Located in Western Australia’s spectacular Kimberley region, Purnululu National Park is home to the famous rock formations known as the Bungle Bungles. These striking orange and black sandstone domes rise dramatically from the grass-covered plains, which have long been inhabited by Australia’s indigenous people. Their ancient ceremonial sites, rock paintings and burial grounds still dot the national park today. The word “purnululu” actually means “sandstone” in the local Aboriginal language and this region wasn’t known to the outside world until the 1980s.
There are a number of walking trails that allow you to explore Purnululu National Park and the Bungle Bungles with a local guide. However, access to the rock formations is restricted to the dry riverbeds, as the sandstone (which is stabilized by crusts of iron oxide and bacteria) can easily break away. Summer monsoon rains and wind have naturally eroded these spectacular rock formations over thousands of years, together with the deep gorges and chasms in their surrounds.
All-terrain tours are a great way to access to this remote part of the Kimberley, with local guides who have a keen eye for spotting nailtail and short-eared rock wallabies, as well as some of the 130 bird species found here. Or you can opt to explore from the air on a scenic flight from Kununurra, taking in the magnificent views over Cathedral Gorge, Piccaninny Gorge and Echidna Chasm. A bird’s eye view allows you to appreciate the vast nature of Purnululu National Park and the Bungle Bungles, with most scenic flights also including a visit to the Argyle diamond mine.