The Bungle Bungle Range, Purnululu National Park, WA. © Jewels Lynch Photography/Tourism Western Australia

Guide to Purnululu National Park

The Bungle Bungle Range, Purnululu National Park, WA © Jewels Lynch Photography

See the Bungle Bungle Range from the air

The Bungle Bungle Range was only known to local Aboriginal owners and pastoralists until a documentary team brought it to the world's attention in 1983. Director Guy Baskin was filming a documentary called Wonders of WA (Western Australia) when the crew saw the incredible formations from the air. Take a scenic flight over the sandstone formations of the Bungle Bungles, thought to have been forged more than 350 million years ago. The orange, grey and black stripes are the result of alternating bands of sediment, each with different clay content. Choose from several tours to see the striking sight, including the Aviair Bungle Bungle AdventurerHelispiritKingfisher Tours and Kimberley Air Tours

Bungle Bungle Wilderness Lodge, Purnululu National Park, WA © Steve Strike

Rest and restore near Purnululu

Inside the park boundary you can stay at the tented Bungle Bungle Wilderness Lodge, camp at the public sites Walardi and Kurrajong, or at the private campground, Bellburn. About 100 kilometres (62 miles) from Kununurra is the private wilderness park, El Questro, a massive property boasting waterfalls, majestic gorges, forests, and four different river systems. You'll find camping and rooms at The Station and tented cabins at Emma George Resort. Or you can stay at the luxurious six-star retreat, El Questro Homestead. Alternatively, book a package with East Kimberley Tours, combining guided exploration with a night in the eco-friendly Bungle Bungle Savannah Lodge and a scenic flight over the area. 

Bungle Bungle Guided Tours, Purnululu National Park, WA © Bungle Bungle Guided Tours

Learn about the area's Aboriginal heritage

Aboriginal people are thought to have lived in this region for more than 40,000 years, and the park holds rich, enduring traces of their life. Ancient rock art and burial sites can be found across the park and you can visit some of the sites with a local Aboriginal guide on a Bungle Bungle Guided Tour. They offer three tour options, from easy to challenging. You’ll forage for bush tucker and hear stories of the Aboriginal customs of the area, the flora and fauna, and the six weather seasons life is rhythmically centred around. You'll also find tour operators based near the national park and others in the regional hubs of Kununurra and Halls Creek. 

Purnululu National Park, The Kimberley, WA © Tourism Australia

Tour the park on foot

To explore the park at an even deeper level, you can join a multi-day guided walk with World Expeditions. For five days you'll be based at a bush camp in the upper Piccaninny Gorge and enjoy daily exploratory walks, finishing your week with a scenic flight over the region. Along the way, you'll stop at clear waterholes, caves and gorges.

Cathedral Gorge, Purnululu National Park, WA © Brian Dullaghan

See the park's other incredible highlights

In the southern part of Purnululu, hike into the enormous Cathedral Gorge, known for its incredible acoustics. Test out your vocal cords, then tackle the trail to Piccaninny Creek, a three-kilometre (1.8-mile) return loop. Experienced walkers can take on the Piccaninny Gorge, a 30-kilometre (18.6-mile) overnight trek. You can spend days exploring this remote trail to the spectacular gorge and you must register at the visitors centre before departing. In northern Purnululu the narrower gorges offer a completely different experience. An easy two-kilometre (1.2-mile) walk leads into Echidna Chasm. Or try the five-kilometre (3.1-mile) return hike to Mini Palms Gorge, home to clusters of Livistona palms and a traditional Aboriginal fertility cave.

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