Purnululu National Park

Western Australia, Australia Oceania icon Oceania

Purnululu National Park is located in northern Australia. The national park boundaries encompass an area of 925.6 square miles (2,397.2 sq km). The park was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003.

The Bungle Bungle range represents the heart of the park. This range features incredible chiseled sandstone rocks that appear in the shape of beehives. The taller ones reaching a height of 820 feet (250 m).

The beehive looking sandstone rocks display a series of black and orange bands around them making them appear to have layers on top of layers building up the range. These are some of the most unique and picturesque cone karsts from around the world. They are affectionately known as the Bungle Bungles.

The height of the Bungle Bungle formations combined with the park’s elevation reaches heights of 1,896 feet (578 m). The bands are created by variations of clay and sandstone layers. The erosion of the plateau that resulted in the Bungle Bungle karsts now reveals gorges and slot canyons.

The park is not known for wildlife, however, there are 149 species of birds calling the park home. Reptiles are plentiful with monitors, dragons, goannas, lizards, and skinks as some of the highlights from the 81 species.

Caution is warranted because three of the country’s most venomous snakes are found within the park. These include King Brown, Northern Death Adder, and Western Brown.

Purnululu Highlights:

Purnululu National Park is home to the Bungle Bungle mountain range. These unique and beautiful sandstone karsts with their beehive appearance are the pinnacle draw to the park. There are two invaluable ways to experience this phenomenon.

Visitors should certainly plan to hike around the Bungle Bungle range while also exploring Echidna Chasm and the various gorges and slot canyons. Another impressive way is by an aerial view from a helicopter ride out of the park.

Bungle Bungles

The Bungle Bungles is a range of rock formations that are characterized by a beehive shape.  These beehive sandstone rock formations can reach heights of 820 feet (250 m). The range has been eroded created these formations along with gorges and slot canyons as noted above.

The range covers an area of 4.3 miles (7 km) with each bungle bungle rock formation displaying a circular topographic presentation.  The circular sensation is enhanced by the different colors of each layer.  The layers typically alter between black and orange.

Trails in Purnululu National Park

One of the primary ways the park is traversed is through a 33-mile (53 km) track that is used by four-wheel-drive vehicles and only during the dry season. There a few hiking trails that may be leveraged to engage and view the bungle bundles more personally.

Purnululu National Park World Heritage Area: This is a moderate rated trail that covers a distance of 29.6 miles (47.63 km) out and back. It has an elevation gain of 1,774 feet (1,774 m). The long trail treks along and among the bungle bungles.

Picaninny Creek Walk Trail: This is a challenging trail that has an elevation gain of 2,060 feet (627.88 m) over a distance of 12.2 miles (19.6 km). This trail explores the gorges of this renowned series of rock formations.

Purnululu Highlights

  • Bungle Bungles
  • Echidna Chasm

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