July 1 - 7, 2018: Issue 366


View of the Bungle Bungle formations from the air.

By George Repin

The Bungle Bungle Range, a landform with distinctive bee-hive shaped towers, makes up much of the Purnululu National Park in the Kimberley area of Western Australia – approximately 300 kilometres (190 mi) south of Kununurra.

Flight path from Kununurra to the Bungle Bungle Range.

Until 1982, when film-makers included the Bungle Bungle in a documentary they were making about the Kimberley, the range was largely unknown except to stockmen and to the local aborigines, who had been living in the area for over 20,000 years. At that time there was no mention of the Bungle Bungle Range in any directories or guides to Australian National Parks readily available, despite the formation occupying an area of approximately 450 square kilometres (174 sq mi.).

The area was gazetted as the Purnululu National Park in 1987 and declared an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003. It was gazetted on the Australian National Heritage List on 21 May, 2007.

The Bungle Bungle Range is one of the most extensive and impressive occurrences of sandstone tower (or cone) karst terrain in the world. It lies fully within the defined National Park area with elevations as high as 578 metres (1,896 ft) above sea level.

The following is a brief synthesis of Purnululu National Park as inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List:

… [is a] remote area managed as wilderness. It includes the Bungle Bungle Range, a spectacularly incised landscape of sculptured rocks which contains superlative examples of bee-hive shaped karst sandstone rising 250 metres above the surrounding semi-arid savannah grasslands. Unique depositional processes and weathering have

given these towers their spectacular black and orange banded appearance, formed by biological processes of cyanobacteria (single cell photosynthetic organisms) which serve to stabilise and protect the ancient sandstone formations. These outstanding examples of cone karst that have eroded over a period 20 million years are of great beauty and exceptional geological interest.

Approaching the Bungle Bungle Range.

Various views of the Bungle Bungle formations from the air.

Various views of the Bungle Bungle formations from the air.

Various views of the Bungle Bungle formations from the air.

Close up view of the rock formations at ground level. 

The Bungle Bungles were a plateau of Devonian sandstone, which was carved into a mass of bee-hive shaped towers. The plateau, now, is dissected by deep, sheer-sided gorges and slot canyons. One of these, the Cathedral gorge, is easily accessible by a path from the Bungle Bungle air-strip.

Walking in to the "Cathedral Gorge".

 Inside the "Cathedral Gorge".

Purnululu National Park is accessible by road via the Spring Creek Track from the Great Northern Highway about 250 Kms south of Kununurra. The track is usable only in dry weather by four-wheel drive vehicles. Safely negotiating its 53 Kms length to the visitors centre takes about three hours.

Helicopter sightseeing flights are available and light aircraft flights from Kununurra or Lake Argyle, landing at the Bungle Bungle air-strip can be arranged. 

Light aircraft on Kununurra Airport.

Irrigated crops in the Ord River Irrigation Area.

Aerial view of Lake Argyle.

Photographs by George Repin in 2002.

Previous Reflections by George Repin 

The Nineteen Thirties  Remembering Rowe Street  The Sydney Push  Saturday Night at the Movies  Shooting Through Like A Bondi Tram  A Stop On The Road To Canberra  City Department Stores - Gone and Mostly Forgotten  An Australian Icon - thanks to Billy Hughes  Crossing The Pacific in the 1930s  Hill End  The Paragon at Katoomba  Seafood In Sydney  How Far From Sydney?  Cockatoo Island Over The Years  The Seagull at the Melbourne Festival in 1991  Busby's Bore  The Trocadero In Sydney  Cahill's restaurants  Medical Pioneers in Australian Wine Making  Pedal Power and the Royal Flying Doctor Service Pambula and the Charles Darwin Connection  Gloucester and the Barrington Tops  A Millenium Apart  Have You Stopped to Look?  Gulgong  Il Porcellino  Olympia  Durham Hall  Sargent's Tea Rooms Pie Shops and Street Photographers The Ballet Russes and Their Friends in Australia  Hotels at Bondi  Alma Ata Conference - 1978 Keukenhof - 1954 The Lands Department Building and Yellowblock Sandstone  The Goroka Show - 1958  A Gem On The Quay  Staffa  The Matson Line and Keepsake Menus Kokeshi Dolls  The Coal Mine At Balmain  The Hyde Park Barracks  The Changing Faces Of Sydney From Pounds and Pence to Dollars and Cents Nell Tritton and Alexander Kerensky  Making A Difference In Ethiopia William Balmain  J C Bendrodt and Princes Restaurant Azzalin Orlando Romano and Romano's Restaurant  Waldheim  Alcohol in Restaurants Before 1955  King Island Kelp  The Mercury Theatre   Around Angkor - 1963   Angkor Wat 1963  Costumes From the Ballets Russe Clifton at Kirribilli  Chairman Mao's Personal Physician  The Toby Tavern The MoKa at Kings Cross  The Oceaographic  Museum  in Monaco  The Island of Elba  Russian Fairy Tale Plates  Meteora  Souda Bay War Cemetery Barrow, Alaska Cloisonné  Tripitaka Koreana Minshuku The Third Man Photographs and Memories  Not A Chagall!  Did You Listen? Did You Ask?  Napier (Ahuriri, Maori) New Zealand  Borobudur  Ggantija Temples Plumes and Pearlshells  Murano  University of Padua Ancient Puebloe Peoples - The Anasazi   Pula  The Gondolas of Venice Cinque Terre  Visiting the Iban David The Living Desert Bryce Canyon National Park   Aphrodisias   The Divine Comedy Caodaism  Sapa and local Hill People  A Few Children Cappadocia  Symi Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre   Aboriginal Rock Art on Bigge Island    ANZAC Cove (Ari Burnu) 25 April, 1997  Hotere Garden Oputae  Children of the Trobriand Islands  Page Park Market - Rabaul  Rabual   Kotor, Montenegro   Galleries of Photographs I   Lascaux  Galleries of Photographs II   The Cathedral of St. James – Šibenik, Croatia  Ivan Meštrović  - Sculptor   Delphi   Gallery of Photographs III  The Handicrafts of Chiang Mai Raft Point  San Simeon - "Hearst Castle"  Floriade - The Netherlands - 1982  Russian New Year  Mycenae  "Flightseeing" Out Of Anchorage Alaska  The White Pass and Yukon Route  Totem Poles  Tivkin Cemetery  Krka National Park - Croatia   Tavistock Square and the BMA  Orthodox Easter  Wieliczka Salt Mine  A Walk on Santorini  Indonesian Snapshots Ephesus - The Library of Celsus  Ephesus - Some Places Of Interest  Waimea Canyon and the Kalalau Valley United Nations Headquarters 1958  A Miscellany of Flower Images  Gardens Bath St. David's In Wales   Zion National Park Nicholas Himona - Artist  Kraków  Lilianfels  Collonges-La-Rouge  Gingerbread Houses   Cape Sounion   Delos  Wroclaw  Colonial Williamsburg  Gruyères   Strasbourg  Coventry Cathedral  The Roman Theatre at Aspendos  Turkish Carpets The Duomo of Orvieto  Rovinj  The City Walls of Dubrovnik Monaco - Snapshots   Bonifacio, Corsica  Autumn in New England USA  The Great Ocean Road  Pompeii  Didyma  Lawrence Hargrave 1850-1915 The Corinth Canal  Malta  Snapshots of Amsterdam Café Central - Vienna  The Forbidden City - Beijing, China  A Ride on the Jungfrau Railway - 1954   Snapshots in the Highlands of Scotland 1954  Must See Sights in Paris - 1954  Corfu Reflections On the Nineteen Thirties The Gold Souk in Dubai  Stromboli Lake Argyle 

Copyright George Repin 2018. All Rights Reserved.