Where are we now?

Where are we now?
Where are we now? Tahmoor, NSW. Updated 7th December 2011

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Day 154. Spring Creek Rest Area (The Bungle Bungles)

160km’s of windy, dusty, badly corrugated road – 37 creek crossings – and one car sick kid…..
Welcome to the ‘Bungle Bungles’

We meant to set out early today, but by the time we got out of bed, cooked dinner for tonight, (as we won’t be back till late) and made lunches; we didn't hit the road until after 8:30am. Today we are heading into the Purnululu National Park to see the Bungle Bungles. We knew the road in was only about 80km’s long, but heard it was so bad that it could take hours.

The very 1st creek crossing...

To get into the park you have to go through ‘Mabel Downs Station’; which has one of the worst dirt roads we have ever seen. This one was even worse than the Gibb River Rd. There were over 27 creek crossings before we even got into the Purnululu National Park. The crossings ranged from dry creek beds, and huge muddy pits, to water crossings up our doors. Scarlett found it very exciting at first, until the poor little thing ended up really car sick.

Scarlett riding 'shot gun'
After pulling over for a break we decided to put her in the front seat, while I moved into the back. That helped her, but it wasn’t long before I was also turning green and feeling very average too. The road was so rough and windy, we couldn’t go over 40km’s an hour; this was going to be a very slow trip.

When we finally entered the park, we stopped at the visitor information centre to get a map. In an attempt to stop me getting any sicker, we decided I would move into the driver’s seat. So it was then into the back seat for poor Shane...

Another 10 creek crossings, and 26km’s of dirt track later and we finally made it into our destination. All up we had been slugging it out for over 2hrs; but let me just first start by saying; it was totally worth the drive! As soon as you pull up, the view takes your breath away.

Scarlett, Shane, and the Bungle Bungles

It’s absolutely amazing! The huge striking colours of orange and grey banded domes, are made up of sandstone deposited over 360 million years ago. They look like giant bee hives; that I soon discovered have been formed from erosion by rivers and weathering over the past 20 million years. The domes unique bands are caused by a presence and absence of cyanobacteria, this along with huge chasms and gorges, made for a very surreal landscape.

We started our walk with the ‘Domes Walk’, a class 4 walk 1km loop that winded around the base of the domes. They towered majestically above us, and we felt like we were part of a Jurassic Park movie. This walk then led into the ‘Cathedral Gorge Walk’, a class 3 walk 3kms long. Again we were meandering around the base of huge striped domes, following a very pebbled and potholed filled dry river bed. Above us were towering cliffs of honeycomb rocks that led to an amazingly large amphitheatre. Scarlett decided to sing the National Anthem, and the sound was unbelievable. The amphitheatre was so huge, that we weren’t able to fit it into one photo.

Inside the Amphitheatre - looking out

The last walk of the day was up to ‘Osmand Lookout’, a class 3 walk that was another 2kms long. From here you can see spectacular views out to the northwest and over to the ‘Osmand Range’. We were so buggered by the time we arrived here; it was hot, and the walking was starting to take its toll. The view from here was straight out of a tourism pamphlet, so we sat down, had some water, and a snack of nuts while just soaking it all in.

Bec and Scarlett at Piccinini Creek - The Bungle Bungles

I gave Scarlett a travel sickness tablet for the ride back, and as bad as the road was she fell straight asleep. I drove again some of the way back, until the tiredness was starting to take over, and then moved back into the passenger seat. We left by 3pm (at the park rangers advice) and I was glad we did, as just when we were coming out of the station gate back onto the main road, the sun was setting. You don’t want to be travelling through country like this after sunset. With all the stock and wildlife crossing, not the mention the terrible road and creek crossings, it can be a very bad idea.

Walking, walking, and more walking....

I was so glad I had prepared dinner that morning, the slow cooker had a lovely apricot chicken curry in it. Everyone was so hungry after all the walking today, we sat in silence eating till it was all gone. After dinner we toasted some marshmallows for dessert on our camp fire, then had a quick shower. Scarlett and Shane fell into bed watching ‘Indiana Jones and Raiders of the Lost Ark’. I sat quietly around the camp fire reflecting on the amazing things we had seen today, and shifted in my head my favourite places list.

It now stands at:

#1 – Horizontal Waterfalls; then
#2 - Karijini National Park; followed by my new
#3 – The Bungle Bungles; and moved down to
#4 - The Pinnacles; and to finish off with 
#5 - Coral Bay, (swimming with the Whale Sharks).

I wonder what tomorrow will bring….

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