Bungle Bungle Western Australia 2023 Guide – Exploring the Spectacular Landscapes
The Bungle Bungle Range of Western Australia will take your breath away with its raw beauty. Situated in Purnululu National Park in the heart of the Kimberley region, these distinctive 350 million-year-old beehive-shaped domes rise into the sky like giant sentinels.
From hiking deep gorges to scenic flights, there’s plenty to explore in this unique landscape. If you want to experience the splendour of these ancient formations up close, read on for our ultimate guide to exploring Bungle Bungles, Western Australia.
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Bungle Bungle Tours
If you’re looking for a truly unique and unforgettable experience in the Australian outback, then a Bungle Bungle tour is an absolute must-do.
Tours of the park come in all shapes and sizes – from scenic flights to private charters to 4WD tours. You can visit on a dedicated Bungle Bungle itinerary or as part of an extended Kimberley tour.
All tours allow you to explore incredible landscapes, take in stunning sunsets, and discover secret swimming holes tucked away in ancient gorges.
Broome to Bungle Bungle Scenic Flight
Experience the Bungle Bungle Range from a bird’s eye view with one of the many scenic flights available to suit most budgets and time frames.
A scenic flight from Broome over the Bungles is an experience like no other. Whether you choose a helicopter or fixed-wing plane, these flights will give you an appreciation for the vast beauty of this remote area.
Bungle Bungle Explorer
✅ scenic flight over the Bungle Bungle Range
✅ 3km guided walk amongst the beehive domes
✅ packed lunch at Cathedral Gorge
Kununurra to Bungle Bungle Scenic Flight
This full-day tour by Aviair from Kununurra offers you a chance to witness the wonders of nature from multiple perspectives.
Your journey begins with an exhilarating small plane flight, where you’ll soar above the mesmerising Bungle Bungle Range. Marvel at the unique beehive-shaped rocks and the unbeatable aerial views of Lake Argyle and the Argyle Diamond Mine.
But the adventure doesn’t end there! You’ll travel by a comfortable 4WD vehicle into the heart of Purnululu National Park, discovering hidden attractions along the way.
Embark on a short hike through Piccaninny Creek and just when you think it can’t get any better, prepare to be amazed by the stunning Cathedral Gorge. Walk through its towering walls and listen as the acoustics create a magical atmosphere.
A delicious picnic lunch is included, eaten under the shade of Cathedral Gorge.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Over 150 Reviews
Bungle Bungle Scenic Flights & Cathedral Gorge
✅ scenic flight over the Bungle Bungle
✅ aerial views of Lake Argyle and the Argyle Diamond Mine
✅ short hike through Piccaninny Creek and Cathedral Gorge
Guided Walking Tours
Looking for a truly unique way to explore the Bungles? Then why not take a guided walking tour? This is the perfect way to get up close and personal with the spectacular rock formations of Western Australia’s Kimberley region. You’ll be able to see the ancient landscape, learn about Aboriginal culture and history, and spot native wildlife along the way.
Broome to Bungle Bungle Range 4WD Tour
Exploring the Bungles by 4WD is a great way to experience all the beauty and adventure the Kimberley region has to offer. But if you’re looking for an even more immersive experience, why not try one of the extended 4WD tours? These are ideal for those who want to explore further afield and see some of Australia’s most remote and spectacular landscapes.
Our favourite 4WD and camping tour operator is Outback Horizons due to:
- Pick up from Broome accommodation
- Being family owned and operated
- Private & small group specialists
- Safe, reliable and comfortable tour vehicles
- Offering various tours through the Kimberley & Pilbara
- Providing attention to detail & a personal experience
- No hidden costs, with all-inclusive itineraries
- Passionate & highly experienced Tour Guides
- Catering to couples, families, and groups
- A support vehicle, trailer, and second guide to assist in the setup and pack down of camp
12 Day Kimberley Premium Camping Tour
✅ visit to the Bungle Bungle Range
✅ helicopter flight over Mitchell Falls
✅ Ord River boat trip
Bungle Bungle Hikes
The Bungle Bungle range features some of the most breathtaking gorges and hikes you’ll ever experience. Cathedral Gorge, a deep red rock natural amphitheatre, is a must-see for any avid hiker, as is Echidna Chasm. You can also take on Picaninny Gorge’s creek bed walk, which will take you through some truly remarkable landscapes.
These are some of the best walk trails in Purnululu National Park.
Northern End Trails
Mini Palms Gorge Walk
Grade 5, 4.4 km – 1 to 3 hours
The Bloodwood & Mini Palms Gorge Walk starts near the Bloodwood Lookout and takes you into the gorge for an awe-inspiring view of the Bungle Bungles.
The trail meanders through Mini Palms Gorge, amongst Livistona palms, their slender trunks reaching skyward.
Grade 4, 2 km – 1 hour
Echidna Chasm is one of the most remarkable places in the Bungle Bungles range. Located at the northern end, it features long, narrow chasms and towering walls that are lit up by sunlight just before midday,creating a breathtaking landscape.
Southern End Trails
Grade 4, 2 km – 1 hour
Starting at Piccaninny Creek car park, the trail winds through the towering walls of the Bungle Bungles. The highlight of the trail is undoubtedly the Cathedral Gorge itself. As you approach this magnificent natural amphitheatre, you’ll be amazed at the sheer scale and grandeur of the gorge.
Cathedral Gorge is a special spot for a break or to eat a packed lunch.
Grade 3, 700m – less than 1 hour
This short walk is ideal for those that don’t want to hike far but still see the beehive domes up close.
How long to stay at Purnululu National Park
The amount of time you should spend at Purnululu National Park depends on your interests and the activities you’d like to do, but these are some general guidelines:
- Short visit (1-2 days): If you have limited time or are primarily interested in getting a taste of the Bungle Bungle, a tour will allow you to explore some of the key highlights, such as the Cathedral Gorge, the Piccaninny Creek Lookout, and the beehive domes.
- Moderate visit (3-4 days): A stay of three to four days gives you more time to explore the park’s key attractions at a relaxed pace, and to undertake some more challenging hikes.
- Extended visit (5+ days): For those who want to immerse themselves in the park’s natural beauty and explore more remote areas, an extended stay of five or more days will allow you to undertake multi-day hikes or camping trips.
Best Time to Visit the Bungle Bungle Range for Ideal Weather
When planning a trip to the Bungles, it’s important to consider the weather and road conditions as they can vary greatly depending on the time of year. Typically the best time to visit is between April and October (the dry season), as the park closes in the wet season. However, dates can vary depending on the weather and road conditions.
Safety Information for Purnululu National Park
Check this info about bushwalking, planning your activity, being prepared and travelling in remote locations and consider a personal location beacon (PLB) or satellite phone.
Visitors must bring all water, food, fuel, and any other supplies.
The Spring Creek Track into Purnululu National Park is 53 km from the Great Northern Highway and can only be accessed by high clearance 4WD. Drive slowly and carefully as the natural earth track is corrugated, winding and has hills and creek crossings. The maximum speed limit is 50 km per hour.
Even in winter (dry season), temperatures can reach 40°C (104°F), but radiant heat can increase to over 50°C (122°F).
Due to the remoteness, there is only reduced intermittent Optus mobile coverage. Therefore, download the free Emergency+ app before your visit.
Camping & Accommodation in the Bungle Bungle National Park
Accommodation options range from camping under the stars at Walardi or Kurrajong campgrounds to lodges with all the amenities.
Purnululu (Bungle Bungle) National Park Camping
Two camping options are available in and around the Bungle Bungles range with basic amenities. Whether you choose the Walardi or Kurrajong campground, both offer unpowered sites with bush toilets. The cost is about A$13 per person on top of the national park fees.
Check availability at DBCA.
Bungle Bungles Accommodation
You have the choice of two privately owned camps along the Bellburn Creek – Bungle Bungle Wilderness Lodge and Bungle Bungle Savannah Lodge.
Bungle Bungle Wildnerness Lodge
⭐️ 8.2 with over 80 reviews
Tucked away in this World Heritage-listed paradise, this lodge offers an unforgettable experience with tent accommodations with furnished patios that allow you to immerse yourself in nature’s beauty.
As the sun rises, you awaken to the tantalising aroma of a freshly cooked breakfast, a delightful way to start your day of exploration. And when night falls, you can enjoy a 3-course dinner under a canopy of twinkling stars.
Situated alongside the tranquil Piccaninny Creek, Kununurra Bungle Bungle Lodge is perfectly positioned for you to discover the wonders of Cathedral Gorge, just a short 20-minute drive away.
Each tent features a private en suite bathroom with solar-heated hot water, ensuring your comfort during your stay. After a day filled with adventures, gather around a crackling campfire, where fellow travellers share captivating tales of their own journeys.
Book your accommodation today and immerse yourself in the wonders of the Bungle Bungle Wilderness Lodge.
Bungle Bungle Savannah Lodge
⭐️ 8.6 with over 15 reviews
Start your day with a sumptuous buffet breakfast, and in the evening, indulge in a delicious dinner, both included in your stay. You have the option to cool down in the inviting swimming pool after a day of exploration.
Purnululu boasts some of the most stunning stargazing spots, and this lodge can arrange guided hiking tours, ensuring you have the chance to witness the beautiful night sky in all its glory. And for those seeking a moment of relaxation, head outside and unwind with a drink at the Bungles Bar.
At Bungle Bungle Savannah Lodge, discover the secrets of the past, savour the present, and create memories that will last a lifetime.
Wildlife at Purnullulu National Park
The Purnululu National Park is home to a variety of unique wildlife, including the iconic red kangaroo, nailtail wallaby, and short-eared rock wallaby. These can often be seen grazing on the grasslands and woodlands of the park – so keep your eyes peeled!
Other animals you might spot include emus, dingoes, wedge-tailed eagles, and over 130 species of birds. There is also a variety of reptiles, frogs and fish living in the creeks and billabongs throughout the park.
As it’s a national park, dogs are not allowed to protect the flora and fauna.
Where are the Bungle Bungles?
The Bungle Bungles are in the heart of the East Kimberley region in Western Australia. Situated approximately 250 km west of Kununurra and 108 km east of Halls Creek.
Getting to the Bungle Bungle National Park
To get to Purnululu National Park, you’ll need to travel along the Great Northern Highway and then Spring Creek Track, a rugged 53 km unsealed track.
Access is for high-clearance four-wheel drive vehicles and single-axle high-clearance camper trailers and caravans only. The track can be corrugated and some creek crossings may only be dry near the end of the dry season.
Depending on the road conditions, it can take around two hours to reach the Purnululu Visitor Centre.
Purnululu National Park Entry Fees
Standard fees apply for Purnululu National Park.
|Standard vehicle(12 or fewer occupants)||A$15.00 per vehicle||A$8.00 per vehicle|
|Large vehicle(more than 12 occupants)||A$7.00 per person||A$2.50 per person|
How were the Bungle Bungle Range formed?
The Bungle Bungle are the world’s most exceptional example of cone karst formations. These unique beehive-shaped domes of sandstone were formed over 360 million years ago. Erosion by creeks, rivers, and weathering in the past 20 million years has carved out these distinctive banded orange and grey striped domes, along with gorges.
The presence or absence of cyanobacteria causes the domes’ striking bands. Dark bands show the presence of cyanobacteria, which grows on layers of sandstone where moisture accumulates. The orange bands are oxidised iron compounds that have dried out too quickly for the cyanobacteria to grow.
Geological Features of Cathedral Gorge
Cathedral Gorge is a natural amphitheatre created from water pounding through in the wet season. The acoustics are so good the Sydney Symphony Orchestra has played there.
Aboriginal Culture of the Bungle Bungles
The Bungle Bungle Range is not only a spectacular geological wonder but also home to a rich and ancient Australian Aboriginal culture that dates back over 20,000 years. The national park is wedged between two Indigenous nations, Gija (or Kija) to the north and Jaru to the south.
Bungle Bungle FAQs
Why is the Bungle Bungle Range famous?
The Bungle Bungles are one of Australia’s most famous landmarks thanks to their unique beehive-shaped sandstone domes.
Who found the Bungle Bungle Range?
The Bungle Bungle Range were only “discovered” by a film crew in 1983 and established as Purnululu National Park in 1987.
How tall are the Bungle Bungle?
The average height of the Bungle Bungle domes is between 200 and 300 metres tall.
What are the Bungle Bungle made of?
The Bungle Bungle domes are made up of sandstone, which has been sculpted by the forces of nature. Millions of years of erosion have created these distinctive beehive-shaped domes with orange and black stripes.
What is the closest town to Bungle Bungle?
The closest town to the Bungle Bungle (Purnululu National Park) is Halls Creek, about 110 kilometres from the park.
Can I drive into Bungle Bungle?
Yes, you can drive into the Bungle Bungles (Purnululu National Park), but you will need a high clearance 4WD (four-wheel-drive) vehicle to access the park.
The road conditions are challenging, with rough and unsealed gravel roads, river crossings, and corrugations. The primary access point is the Spring Creek Track, which starts near the Great Northern Highway.
Are the Bungle Bungle Range worth it?
Yes, the Bungle Bungles in Purnululu National Park are absolutely worth visiting due to their unique geological formations and natural beauty.
Why are they called the Bungle Bungle?
The origin of the name “Bungle Bungle” is uncertain, but there are a few theories. One theory suggests that the name “Bungle Bungle” is a European misspelling of the local Indigenous word for a type of grass called “bundle bundle” or “Bungo Bungo,” which is found in the area.
The name could have been derived from a term used by early settlers, but its exact origin remains unknown.
Are there crocodiles in the Bungle Bungle?
While Purnululu National Park is not known for having a crocodile population, it is important to remember that crocodiles can be found in various waterways throughout the northern region. Freshwater crocodiles (Crocodylus johnstoni) are more common in this region and are generally less aggressive than their saltwater counterparts (Crocodylus porosus).
What is Bungle Bungle new name?
Purnululu is the official name for the Bungle Bungle, which comes from the Aboriginal Gija people, meaning ‘fretting sands’.
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