After refuelling and eating lunch at Halls Creek, we drove on to the start of the Bungles road. This 52km access road was, in the past, quite notoriously rough. It had a few creek crossings to navigate as well, the first being the most significant.
After starting off down the road, we came across the first major creek crossing. Not only was it not rough like we had remembered, it was also totally dry this time of the season. The rest of the road was ok, a little rough, but nothing horrendous. We remembered how enjoyable the drive was last time, so we were on heightened lookout this time through.
They had just recently changed the method of managing the camping in the park, where you are supposed to book a site before arriving. This is similar to what they have initiated in Qld. The system is USELESS! As a new traveller to the area, you have no idea of which sites are good or bad, which meet your requirements, and which do not. So it’s pot luck. We didn’t book in advance, but when we paid at the park office, they allocated a site for us.
Given the expected 38 – 40 degree days expected, we had asked for a shady spot. When we got there, the site was the most open, exposed of the whole campground. Additionally a dozen other vacant sites had fantastic shade. You can’t move because someone else might have those sites booked. Stupid! Anyway, let’s think positively, it was good, constant sunlight for the solar panels!
We setup and chilled out. It was pretty hot, so sitting around doing not much was definitely the favoured task. As per most of our trip recently, even though it was got stinking hot during the days, reliably it was cool during the night. Thankfully.
The next morning, we decided to tick off one of the walks. We tried to get away reasonably early, and drove to Echidna Chasm. This is a long, very deep chasm created through millions of years of erosion. You walk up a rocky creek bed, and then enter into the chasm, with its towering red walls surrounding you. As you walk up the chasm, the walls narrow in further and further until you can touch both walls with your outstretched arms. Freaky how tall the walls extend up over you.
|Walking through the chasm|
|Inside Echidna Chasm|
|Who doesn't where a dress when bushwalking?|
It was also very cool in the shady chasm, so we were hit with the heat when we finally came out. The walk back down the rocky creek bed was a warm one.
We limited our walking activities to this one walk for the day, and returned to the camp to hang out again. The drawing gear and playdough got a big workout that afternoon, as well as a little ‘screen time’, with the kids watching iPhone videos. We had access to water at the campsite, so we also set up the shower tent, having a lovely cooling shower each. We left the tent up, and kept jumping in every now and then for a wet down and cool off. Wheeeew, lucky we had this!
There was a sunset viewing area around the corner from the campsite, so we packed a gas bottle and dinner stuff in the car, and headed there about 4.00pm. We set ourselves up with chairs, cheese, bickies, and dinner cooking in the camp oven, to watch the sun set on the Bungles range. The long shadows and colors on the rocks make for a magical view, and well worth the visit.
|We love a good sunset!|
|And even better with dinner and a show|
The next day we left camp early again, and headed to the Cathedral walk, a popular track which wanders amongst the beehive domes of the bungles, and eventually ends in a huge cathedral amphitheatre. We stood there marvelling at how this area had been formed, and wondering what it would be like to be here in the wet season. That would be a sight, seeing the mass of rushing water moving through this area.
|The ladders seem to be very exciting for the kids|
|On route to Cathedral Gorge|
|Do you kids know how lucky you are to be here? :)|
On the way back to camp, we dropped in at the airfield, as Glenn was very keen to do another helicopter flight over the Bungles. We had flown over the area on our last trip, and it was by far the most spectacular one we had ever done. With the contrasts of the wide open deserts around the Bungles, looking down at the many beehive domes, and then peering down into 200 metre chasms. Pretty easy to be impressed.
Disappointingly however, we were the only ones there, and the pilots informed us that there had to be a minimum of two paying passengers. We had debated whether the kids would cope with a flight, but pretty quickly agreed that they would freak out, and the whole thing would have been a disaster. Could you imagine two screaming kids wanting to climb out a chopper’s doors (open ones) 5 minutes in. Noooo thank you.
Given that there was no baby sitting service, there was no option. We stayed around for a little while chatting to the 2 pilots, alleviating their boredom, and hearing some pretty good stories. I guess company rules and company rules, but you’d think turning away a paying passenger doesn’t make that much sense. Anyway, it was what it was.
We drove back to camp for another chilling afternoon. The pilots had told us that yesterday hit 41 degrees, and today felt just as hot. Needless to say, the shower come cooling tent was very well utilized!
|We love Purnululu - a magical place|