Purnululu National Park (Bungle Bungles)
About the Park
The Bungle Bungle Range, in Purnululu National Park is all about amazing landforms, fascinating geology and great scenery.
Purnululu is in the north eastern corner of the Kimberley region of North Western Australia, and lies just south of the massive man made Lake Argyle.
The Bungle Bungle Range is famous for it's distinct "bee hive" domes and their distinctive orange and black banding. The darker bands are on the more permeable layers of rock (which means water is able to move through them with relative ease). They allow moisture to seep through to the rock surface, promoting a dark algal growth.
The less permeable layers in between are covered with a patina of iron and manganese staining, which creates the orange bands. At 578 metres above sea level, the Bungle Bungle Range stands 200 to 300 metres above the surrounding woodland and grass-covered plain and makes for a very imposing sight.
- Adult: $11 per night
- Children under 16 $2
- Concession: $8
Camping in Purnululu National Park is available in two spots, being Walardi and Kurrajong. There is no accomodation in the park and only basic camping facilities. Camping will require you to be self sufficient. The DEC advise to bring your own drinking water, but we found the tap water in the campgrounds good for all other purposes. Both campsites have toilets. Camping in the park is a great way to experience the beauty of this ancient landscape and it's ever changing colours.
Single axle off road caravans / camper trailers can be taken into Purnululu. Other caravans are not permitted as they are considered unsuitable for the 4WD only road. Caravans can be left in Kununurra (250km north of the park), or at Warmun / Turkey Creek Roadhouse (approx 100km north).
Another option for camping is to stay in the freestay out on the Great Northern Highway, about 1km south of the park entrance. In the dry season, there are usually plenty of campers there, and we felt quite safe in leaving our van behind for the day trips into the park.
The downside in this option is that it makes for a big day/s to see the attractions of the park. A trip from the highway into the park, around the main attractions and back out again is just over 200km on a road that is fairly tough going. That said, if the road is approached with commonsense, you should not have too many problems.
Best time of year
Dry season - April to September.
May is a good time as it is just before peak tourist time and the waterholes are full and fresh. The vegetation is also still lush and wildlife is more prevalent.
June to August are the busy months, with days typically around 30 degrees and cold nights.
September the crowds taper off and the days heat up, becoming uncomfortably hot.
The road into Purnululu National Park is generally closed December to March due to the wet season. The only way to see the park during the wet is from the air.
- Halls Creek 110km south.
- Warmun / Turkey Creek Roadhouse, approx 100km north. All fuel types and limited supplies.
- Kununurra 250 km north. This is the largest town in the area and is very well serviced, having all necessary supplies.
Things to do
Bushwalking to places like Piccaninny Creek, Cathedral Gorge and Echidna Chasm.
Enjoying the wildlife. Purnululu National Park is home to flocks of Budgerigars, rainbow bee-eaters and more than 130 other bird species. One of the great things to do in Purnululu is to simply enjoy the sights, the landscape and the serenity.
- Water is available.
- Rangers are based in the park.
- Purnululu National Park Visitor Centre, located approx 50km from the park entrance.
National Park Entry Fees Western Australia
Car per day $11
Concession or motorbike $5
Holiday pass valid 4 weeks $40
Annual Local Pass unlimited access to one park or a group of local parks 1 year $20 per car.
Yearly pass- unlimited access to all WA parks for 1 year $80 per car $50 concession. ( current 2010 )
It is well worth looking at a yearly pass, annual local pass or holiday pass, depending on what area you will be travelling in. Basically the parks in WA are so beautiful that it is almost impossible to spend only one day in any one park.
Given that each park will likely have you visiting a few times, it quickly becomes a good investment to have a one of the multiple entry passes mentioned above.
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