A night in the Bungle Bungle Ranges should always be a must-do on all traveller’s lists when coming to the Kimberley. It is one of those magical places that will steal your breath away the moment you lay your eyes on it! Located within the Purnululu National Park, the Bungle Bungle are a collection of tall standing beehive-looking structures that boast orange, brown, black, and earthy tones and was only discovered back in 1983 by a film crew who were making their way through the area. However, known to the Kija Aboriginal people who have lived in the region for more than 20,000 years, the Bungle Bungle has long placed great importance on their existence and Dreamtime stories. Farmers who had lived in the area knew about the sandstones before its famous discovery but back then there were more pressing things to worry about.
From the time the Bungle Bungle ranges were discovered the Western Australian Government quickly stepped in, as they saw the great importance and significance that this area had, and from here Purnululu National Park was established in 1987, Purnululu being the Kija word for sandstone. The place was quickly recognised all around the world and finally, in 2003 the area was listed as a World Heritage Site. The Bungle Bungle ranges were created some 350 million years ago and were once the sediment from an old river bed that was compacted over time and then lifted up to create the mountain ranges. When it was first created it had the shape of one huge block but over millions of years, storms, sizzling heat, winter freezes, seasonal rains, and winds the Bungle Bungle ranges are as they stand today. As time goes by more and more of the sandstone structures are developing and creating a new dome as erosion continues in the area but this will not be seen for many more millions of years.
There are many ways in which you can experience the Bungle Bungle ranges for yourself. You can take a guided walk or tour around the area with an informative guide who will tell you about the Aboriginal meaning of the monolithic structure and culture and history that surrounds it. You may prefer to take a scenic flight over it to get a bird’s eye view but one thing is for sure, and that is, if you are in the Kimberley this must not be passed up.
The changing colours from the morning to the afternoon sun will leave you spellbound and in awe. It is always best to allow a bit of time to visit the Bungle Bungle ranges as it can take up to two and half hours from Kununurra in drive time or just one hour from Halls Creek. It is advised that you have a four-wheel drive as the last stretch of road is for 4WD only and if you are towing anything it should only be a single-axle off-road trailer or caravan. The roads can sometimes be a little tricky with many obstacles to get across but well worth the effort when you arrive. Fees stand at $10 per car no matter how many people are in the car and how long you are staying. At the start of the ranges, you can find a small visitor centre where you can purchase cold drinks but do not expect ice or food.
If you plan to stay awhile in the Bungle Bungle ranges you can arrange to stay at one of the two campgrounds that are within easy reach of the sandstone structures. They provide basic amenities and easy access so you can experience the Bungle Bungle whenever you wish to. There is a third campground but this is only open to tour operators that make their way here! So be sure not to miss out on this attraction when visiting the Kimberley, whether you drive here by yourself for the day, stay overnight or come with a tour group, you don’t want to miss this opportunity. There is a reason why the Bungle Bungle ranges are visited by thousands of visitors from all over the world each year.