Bungle Bungle Ranges
The Bungle Bungles are a massif in the Kimberley’s Purnululu National Park that has eroded into hundreds of dome-shaped, orange and black banded sandstone formations. Some of the domes are hundreds of feet high.
The massif formed some 360 million years ago, with the rivers and streams that flow out from the Kimberly Plateau. For millions of years these waterways carried eroded sandy sediment, depositing it over a flood plain that would eventually become the Bungle Bungle Range.
Until 1982 they were known to only a few Australians – mainly cattle stockmen and the local Aborigines. Rising from the middle of hundreds of square miles of remote, rugged, uninviting wilderness, the formations are well off the beaten path.
Within the Bungle Bungle Range, in the deep gorges, you’ll discover mainly tropical vegetation. Rock fig vines cling to the steep walls and fill crevices and Palm trees are plentiful.
Camping in the Bungle Bungles
Surrounded by the World Heritage listed Purnululu National Park, the Bungle Bungles are among the most scenic rock formations on the planet. This ancient sandstone landmark was only made known to the world in the late 1980s. Since then, it has soared to world stardom, thanks to its colourful façade, imposing size and mystical interior.
Despite a vast improvement to the landmark’s access road, self-driving to the Bungle Bungles is still too often overlooked by tourists. The road, known as the Spring Creek Track, can be quite rough in parts, and the facilities at the surrounding national park are not overly efficient. Nevertheless, there is absolutely no doubt that camping in the Bungle Bungles will provide a memorable experience for tourists, giving plenty of time to discover the beauty of this haunting range.
There is no way to stay overnight at the Bungle Bungles other than camping. There are two separate campgrounds within Purnululu National Park offering independent facilities for guests. In the northern reaches of the park, the Kurrajong Campground offers several different sites to set up camp, including a private quiet area and one designed for tour operators only. This camping ground offers easy access to Echidna Chasm and Mini Palms Gorge, not to mention a fantastic sunset lookout.
In the southern part of the national park, Walardi Campground can be found. It is similar to Kurrajong in relation to its set up, although it’s located closer to the helicopter launch pad, making it much busier during the peak tourist season. Both campsites provide only basic facilities, including access to bore water and simple toilets. It is recommended that visitors treat the bore water before consuming it.
For a more luxurious camping experience, forget Walardi or Kurrajong, and check out the camping facilities at Bellburn Creek. Often reserved for safari companies and tour operators, these camp grounds offer more ‘high-end’ amenities, like permanent tents, hot showers and fresh linens. Guests are far from ‘roughing it’ when staying here, although it does come at hefty prices. Nevertheless, there are options available, so visitors can always try camping in the Bungle Bungles.
Seeing the Bungle Bungles
Much of the Bungle Bungles are inaccessible. One of the easiest ways to see the Bungle Bungles is to fly over them. Tour operators in both Kununurra and Halls Creek offer air tours and air safaris.
On the ground it’s best to stick to those gorges and dry creek beds open to visitors, such as Outstation Canyon and Mini-Palm Canyon. From the south, one of the best ways into the Bungles is to follow Piccaninny Creek, which is waterless during the dry season. The best time to visit is May through June, during the dry season.