Given our remote location and an even more remote destination it was an easy decision to book a 4WD trip into the Bungle Bungles rather than drive the 5o kms into the Purnululu National Park. We felt it wasn’t worth risking our Hilux on a gravel road than could be mostly good but if something went wrong we were a very, very long way from anyone who could offer us roadside assistance. It turned out about 2/3 of the 24 passengers had made the same decision.
So after a quick breakfast in the caravan at 6:30 we made our way onto the Mabel Downs 4WD vehicle ready for an amazing day. Found a seat about half way back and soon after making ourselves comfortable we were on our way. The trip was slow with mostly good road but in some parts the 4WD crawled over a jagged, uneven, rocky surface at a snail’s pace. After an hour and a half or so we stopped briefly at the Purnululu National park office before heading to the western side of the national park. We stopped near the entrance to Echidna Chasm for morning tea.After morning tea we started our first walk past some rocky hills, but not the famous beehive rocky hills we had expected, they were to come later on.It was only a short walk we came to a viewpoint at Osmand Lookout. Our guide spoke of the history of the local indigenous people in the area.We returned partway along the same track before branching off towards Echidna Chasm.Along the way we spotted a stunning golden Grevillea.The path soon became quite uneven so it was good we had our walking shoes/boots on.The vegetation within the entry to the chasm was quite tropical to my surprise, not what I expected from such a dry landscape.The space between the rock walls narrowed out after a while.At one point we used a steel ladder to move further up the chasm.Finally we reached the end of the chasm, literally a dead end. Here’s a selfie as evidence we made it the whole way.From there we made our way back to the beginning of the chasm to where our vehicle was parked. Our vehicle headed east now. Along the way we passed the turnoff to the visitors centre as well as this rock formation known as Elephant Rock.The rock formations on this east side of the national park were the well known black and orange striped formations.However it was still a while until we came to the famous beehive style ones.Our vehicle parked in a picnic areacomplete with a loo with a view.After lunch we had the opportunity for a few quick photosnot just of the landscape,before heading off on our first walk of the afternoon which included a stretch made famous in the QANTAS ads featuring the Australian Boys and Girls Choirs (URL – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ze6D-59bLX0)to Piccaninny Lookout. From the lookout we had 180 degree views of the beehive rock formations, both big and small.After allowing for numerous photo opportunties we made our way back along the same routeuntil we came to the turnoff into Cathedral Gorge.The path ended at the ‘cathedral’sitting high above a small pond which we sat near while we rested and had a drink. The walk back out allowed us a few more photo opportunitiesbut with ever increasing shadows it was time to board our 4WD vehicle and begin the trip back to Mabel Downs.Like the trip into the national park the journey back was slow. We arrived late afternoon and took a refreshing shower before changing for a buffet bush roast dinner at Mabel Downs Station with all the others we had spent a truly memorable day with.
As with the helicopter trip this 4WD trip isn’t cheap but given it was a once in a lifetime experience it was money well spent and we would have no hesitation in recommending it. The Bungle Bungles should be on your list if they aren’t already!