So given we’d decided that we weren’t going to tackle the Gibb River Road, all that was left for us to do was to backtrack our way back into Derby. We stopped into the Mowanjum indigenous centre as we had wanted to find a piece of artwork as a memento of our trip. We loved the art at this gallery, as much of it is centred around the folklore of the Wandjina spirit, but unfortunately the girls were in not-so-fine form and running riot so we didn’t get much of a chance to look properly. Also, the artwork was much more than the $500 I was hoping to pay (although in retrospect, it was the cheapest of the five galleries we stopped at!).
After grabbing a few more groceries and fuel in Derby, we then made our way towards Fitzroy Crossing and stayed at the Fitzroy Crossing Lodge for two nights. We spent one of our days checking out Giekie Gorge, which proved to be one of the toughest walks that we had attempted. Not because it was a super challenging walk, but because we had walked nearly 3km before we realised none of the walks we were on were actually heading into the gorge. By the time we got started on the actual gorge walk, it was stinking hot and we’d hit a section of track that was dry river sand. Hard to walk in and getting stuck in our shoes, we were getting over the sand very quickly, but there was no end in sight. The girls were starting to feel hot and bothered, and were protesting loudly and after about a km, we decided to abandon the trek, turn around and head for home.
The next day, we were on the move again and arrived in the early afternoon at the Bungle Bungles caravan park. The 53km road into Purnululu National Park – home of the Bungle Bungles – is notorious for being slow going and with 20+ water crossings in one direction alone. Although it wasn’t as bad as we had heard, we ended up taking an hour and a quarter to get to the visitor information centre. After registering, we headed for the Domes and the Cathedral in the southern part of the park.
The Bungle Bungles are an amazing example of geological beauty and their unique shapes make it easy to see why they are a must do destination. The beehive shaped domes in the southern end were so unique and it was hard not to keep snapping off shots in the hope of capturing just how vast and beautiful the landscape is.
And the stunning Cathedral amphitheatre was striking and photos just didn’t do it justice. There was also stunning acoustics in this space, proven by a lady who began to sing and fill the space with gorgeous notes.
The northern end of the park featured different styles of rock formations and the Echidna Chasm was an interesting walk with stony path ways and some boulder hopping to get to the end.
We stopped by a lookout so that we could view the escarpment as the sun was going down, and we wished we had a smaller van or at least a tent so we could have camped in the national park and taken our time exploring. But we know now for next time!
And next time, we would love to do a helicopter flight to see the Bungles from above!
Have there ever been times where you have given up on a bush walk and turned back? Do you find yourself intrigued by geology and the magnificent formations that have taken shape over millions of years?