Made famous in 1983 but around for over 350 million years is the Bungle Bungle range in the World Heritage listed Purnululu National Park.
The orange and black striped sandstone domes, often likened to giant beehives, are one of the Kimberley's best-loved attractions.
The Bungle Bungle is actually a deeply dissected plateau that stands up to 300 meters above a lightly timbered plan. Apart from its striking weather sculptured shapes, the range’s most obvious feature is its grey and orange banding. This occurs in a thin skin (the underlying sandstone is white) of clay and silica, with the colour being dependant on the permeability of the layers. The more porous layers allow water to seep through, resulting in growths of dark cyanobacteria (also known as blue green algae). The less porous bands, which dry out too quickly for the algae to grow are coloured by a patina of iron oxide.
The Purnululu National Park covers a total of 240,000 hectares and can be accessed by 4WD or by air. The best way to see this amazing park is certainly by air and foot. This way you can take in the sheer size and beauty of the Purnululu National Park. Aviair’s Bungle Bungle Wanderer tour offers just that, a 2 hour scenic air safari commencing departing from Kununurra that takes you over the Ord Irrigation Area, majestic Lake Argyle, before landing at the remote unsealed airstrip within the Purnululu National Park. Following the first leg of the Bungle Bungle Wanderer scenic flight you will join a 4x4 drive and participate on a 3km overland trek by foot taking in the picturesque Piccaninny Creek and Cathedral Gorge. The moderate trek allows you to see up close the beehive shaped sandstone domes that make the Bungle Bungle Range famous. You can also take a Bungle Bungle helicopter flight with the Bungle Bungle Adventurer + Helicopter tour which will allow you to enjoy a close up view of the impressive sandstone formations that make the Bungle Bungle.
45,000 hectares of the Park are the Bungle Massif. Before 1983 the Bungle Bungle were only known by local farmers, Aboriginals and helicopter mustering pilots. It was one of these pilots that convinced a film crew that were filming a documentary in the Kimberley region to come and take a look. The Bungle Bungle became Purnululu National Park in 1987 and was World Heritage listed in 2003 alongside Ayres Rock and the Great Barrier Reef.
Amongst the highlights are Piccaninny Creek, Echidna Chasm and Cathedral Gorge where the acoustics are said to be as good as the Sydney Opera House. Aviair’s Bungle Bungle Wanderer tour allows you to experience firsthand the magnificence of natural acoustics created by geological formations.
The Purnululu National Park is inhabited by over 130 different species of bird and abounds with fauna. The Park homes a variety of creatures; including the nail tail wallaby; euro and short-eared rock-wallaby, rainbow bee-eaters, lizards, and abundant budgerigars. The park is open from April to November each year.