While leaving “The Bungle Bungles” within Purnululu National Park, I got a chance to take a shot of photos that includes Spinifex. This type of grass commonly called as Spinifex even though they are not part of the genus Spinifex as these grass are found at the inland of Australia and not along the coast. I find it really nice in the eyes as it is a rounded grass like balls, but be careful as they can bruise a skin. These photos are part of Day 4 (The Bungle Bungles and El Questro) of 9 Days Darwin to Broome Overland Adventure Tour October 2016.
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”
“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.
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 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
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.
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.
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.
On the way to Cathedral Gorge
Resting before our final stop at Cathedral Gorge
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.
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”.
Discovery (Post#43) : Cathedral Gorge (of The Bungle Bungles)
The second and last stop within “The Bungle Bungles” was Cathedral Gorge. It is usually called as the natural amphitheater of red rock with a pool. But learning how the Cathedral Gorge was made is something profound. This part of “The Bungle Bungles” said to be developed thousand of years where a whirlwind of water circulates in the area during rainy seasons. These photos are part of Day 4 (The Bungle Bungles) of 9 Days Darwin to Broome Overland Adventure Tour October 2016.
Still Expression (Post#10) : The Bungle Bungles, WA – Walking
In traveling or exploring a place, walking is one thing that I wanted to do in a place. I am not content in just taking photos of the place from a distance, I wanted to walk on it whether it’s a city or a remote place such as national parks. Walking is the best way to see more things and to feel that the place is real. These photos are part of Day 4 (The Bungle Bungles) of 9 Days Darwin to Broome Overland Adventure Tour October 2016.
Discovery (Post#42): The Domes (of The Bungle Bungles)
Trekking within “The Bungle Bungles” was an exciting one for me as I thought that I was in the middle of unique landmarks that exist in the world. The first stop we had within “The Bungle Bungles” is called “The Domes”. One of the things that I learned even we were in adventure tour was the understanding what’s in with the domes. While we were resting along the trail, our guide Scotty instructed us to look at the domes that surrounded us and he followed an explanation of the domes having its multi-colored bands which if will be observed, its alternating black and orange. The black or dark-colored layers means that it has higher clay content and hold the moisture better and longer where a type of bacterial algae survives. While the lighter color or the orange one has less clay and dries fast and because of oxidisation, the rusting happened. These photos are part of Day 4 (The Bungle Bungles) of 9 Days Darwin to Broome Overland Adventure Tour October 2016.
Our trek within “The Bungle Bungles” started from Piccaninny which located at the south of the Bungle Bungle Range in Purnululu National Park, Western Australia. And a lot of walking options can be done from the place. The nearest and shorted walks can be done from here if visitor has limited time are “The Domes” and Cathedral Gorge. These photos are part of Day 4 (The Bungle Bungles) of 9 Days Darwin to Broome Overland Adventure Tour October 2016.
I had known “The Bungle Bungles” at first in Kings Canyon in Northern Territory when I found the “Little Bungle Bungle”. And at that time, I dreamed to see it for real. “The Bungle Bungles” is the main feature of Purnululu National Park. Now, it is considered as “One of the world’s most fascinating geological landmarks”. These photos are part of Day 4 (The Bungle Bungles) of 9 Days Darwin to Broome Overland Adventure Tour October 2016.
It’s been around for 350 million years and revered by its Aboriginal custodians for at least 40,000 years, but the striking Bungle Bungle Range (‘the Bungle Bungles’) in World Heritage-listed Purnululu National Park was a secret from the outside world until 1983. Today this maze of orange and black striped karst sandstone domes, often likened to giant beehives, is one of the best loved attractions in Western Australia’s Kimberley region. It’s a spectacular landscape of sculptured rocks rising 250 metres (820 feet) above the surrounding semi-arid savanna grasslands and the most outstanding example of cone karst in sandstone anywhere in the world.
View At My Window (Post#35) : Escarpment Walls (West of Bungle Bungle Range)
During our first day in Purnululu National Park, after taking part in Echidna Chasm Walk, I thought that the adventure was over for the day but then our guide still gave us a chance to see the Escarpment Walls which is the Western part of Bungle Bungle Range during the sunset that was amazing to see at the ridge that we trekked shortly. The color was amazing pinkish or combination of red and orange. The color was changing while the sunset was happening. These photos are part of Day 3 (Purnululu National Park) of 9 Days Darwin to Broome Overland Adventure Tour October 2016.
My second day was mixed of Kata Tjuta, a bit of Uluru and Mount Conner. So far I was floating in satisfaction and fantastic scenery and experiences. At first, I thought that the group’s next destination was just nearby until we spent more than two hours in the road. It was like the same feeling during my Day 1 trip, I felt the time passed was too long but in reality it was not. Before arriving to Kings Creek Station we passed a beautiful scenery of George Gill Ranges located at our right side while we were on our way to Wattarka National Park from Lasseter Highway. I really enjoyed the scenic views for some time since it is a long mountain range. At that very moment while enjoying the scenery, I felt that part of the world like heaven in a sense that it was a peaceful moment of my life.
At Kings Creek Station
Our Tour Bus
Camels found at Kings Creek Station
We reached our destination, the Kings Creek Station and Kings Canyon was just around the corner. I remembered, our tour guide mentioned that our second and last night accommodation was an upgrade from the first one. He told us that from swag, we were upgraded to tent, a tent with bed. With that thought in mind, I expected that the tent is not the same tent I used in my hiking adventure, because a bed will not fit on it. We got off the bus and noticed that we stopped in a gas station, we walked around the area and familiarize ourselves in the place.
The good thing about the place, it has store that you can buy basic things needed in the outback and even gifts or souvenirs. Then we passed the shower rooms and bathrooms. We walked to the area and found the version of the tent that I was thinking. Then, I realized that the tent that our tour guide was referring to, was called safari cabin. Two single bed are fit in a cabin. Therefore we have to find our partners for each cabin and I found mine but apologies as I can’t recall her name right now.
After we took our stuff from the bus, we arranged ourselves at the cabin and made ourselves comfortable. I arranged my bed and my stuff, then, I went out to help the group for our dinner. That night, all of us in the group were helping out. Another thing that I noticed was that our tour guide knows a lot about food. Even we have members in the group that are vegetarians, breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner were not been an issue to him. I learned something about food wrapping. Learned that having stuff to fill in the wrap, you are ready to fill in yourself without really cooking. Another thing that I discovered was cooking using charred wood. There was a bonfire area just near from our cabin which also used for cooking. I was familiar with cookware, pans or pots used for cooking but the new stuff for me was pots where it’s lid has a portion on its top area where you can place burned wood wherein the heat was not only coming from the bottom of the pot but also on its top to make cooking easier and faster. It was an amazing stuff that I discovered and a very important cooking pots or basins when you wanted try to live in the outback.
That night, we prepared a lot of food. Maybe because it was our second and last night together in the outback. I snapped the idea because it made my feelings gloomy. We still have the next day for the last adventure. We cleaned-up the kitchen and the dishes we used in preparing and cooking our food.
Maybe because it was our last night together, most of our group did not sleep immediately after the dinner. We sat around the bonfire we used in cooking for our dinner and we started talking together. At that moment in my life in front of bonfire at the outback together with the people I had been with for the past two days feel like a familiar feeling, though we’re all still strangers personally but I felt it was like home. I knew that it may not or may take longer that moment to happen again, and every bit of it, I treasured the moment in my heart and my mind. We spent hours in front of bonfire and then, one by one were saying good nights. I was one of the last person to stand away from bonfire and went to the cabin.
I felt relaxed when I returned to the cabin and in a matter of minutes I was dreaming. I walked up early in the morning, had our breakfast, cleanup the dishes and ready for the last day adventure. For our third and last adventure, I was still excited because we were scheduled to walk and trek around Kings Canyon. One of the canyon I saw was a long time ago and that time I was inside the rocky mountaineer train which was Cheakamus Canyon in Canada. I felt excited and inspired to see and experience Kings Canyon.
All of us jumped into the bus and drove towards the canyon. From Kings Creek Station we reached the parking area. Our main activity was to walk within the canyon. We followed the Canyon Rim Walk track with estimated of 3 to 4 hours of walk and trek. Our tour guide gave us a warning that the initial part of the trail is called a “heart attack” hill because we have to climb a steep and rugged steps (stairs) which he mentioned as 45 degrees. This means the climbed in that stairs will be a bit of exhausting.
Scenery enjoyed while resting after the heart attack trail
We walked a bit until we reached the uneven stairs. I saw the trail and I saw that it was a bit of steep climb. I knew it was a quite challenging climb because even though there’s a rugged steps, for me it’s more challenging to climb a stair than climbing with your own steps. When I did the climbed, I remembered that I was catching my breath. I looked-up and checked if the last step of the stair was almost near. I rejoiced when I saw that I was almost at the top of the stairs. The warning given by our guide was right, it was a heart attack climbed. It was not that really difficult like my other climbs that I had, it’s just that everyone were pushed to follow the steps of the stairs. So there’s a bit of time than I rested to recover my breathing. When we reached the top, we stopped a bit so everyone in the group will be gathered again. What I saw at the top excites me because I knew that we were exploring a canyon in the red center of Australia.
Our tour guide explaining something about sand dunes and rocks
When everyone were at the top area after the heart attack trail, our tour guide started to tell something about the canyon and its sand dunes. He mentioned that there were other trails available in the canyon and we were taking the trail that will finished just after lunch time. Next, we enjoyed the walk within the canyon wherein I just realized we were actually walking in the weathered sandstone domes that looks like the Lost City when we were at the other side of the canyon.
Snapshots while walking in between of weathered sandstone domes which called Lost City of the canyon and while resting a bit not that far from the heart attack trail
We walked, ascended, then we repeated the process until we reached the famous lookout within the Canyon – Cotterrils Lookout. The said lookout gave us a chance to see 365 degrees of the canyon. We had a wide view of the Kings Creek and the overall scenery of weathered sandstone domes. In the said lookout we spent time here for photos and funny posts that our guide suggested us to do as our memories of the canyon.
Around or near Cotterrils Lookout
While at Cotterrils Lookout
Lost City like scenery from Cotterrils Lookout
Our walk in the canyon allowed us to discover the area of the canyon where there was a spot that was similar to Bungle Bungle (included in my list to see in Western Australia – I hope I will got a chance to tour around that state).
The Little Bungle Bungle within the Kings Canyon
After enjoying the scenery of the sandstone domes, our trek within the canyon continued. We reached the wooden stairs and we descended and followed the track. Next we crossed the bridge. Then, we reached a gorge between cliff. While following the track after the stairs we saw what they called Garden of Eden because it serves as oasis where there are natural spring waterholes and has different plants around the area.
The Wooden Stairs and Bridges
Garden of Eden
Before we climbed up at the other side cliff we rested at the Garden of Eden near the oasis. Aside from us, other visitors stopped there too and there were few young male teenagers who jumped off in the oasis and enjoyed their swimming. While we’re resting our tour guide gave us some snacks that the whole group shared.
After resting we returned in our track and we climbed up the wooden stairs. When we reached the other side of the canyon, it gave us a chance to see the canyon in a different outlook or perspective. The part of the canyon that we just walked by and passed by, we were able to see it from the other end what it looks like. The rock domes are more notable compared to when we were walking along with it.
While climbing at the other side of the cliff
In between Rock Domes
At the top we saw the oasis in a different angle even and the same with Kings Creek. Our walk continued. After sometime, we saw the part of the canyon that showcase another view of weathered sandstone. That weathered sandstone from a far looks similar to Old Aztec City that is why it is being called as Lost City.
The other side of the wall of the Kings Creek in Kings Canyon
Lost City in Kings Canyon
At the top, we spent more time for photos, selfies, groupies with the wonderful scenery that surrounds us. And then, our tour guide announced that we will start descending the canyon. We started our walk and followed our guide. With that moment, I know that once we reached the ground, that’s the last moment that I will have with the canyon. Probably with other people it’s just another canyon to see and visit, but for me the outback as a whole was another world for me that I may not be seeing again, but the place gave me a lot of memories because I was given a chance to discover and explore them in a short period of time. I somehow thinking that if I am not an IT (Information Technology) by profession I maybe a geologist. It may be an interesting profession.
When we touched the ground, we had our pack lunch and we headed straight back to Alice Springs where we started our 3 days adventure in the outback. I spent another night in Alice Springs and returned to Melbourne the next day.
Below are some photos that I still have after reaching Alice Springs and on my way back to Melbourne.
Back to Alice Srings
Alice Springs Airport
This is the 3rd or last part of my travel post and the continuation of my adventure of the Red Center in Australia. It takes a while for me to finish the post as I am overwhelmed with so many places that I traveled to and half of the post was done last year and now I got a chance to finish it up as I also tried to remember everything not only from photos and but also from all the experiences that are still in my memory.