echidna Chasm which I all called as experiencing “The Bungle Bungles”.



About DBA Mountaineer (862 Articles)
An IT Professional who is in love to travel to learn more about our world, like natures a lot specially mountains.

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