Visit Bungle Bungles (BL#12)
This one was high on the list and it was just WOW!
The dilemma was never going to be whether I visit the Bungle Bungles but rather, how. As I don’t have a 4wd the 2 options for me was to either fly over them, plane or helicopter, or to do a 4wd tour. After reading up on the different options decided to stay at The Bungle Bungle Caravan Park ($35pn unpowered) and do the full day 4wd tour ($315.00 including morning tea, lunch and dinner on return to campsite). I also decided to do the helicopter flight. Maximum 3 passengers so I put my name down at the office and got on with a Melbourne couple within a couple of hours. By having a full flight, cost was $350pp. this was down from $495pp if only 2 people fly. The other couple were happy and I was happy so win win situation.
I was lucky enough to get the front seat next to the pilot. No doors on these helicopters of course so it took a while to settle my nerves down. But the view soon takes your nerves away, and your breath. It was a 40 minute flight so you can cover a huge amount of territory in that time. Because you fly at a fairly low altitude you get a real birds eye view of everything. It really is a breathtaking sight and gives you an appreciation of the size and shapes of the structures. I wont go into the statistics of the National Park as there is plenty of information available (Google is your friend). If time is a factor in your visit to this area then I thoroughly recommend a Helicopter Flight.
The next morning muster was at 6.15am outside the Caravan Park Office. I was the only single on the 4wd bus so had a spare seat next to me but there were a few seats vacant and everyone was friendly and excited about the day that lay ahead.
The first stop was an hour and a half later at the Visitors Centre. Coffee and plenty of souvenirs available. After leaving the Visitors Centre, which is situated 53km inside the Purnululu National Park, the first stop was a photo opportunity at Elephant Rock. Surprisingly it is a large rock formation in….you guessed it……. the shape of elephants. Then it was on to Picaninny Gorge for morning tea and Cathedral Gorge where we spent a bit over 2 hours trekking in and out. These walks were not difficult and Cathedral Gorge was very speckie. The Park is now listed as a World Heritage Site and covers over 2 thousand square kilometres.
After lunch we headed to the northern area of the Range where we walked into the Echidna Chasm, followed by a walk up to the lookout. Having now seen a few different Gorges on my travels, each one is different and you really do say “Wow” as you gaze in awe of the beauty and sheer size of the cliffs either side of you.
On the return journey we stopped at Stonehenge which was a nature walk around a loop with information boards explaining the different types of trees/bushes, grasses and foliage used in bush medicine.
We arrived back at the Caravan Park just before 5pm and after a communal Happy Hour enjoyed a lovely home cooked meal served up by the Park staff.
The 4wd tour was excellent value for money. The corrugations are jarring (understatement) even in the modern 4wd coach. Many people take their 4wd’s in. Not all come out in one piece. At $300+ replacement cost for a tyre, if there is only one or two people then the cost of the tour is money well spent.
40 minutes helicopter flight at $350 or $315 for a 10 1/2 hour 4wd tour. Which is better and which is better value? That’s a really hard question to answer. Both give you a different perspective that the other doesn’t and both are really good value for money. I cant split them. I will only ever go there once so I am so glad that I had the opportunity to do both. If you can afford to do both then I would recommend doing both. Either way you will not be disappointed.