Purnululu National Park: is situated in the Kimberly region of Western Australia and protects the Bungle Bungle Range.
Purnululu, in the local Aboriginal language, means sandstone and refers to the composition of the unique beehive-shaped towers that are a feature of the Park. The towers have alternate bands of black, orange and grey (see image). The darker bands are on layers of rock that is porous. This promotes dark algal growth. The harder layers are covered with a patina of iron and manganese staining. This gives rise to the orange & grey bands.
Purnululu National Park also has significant cultural and ecological features. Aboriginal traditional owners assist in the management of the Park. The area protects Aboriginal art and burial sites.
More than 130 bird species have been identified in the Park. Flocks of budgerigars are often seen. We visited the Park about ten years ago and were fascinated by the beautiful Spinifex Pigeons that hopped around the camping areas.
Nail-tail Wallabies, Euros and probably Short-eared Rock Wallabies live in the Park. We say probably because the Park was only dedicated in 1987 and no doubt many animal and plant species have yet to be discovered.
We came across areas where the dominant shrub was Grevillea agrifolia, the Blue Grevillea, during our visit.
Another dramatic feature, of the Park, was the large termite mounds that had the appearance of cowled monks. These two to three metre high mounds were scattered throughout the areas that we visited.
There are a number of walks within the Park. Cathedral Gorge is popular and leads to a dramatic cliff face. Echidna Chasm is another relatively short walk. Piccaninny Gorge and Chasm is a long walk and visitors often camp overnight. Be sure to advise the Rangers if you are camping overnight. We did all walks but only walked for a short distance along Piccaninny Creek. This is a beautiful walk and provides excellent views of the beehive towers.
Many people take scenic flights by helicopter or fixed-wing aircraft. This gives you a perspective of the Park’s massive size and magnificent scenery.
There are two camping areas: Walardi and Kurrajong. You really need to stay at both camping areas as they provide access to different parts of the Park. Facilities are basic with toilets, water, fireplaces and tables. Fuel is not available in the Park.
Be warned that the Park access is very rough and unfortunately is only accessible to four-wheel drive vehicles. Travelling time, to the Ranger Station, is five hours from Kununurra and four hours from Halls Creek.