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  • Aug6

    Bungle Bungles

    August 6, 2018 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    We were up and away from Kununurra nice and early as we had a way to go. We headed down the Great Northern Highway towards Purnululu National Park which is the home of the Bungle Bungle Ranges.

    The road into the Park from the highway is best described as a goat track. It isn’t that long distance wise at only 53kms but it is so rough it took a good hour and a half to cover and had its share of our old favourite: corrugations.

    We eventually arrived at the southern end of the Bungle Bungle Range where the famous bee hive domes are located and they are fascinating. The rocks themselves are about 350 million years old and were once the bottom of an ocean. They were then pushed up when the Kimberley continent ran into the Australian continent and were weathered into their famous dome shape.

    The stripes are a bit of a mystery. The rock itself is actually a grey sandstone but they contain a lot of iron that oxidises on contact with the air to rust and turn red. The black stripes are caused by the same bacteria that causes the cliffs around the horizontal falls have a black line up to the high tide mark. Why the rocks are striped - we are not sure.

    The coarseness of the rocks varies as well, in some spots the rock is plain sandstone with very fine grains but then it will have a layer of pebbles embedded in it then return to fine sand again. This is probably due to ancient periods of stronger currents pushing heavier rocks through before returning to slower currents and so finer sand.

    There is lots of aboriginal artwork in the small caves and hollows and this was a special place for them.

    The Bungle Bungle domes have been known to the local aborigines and stockmen for years but only became known to the wider public when a film crew making a documentary about the Kimberley first showed them in 1983.

    Apart from the obvious domes the key points of interest we went to were Cathedral Gorge and Picaninny Lookout, photos of both are below.

    Our accommodation was small cabins in the Park on the banks of Belburn Creek not far from the domes. Very comfortable.

    The walk around the domes was definitely one of the highlights of the trip so far and I managed to take well over 100 photos. Tomorrow we head to the northern end of the park.
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