Sunday, July 19, 2015

Bungle Bungle NP, WA.

After fifteen relaxing days at Derby and having completed our planned tourist activities the time came to move on. As you may realise by now we only move in short bursts, therefore I had plenty of Rest Area (RA) stop-overs plotted along our planned route. The first night was to be Ellendale Lake. This is not an official RA, but rather, a free camping area on Private Property, with the owner's permission, around a pool remaining from a 'Wet Season' water course. This is a water point for the beef cattle on the property, therefore the cattle casually roam through the camps heading to the water. Some of these beasts are becoming too friendly and inquisitive though. We camped for three nights here and then moved on to Fitzroy River Lodge at Fitzroy Crossing. I absolutely needed TV reception to take in the Origin 3 Match. Which, in case you have been in a cave and haven't heard, Queensland royally defeated NSW. Most of the viewers  at the Lodge Bistro were Maroons Supporters, especially after half time, when the Blues supporters were strangely absent.

After three nights at Fitzroy Crossing we did a series of one night stops beginning with Ngumban Cliff RA, a great camp but very windy that night on top of the cliff. Good views though. It was then onto Mary Pool RA. This is an extremely popular stop-over. Too many here actually and with a brisk Easterly blowing very dusty as well. This was a great stop-over for us as we met up with friends, Heather and Al, from Hervey Bay who were travelling in the opposite direction to us. That afternoon and evening we traded yarns of the places both of us have visited.

The following day we topped up with fuel at Halls Creek then travelled on to Spring Creek RA. This RA is directly opposite the entry to the Bungle Bungle NP. We stayed three nights here so that we could take in a coach tour to 'The magical and awesome Bungles'. I opted not to drive our vehicle the 80 kms out there as I had heard various reports about the track condition, none of them good. The Tour was excellent, departed at 7 AM from The Bungle Bungle CP (actually The Mabel Downs Station) and returned at 4:30 PM. We then returned to The Bungles CP at 6 PM for a Complimentary "Bush Dinner" with fresh damper. The meal was delicious and filling after our full day at 'The Bungles'.

Huge Boab trees abound in these upper Latitudes. This one at a Rest Area.

With Jude standing beside it you can get a good idea of the size of these monsters. It is possible to enter this Boab around the other side, but 'God' knows what else is in there with you.

Ellendale Lake on Private Property makes an excellent camp spot. The Highway passes just beyond the tree line on the far side.

Most of the campers choose to camp around the 'back side' of the lake, presumably to be further away from the highway noise.

Wild cattle roam through the camp area on their way to the water. This one, christened Mary for some reason' was extremely inquisitive and comes looking for a fresh lettuce leaf or maybe a juicy crunchy carrot, far better than dry grass!

'Mary' is quite pushy if she doesn't get quick service. Jude had already given her a treat and now she wants more!

Elephant Rock, seen as we arrive at The Bungle Bungle National Park (NP).

The familiar 'beehive shape' is confined to the southern end of the range.

There are various shapes and sizes to the outcrops.

Part of the walking trail to Piccaninny Creek Lookout.

Jude and I at Piccaninny Creek Lookout.

The view from the Lookout.

Termites build there mounds in the strangest of places.

Walking into Cathedral Gorge we pass this pool of water. The water is not as clean as it looks here, believe me!

Further into Cathedral Gorge the path narrows.

Suddenly the narrow path opens into an enormous cavern. Hence the name Cathedral Gorge.

During the Wet Season water flows into the gorge through this channel in the rocks.

The Halls Creek Fault Line passes through the Bungle Bungle NP and is quite evident here. The fault line passes from near Darwin all the way across to Halls Creek.

Walking into Echidna Chasm now along a creek bed.

Echidna Chasm is at the Northern end of the range and the geology is very different here. All the rock here is "Conglomerate" whereas in the southern end the features are fine grained sandstone.

The various fixed 'pebbles are released from the rock by eons of Wet Seasons and deposited along the creek bed. This is what you have to walk over, all the way in and out. It is very strenuous on the legs.

Palms grow in the more open areas.

But now the Chasm narrows suddenly.

It is quite dark and very cool in the Narrows of the Chasm.

There are two ladders to ascend with this large boulder looming over your head.

We are at the end of Echidna Chasm, unless you are an ant and can scale a vertical rock face. Now we face the walk out to catch the coach before it leaves for the drive home.


  1. Hi Noel and Judy, I actually see a face with eyes, nose and mouth in the rock in the picture above the photo of the Falls Creek Fault Line.. you guys really living your dream, we were at falls creek but did not go to visit this great Bungle Bungle NP

    1. How observant of you Andy! I hadn't noticed that feature but I see it now! Cheers to you and Suzy.